When one is stuck between life and death, are they really connected to anything? Hanging there in the balance, still breathing but with a soul that feels entirely lifeless? If at all connected in this space, it is most likely by a single thread, but certainly not by any rope.
As humans we crave connection; we need connection and we absolutely need community. We were created this way. Living in the throws of an addicted life, we succumb to the perils that brings, submitting to its will, therefore cutting off any connections that may get in the way of achieving “the fix.” Relationships become strained, if not completely shattered. Jobs and careers tend to fall by the wayside, if we are lucky enough to even maintain such a status as being employed. The ability to truly appreciate creation, be it a blooming flower or sunset… any joy or “use” for these things seem to slip away, and we can so quickly lose track of where we then slip away to once they are no longer pertinent to everyday life.
Addiction is the king; the ruler and captor. People cannot save us. Institutions and groups and programs cannot save us. We cannot save ourselves. Being under the stronghold of active addiction, we are helpless, hopeless and in a constant state of have-not.
But for Christ.
You see, I am completely incapable of keeping myself sober, as is the institution of the Church, or the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, or anyone else for that matter. It wasn’t until I turned my life and my will over to the care of God that I was able to find freedom. In this, I was not only redeemed, but able to begin building a new life with Christ to guide me. He sent me people to make connections with and a community to share my successes and failures with. This community holds me accountable and the connections give me purpose here in my life in sobriety. Without the handcuffs of active addiction, I no longer needed to hide, lie, cheat and steal… I had nothing to give anymore but of myself in service, and that is also what I received in return. No exchange of goods, but a sharing of the heart through experience, strength and hope.
Being redeemed from an old way of living and born into a new one has gifted me a life worth living. Sure, I have my ups and downs and relapses of thinking… I am only human after all. No matter what, I always turn back to Christ to guide me, and He shows me who to go to and where to go to get back on track. The connections with others in the community I have been gifted with is something else beyond my wildest dreams. I rarely feel alone today, and at the very least, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am not alone. God is with me all the time, and any struggles I may face have been faced by someone else before me.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have receive to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:8-10)
God has used different people and different ways of bringing us all together, and the growing community and deeper connections we are making through this ministry and meeting are priceless. It is pushing me to search deeper and do more than I knew I was capable of. I am seeing lives change and people grow and flourish right before my very eyes. What. A. Gift. By the Grace of God, we are all lucky enough to be sober and given a new lease on life, together. I couldn’t think of a better group of people to be together in this, and I am grateful for each and every one of you.