When you hear the word recovery, what immediately comes to mind? A drug rehab, an alcoholic who needs it, or maybe you think of healing from an illness. All of those are true, however, there is much more to recovery.
Recovery is defined in the dictionary as “a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength”. In order to return something to a normal state, one must know what normal is. For some normal was a “Leave it to Beaver” type household with doting parents, a white picket fence, and a family pet. Yet, for others, normal is the polar opposite of this 30-minute sitcom type life. For some, home life was more like hell on earth, full of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual abuse. For the latter, it is difficult to know what normal should be. In steps, recovery.
If to be recovered is returning to a normal state, then being a part of recovery is for me. Being a part of recovery may be for you, too. If you are not sure, you can read What is Recovery to find out. Otherwise, settle in because I am going to redefine recovery and who needs it.
Traditionally, recovery has been for the alcoholic or addict. It all started with the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935 by Bill W. and Dr. Bob S. Both had been alcoholics and searched for a way to recover, to have a better life. AA was born. Since that time, AA has grown and expanded its efforts. Over the years there have been other recovery programs adapted from AA’s concept of the 12-Steps.
When I first set out on my plight to figure out why I had so much trouble with the alcoholics in my life, I was led to Al-Anon. This program is for anyone who is affected by alcoholism or addiction. The program is a good alternative for support for the families of addicts, but it does lack in spiritual guidance, at least for me. I am a Christian and I wanted good, solid biblical guidance to guide me through the chaos.
After trying different options, I landed on a local program called re:generation. It was founded by a leader within a local church who struggled with addiction to pornography. He felt others needed biblical guidance to recover from any and all struggles they faced. He was right. We all need biblical guidance in recovery.
In a lot of Christian circles, the word “recovery” holds a negative connotation. Many hear the word and immediately say “Oh, I don’t need that. That is for addicts. I don’t drink or smoke, so I’m good, but thanks.” Well, I am going out on a limb here, but I believe EVERYONE needs recovery. Why? Simply put, we are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) Period. End of story. Well, almost.
I believe, an addiction is anything we love so much it replaces God. What do I mean? I’ll give you an example; there was a time I had to be in control of everything. I mean everything; people, situations, and outcomes. I thought I was the only one who could do things and do them the right way, so I forced my thoughts onto others. I wanted others to see things exactly the way I saw them and if they didn’t, then they were wrong. Control had become my idol. You see, through recovery, I realized God is the only One that has true control (Proverbs 19:21) not me. I would not have realized this unless I had been through recovery.
I’ve heard it said “the healthiest people are in recovery” and that is so true. As Christians we are called to be healthy – both in our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and our spirit (Colossians 3:16). I have found the best way to be healthy in my spirit is through recovery. It is my duty to the Lord to ensure I return my spiritual health to a normal state. Transform my old spiritual normal of complacency to a new spiritual normal of connection.
Redefining recovery in the church starts with authenticity. Getting real with fellow believers about our need to restore ourselves to a normal state. Our need to reconnect to our Creator. Our need to recover from our daily struggles in this world. (Romans 12:2). Listen, we all have issues. Every, single, one of us. There is something in all of our pasts that has shaped our resentments, fears, bitterness, or pain. All. Of. Us.
It’s time to take a stand in our churches and let our leaders know recovery is not just for the addicts anymore. Recovery is for anyone who is broken and in need of a healer. (John 8:7). Jesus came to the earth to heal all who suffered and on the inside, everyone has some level of suffering (Mark 2:17). Through a Christian based recovery, Jesus can heal us from the past that ails us.
Then, learn how to choose the right recovery program here.
Want to find a recovery program near you? Visit my Why Recovery page to find one that works for you.