Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Life

A couple months ago, I posted a rather cryptic post saying that I wouldn't be able to communicate for six weeks. Well, obviously it's been longer than six weeks and I figured that I should tell what's been going on.

On November 8, 2011, I entered a Christ-based, Christ-centered residential facility here in Portland, OR, and began a program called the New Life Recovery Program. The New Life Recovery Program, as defined in the Resident Handbook, is a "four-phase program dedicated to leading women to addictions-free, self-sufficient living." The program itself, again according to the Handbook, consists of three components - spiritual growth, overcoming addictions, and life skills development.

That's the cut-and-dried definition. Let me tell you what it really means. It means that for the first time ever, someone understands me. They understand why I've screwed up my life over and over. They understand why I've done what I've done, and they know or can help me figure out right where I went wrong. Most importantly, they know how to help me.

Now, I know that some of you immediately thought that there was no way I could have been addicted to anything enough that I would seek help. I know some of you are thinking that you knew me better than that. And it's true, that's not totally why I'm here. However, here's the thing about addiction - some addictions are obvious and some are so subtle that even the person has no clue that they could even be addicted to such a thing. I had a couple of the obvious ones, and a few of the subtle ones that I have discovered since I've been here. Another thing I've discovered about myself is that if I'd had the money and the opportunity...well, it's a frightening thought. I just thank God that I didn't.

And I do thank God every single day. He is the one who brought me here. I have no doubt about this. Already, in the last two months, He has changed my life. A woman can't live here without God changing her. This place is completely saturated in Him. All day, every day, my focus is continually pointed to Him by events, staff, and other residents. Every single staff member here is committed to Christ first and foremost, and to the residents and their recovery. I think most of all, for us, they are committed to speaking truth into our lives, whether we want to hear it or not. That means that quite often we have to dig deep into ourselves to "clean house" from all the lies we've believed. What comes up can be pretty disgusting, dark, and dangerous to hold on to. Because God is here, this is the best and safest place for us to deal with it all, and God has placed just the right women here as staff to help us.

There is a resident here whose automatic response to things is to say "Praise God!" If it's something she doesn't like, then it's "Well, praise God, anyway!" It's a good reminder to me that God is in control. He brought me here so He can heal me. I'm going to be a whole person again, and all I want to do is praise Him for it. So, praise God!

6 comments:

Sparrow said...

I'm so sorry I missed that you have been updating your blog. I've been thinking of you and praying for you. Thank you for being willing to be transparent. I wanted to badly to be able to help you more, but didn't know how. Praise God that He brought you to a place that can help better. Forgive me for not trying harder to stay in touch. I miss you. Hugs,
Amy

Godsgracetome said...

God Bless You sister friend, and I am praying my heart out for you. Your post shows great strength and wisdom and I have a feeling the same compassionate God that saved my life will also save yours. Godspeed!

Lauren said...

Amy, no apology needed. :) I do appreciate your prayers. It's what keeps me going.

BTW, happy birthday!

Sparrow said...

Thanks! :-)

Kris St.James said...

Hey, same for me. Sorry for not keeping in touch. I'm praying for you and I know that with Him, all things are possible. If I can do something for you, please let me know. I don't know the specifics, but I'm sure they're all too familiar. "We all gots our Jones's", as Mark would say.

Lauren said...

Kris! How are you? Hey, I was looking at all your old blogs on your profile (to see if you'd done anything new) and you still have our story up! Wow. I'm starting to get to that point that I want to write again.

Yeah, I'm sure everyone can relate to my story on one level or another. I'm working on a written version of it to post.