I love reading notes from the Newcomers perspective. This is a follow up email response to a note we send out to check up on our newcomers. Good stuff. With her permission to share removing her name I wanted you see this.
This is going to bless you!
It was so nice to read your email. Thank you. (The below note is straight from her blog....:))
"I walked in the door and here this song resounding from the sanctuary.
Our God is greater. Our God is stronger. God you are higher than any other. Our God is healer. Awesome in power. Our God. And if our God is for us, than who could ever stop us. And if our God is with us, than what can stand against
I stood near the back pew, halfway through worship. Hands were raised across the room. People from all kinds of life. Stepping into this worship meant agreeing that I have hurts and addictions in my life that need God's healing. In a freeing moment, I joined in.
The band played louder than before, and a man stepped up to the microphone. Is anyone here for their 1 year or more chip? Three or four people start walking towards the front and the band erupts, people in the sanctuary start cheering and clapping. I don't know how to describe it. It was a legitimate celebration. It was church. One man four rows in front of me came forward for his 7 year chip of sobriety. He was crying, and his buddy next to him was hugging him.
The man on the microphone said, "This may be your first time here, and that could be you in 7 years from now today" The addict within me longs for that. My heart was so stirred because I realized that, these people, to me, are fascinating. They must have interesting stories, and walks of life. I entered these doors and became, one of them. I felt this deep rooted connection to the people in that room, that is the only way that I can think of to describe it. We are all struggling. Stepping in means acknowledging that my life has become unmanageable and that I need God's healing.
Back to last night, the man calls out the newcomers, and says that
"you can come down to receive your newcomer day 1 chip and we will yell and scream like never before for you and your recovery"
I stepped forward, down the aisle. I received my blue chip, and a hug. As I turned around the symbols were clashing, and the band was playing, and people were clapping and shouting. I walked back to my seat and had people shaking my hand.
In my head I was thinking, WHAT IS GOING ON?
On no, does the blue chip really mean that I've had 10 years recovery or started a Celebrate Recovery of my own or something. Seriously, what is going on.
I have never seen a better picture of the church than last night
It was a really meaningful night in my recovery, and my faith. As the night went on and I heard a testimony from a lady who has completed the 12 steps, and an introduction to CR for the newcomers (all 20+ of us) I realized 1. that I would not run into a lot of these people in my day to day life 2. that I relate more to the people that I heard from and met in that room than I can describe, and
3. that God cheers for me as much when I get the 1st day of recovery as when I come forward for my 7th year celebration."
For more information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or firstname.lastname@example.org