My friend, Rhonda, sent me the following in a Facebook message one day. As one who
has is walking a road of recovery, I think it’s a great message for all of us…the following is Rhonda’s testimony in the face of recovery.
Then they believed his promises and sang his praise. Psalm 106:12
My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. Psalm 119:148
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. Psalm 145:13
I was asked, “How can you begin to live the promises of recovery?”
Some people run or at least shy away from the word recovery. This could be for many reasons. Either they believe they have nothing to recover from, they are afraid to admit they need recovery or they don’t want to do what it takes to have recovery. It can be an ugly eight letter word (vs four letters) because it takes acknowledgement and work! Two things that we like to stay clear from if we can help it.
But please correct me if I’m wrong, every one has had something in their life that we need to recover from. We may rather keep it hidden but that will hold us back from being able to live HIS promises.
Now, back to the question, “How can you (I) begin to live the promises of recovery?”
And for me, this sums it up.
- Live a life of gratitude. It takes far less energy to be grateful than to find fault.
- Be honest with yourself and then forgive yourself.
- Don’t fear being who God made you to be.
- Accept fully the forgiveness of Christ by showing Him daily that you understand what he has done for you
I don’t succeed at this always but this is my four-step process on how I begin living the promises of recovery. What do you need to let out in the light? The road to recovery is awesome!
Lord, I come to You today with a grateful heart. I pray Lord that I will never forget, even when the ugliness of this world hits hard. Lord I pray for my family and friends. I know Lord that they live a life with hidden things in their souls and I pray Lord that they will release them to You. I want them to feel the freedom that comes with that. I know Lord that Your love for them is greater than any love that I could show. I want them to feel that love. Amen!
After reading this, I sent Rhonda some questions to answer because her journey of recovery is very powerful…and I love that she peppers her answers with truth from God’s word.
Holly Barrett: We’ve all heard that people need to hit rock bottom before they start recovery. Do you find that to be true?
Rhonda Gould: I don’t know about the word “need” but usually recovery is not taken seriously until we hit rock bottom. We may recognize that we’re a mess and something needs to change but until we hit bottom or heading that way quick and realize that “we” can’t make that change alone then real recovery won’t happen. But with that said, even if we know something needs to change but haven’t hit that bottom yet, help in leading us to that recovery is always beneficial. Even though you don’t know what to do or where you’re heading, seeking help will never hurt.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Psalm 143:10
HB: What was the catalyst for your recovery journey to start?
RG: I finally admitted that I couldn’t fix it and had to face it. I realized that I was at least part of the problem. I was in a pit falling fast and if I didn’t look to the only one that could fix it then the bottom was coming quick and it was going to be painful for many.
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Roman 7:18
HB: Since none of us are perfect, I wonder if you have ever had to start all over again in recovery?
RB: Daily! My journey for recovery is a daily inventory of myself. Unlike a substance abuse, my hurts/habits/hang ups are not that obvious. So a daily seeking Him to guide me and His helping me recognize my faults and be willing to walk daily towards recovery is necessary. Just like substance abuse, the struggle is a learned behavior but we can’t let that keep us from victory over it with God’s strength.
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 1 Corinthians 10:12
I’ve had to learn to forgive and accept forgiveness from others and from God. I also had to learn to forgive myself. This is a crucial part of recovery.
This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… Romans 3:22-23
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18
HB: Why do you think gratitude is so important in our recovery process?
RG: I can get caught up in the pains of the past and the imperfections of the current therefore my mind will lead me down a slippery slope of anger, frustration, and disappointment which hinders the recovery process. So for me, constantly looking at the things I’m grateful for keeps my mind focused on Him and what He has provided me with. There is always going to be disappointments in this life but ultimately my goal is to be with Him for eternity and without gratitude I can lose sight of that.
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.” Jeremiah 29:11
They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. Jeremiah 6:14
HB: Finally, you suggest that we should not fear who God made us to be. How do we begin to embrace who we are and then love all that we are?
RG: Get to know the Lord with all your heart and all your soul. Fully seek out all that He teaches you about His love for you and what He promises for your life. Post notes, hang crosses, read scripture posts, bible studies…..whatever you need to do to be filled with His love. Once you recognize His full love for you then you can love yourself. When you have that down then focusing on showing that love to others and helping them find that love that He has for them. This will confirm to you His love for you. It goes full circle. Never underestimate what He can do through you! And don’t close yourself off in the box you have built!
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31
Rhonda Gould lives in Winchester Kentucky with her husband Tom. They have two grown sons and are Lollie and Pops to three precious grandchildren. Rhonda attends Calvary Christian Church where she is a small group leader in Celebrate Recovery. She also leads Bible study groups for women and is active in building community with women in the surrounding area. Connect with Rhonda on Twitter.
This is the 42nd post in Testimony Tuesday: Women who inspire. Click HERE to read all of the other posts in this series. Now it’s your turn to link up your story of how God is working in your life. ________________________________________________________________________________________
Join the Testimony Tuesday community! We are sharing our stories of how much God has done for us.
- Subscribe to the blog so that you won’t miss a single post!
- Like Holly Barrett on Facebook and click on Get Notifications.
- Follow Holly Barrett on Twitter and use the hashtag #TestimonyTuesday.
- Follow the Reclaiming a Redeemed Life board on Pinterest.