Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Recovery at the Village

So first of all, i've been a terrible blogger. i forget that i have this now, so i'll have to get used to it. sorry for no updates in seriously a month.

Ok well i have been attending The Village Church for about a year now and love it there. This semester i have become really involved. I'm serving with the kindergarten class on sunday mornings in Little Village, and recently started with another ministry called Recovery at the Village. Everyone always asks what this is. I love this ministry. I love it because recovery is not for what we say are the "big sins" like drug and alcohol addiction, pornography addiction, things like that. It's for sinners (so that means everybody). When i go to recovery and introduce myself, it sounds like this: "Hi, i'm Christa. I'm a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. I'm in recovery for codependency, bitterness and anger, and fear of man." What i love about it is it's biblical teaching about, honestly how completely messed up we are because we're inherently bad, however, we have God's grace. And because of God's infinite grace and love, He uses messed up sinners to further His kingdom. At the village, they encourage you to go through the step studies as well. This is step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive and dysfunctional behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable. Man, as a creature in relationship to his Creator, has fallen from a place of dignity, humility, and dependence to a state of depravity, pride and rebellion. Any attempts on his own to redeem himself are futile, only increasing the problem of independence and self-sufficiency. Therefore, because the problem is sin, I am powerless to overcome it and my attempts to control it only increase the chaos.

This first step was huge for me. First of all, i grew up in a church where i was always taught: "It's your fault. You have to fix your own sin. You have to take these 3 steps (that all rhyme) in order to fix how horrible you are." And so for years i've wondered why i try and try to improve and get over my sin, yet i can't get passed it. no matter what all my attempts fail. i got through this insanity cycle of sin (step 2). I realized through studying the first 3 chapters of Genesis in my study through recovery, God revealed to me that I'm powerless to sin. There is absolutely no way i can overcome my bitterness. But, because of the cross and God's grace, only, only in complete surrender and daily dependence on Him can it be done. And He is the one that does it, not me. I have to daily surrender and be obedient, knowing that God took that sin. Will i struggle with it? No doubt, because that is my inherent nature. But i can learn to struggle well with Christ. Tonight, i celebrated 30 days in recovery. It is very hard. Very hard to have to confess and be held accountable to repent, to have that secret, dark sin be put into the light and be completely vulnerable and utterly exposed. But, i dont feel judged. Because anyone who spends one day in recovery realizes, hey, everybody is messed up. I'm not the only one! And every sin is equal in God's eyes. So my mom found this on youtube today. It's a church, who by the grace of God and movement of the Holy Spirit, has been changed through God's tool of recovery. These are their cardboard testimonies. Mine would say: Makes unstable man my god, and gets consumed in bitterness and anger. There is only One God, and in Him I find all my joy and peace.