Last time I spoke with Lauren we had a conversation about her latest relapse and what she needed to do to stay clean in the future. She was a beautiful woman with a beautiful heart. A few days ago she overdosed and was gone. May she rest in eternal peace.
Today the reminder is that we will lose people we love and respect to this cunning and baffling thing called addiction. That's why there is a Step Twelve that lays out what we need to do once we have gotten over the hump toward solid recovery. It's not about getting the right job, or in the right relationship, it's about remembering what we owe to ourselves and others.
Jesus urged his disciples to step up once he was gone, and he gave them the power to do so. The price he paid for us was to be spread among the nations as good news that there is forgiveness and redemption. They willingly became the next man up and they sacrificed much to be his messengers.
In recovery we can never get complacent, never rest on our laurels, or bury ourselves in relationships or secrecy to hide from our past. To grow we need to go. Jesus knew that, Bill W.& Dr. Bob knew that:
Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Step Twelve
There is no other way to carry it than being the next man up, the one who shares their story, takes the time to give someone a ride to a meeting, leads a group when they are so nervous to speak, or just makes coffee at a meeting and cleans up. We owe it to those who paid the price before us, who helped us to find God, and to those who overdosed because we are the messengers who had a mess but now have a message.
Recovery is a gift not a given. Cold facts, some make it most don't. But we who are privileged get to keep what we have been freely given by sharing that gift with those who need it. The Step says "we tried", and when one goes down we mourn, but we get back up the next day and try a little harder because we don't want to lose anyone else.
Fact, Jesus went after the one lost sheep. He must be telling us something we need to do, again and again!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.