There are countless life lessons and sayings that I have learned throughout my journey of recovery. I have heard sayings and mottos in step-based meetings such as; “easy does it”, “one day at a time” and “Don’t take yourself too seriously”. Those all hold great meaning and have helped me throughout my recovery. However, the most important thing that I have learned about recovery and life is that “it’s all about connection”. For me, the two most crucial aspects of my recovery have been my connection with God and my connection with others.
Connection to God….
In order to begin this journey of recovery I had to come to the realization that I could not stay clean on my own. I desperately needed Jesus and the cool thing is that He meets us exactly where we are. I found Jesus at my lowest of lows, in my darkest hour, at my rock bottom.
Matthew 17:20 reads, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
It is with faith the size of a mustard seed that I began to face the mountain of my addiction. I soon found out that I had to surrender EVERYTHING to God. This was difficult at first and made me uncomfortable. However, what I came to realize is that I had to get out of my comfort zone in order to progress in my recovery. Relationships take action and I had to start moving!
Through constant prayer and taking action I was able to develop a relationship with God. As I began to center my life on an intimate relationship with God I took notice that my thoughts and mindset were changing. No longer was I rooted in selfish, egotistical, self-seeking behavior. I now was rooted in kindness, patience, and love. This change in thinking can be directly attributed to the love and grace of Jesus Christ. I had been given a second chance at life, a second chance to be the son, brother, and friend that God had always planned for me to be. The undeserving love I was given from God allowed me to love others unconditionally and meet them where they were on their journey. It is through a connection with God that I was able to begin connecting with others.
Connection with others…
Throughout my stay at HIA I have learned the importance of a connection with others. I’m not talking about a surface level connection that you may have with a co-worker or acquaintance. I’m talking about a deep connection, similar to a family bond. A connection where you are jointly chasing after the same goal and dream. The sort of connection that breeds accountability, love, and belief in oneself and others.
In my addiction, I had no connection with others. I had plenty of surface level acquaintances but lacked a deep bond with others. This left me feeling alone and empty. Today, I have found this incredible bond. A family, a brotherhood. This bond has been an integral part in my sobriety and I believe it is what makes Hope Is Alive successful. My brothers are there for me through thick and thin. They celebrate with me during the highs and cry with me during the lows. They wholeheartedly believe in me and I 100% believe in them. This connection is contagious and it can be visibly seen from our leaders to our newest residents.
What I know as true today, is that God takes the broken and makes them whole, He takes the hopeless and He fills them with HOPE! He takes our mess and turns it into HIS message.
I believe that HIS message is that there is hope. Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Though we are each on our own individual paths towards finding our hope and future, at Hope is Alive we take this incredible journey together.
Why? Because it’s all about connection!