s2l recovery

Relapse–Don’t Loose Heart

The Thoughts After Recovery

It is safe to say that anyone who has struggled with addiction is never immune to tempting and dangerous thoughts. It is a strange thing to have made it through the hard part of the recovery process and still struggle with the idea of using. To think about going back to a lifestyle that is so destructive and detrimental to the lives of the user and the user’s friends and family. I call it strange because after becoming sober, truly confronting your past, and going through the painful process of reconciling with that past, the devastation caused is so clear. However, we feel that inevitable pull from the darkness. So, why does such a horrible lifestyle continue to haunt us after we have been sober for some time? How can we effectively and successfully battle these urges?

What is a Relapse?

First, let’s address the stigma of a “relapse”. The world and it’s “performance model of success” wants us to believe that we have failed the process and therefore, we must go back to the start. But if we believe with our hearts that we have already been forgiven and we are indeed living in a “purifying process” (sanctification) of life in Christ, then we don’t have to be haunted by these thoughts.

Words of the Lord the helped me through my addiction and recovery include:

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange was happening to you.” – 1 Peter 4:12

I believe another answer for anyone dealing with this type of struggle after recovering from an addiction is the simple fact that we are indeed creatures of routine. There is a great book by Charles Duhigg called, The Power of Habit, in which he describes the physiological processes of our brains after a habit is formed. In short, our brain activity drastically decreases upon the formation of a habit. For example, when we back out of the driveway it is so ingrained in our unconscious, so routine that our brain doesn’t have to work very hard to complete the task. This very same thing happens in drug use and relapse- it is ingrained in our mind. Therefore, we have to form new habits in order to replace the harmful old ones.

Battling the Thoughts and Urges

How can we effectively and successfully battle these urges? It is almost a cliché to say, “fill the void”, but that is indeed what must be done. One of the most important things I have learned in my journey to be free from my addiction is that my using was a form of idol worship. I believe every single person fills their respective void with something. I believe this is a unique trait to every individual’s own human make up. In my own life, the only way that I can be free from the haunting pull of returning to my demons in drug use is to fill my thoughts and actions with the words of God and a desire to know Him more intimately.

“God has put eternity (or curiosity/ignorance) into our hearts and no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” – Ecclesiastics 3:11

We are contemplative and inquisitive people who throughout our history have searched for meaning in spirituality. It is our formed opinions and beliefs about the spiritual world that shape our thoughts, actions, and desires. This quest or desire for something bigger than ourselves is at the very center of our existence. Once you start to consider that God is real, then the pursuit of anything other than a life led by Him seems so insignificant.

Recovery and Christianity

In my own life, I eventually had to succumb to the idea that there is a God. Then I had to decide what that looked like, or rather, which God was real to me. I love the Christian faith for so many reasons. One reason is that the stories are verifiable. Our New Testament (along with the Old Testament) tells the story of a transformation of religious customs and traditions by the death and resurrection of Jesus, bringing salvation to any who would believe and pursue Him. The story fulfills years of prophecy which can be traced throughout writings from hundreds and thousands of years previous.

After his death and resurrection, the New Testament tells the story of how this truth of the word of the Lord spread across the known world. With that, there was also the persecution that came to those who chose to spread the beliefs of the Christian faith. What is so amazing to me about this story is how many different people gave account to the same thing. I use to think, how is Christianity any different from a modern-day cult? One simple, yet powerful argument is that the men and women who were the first ones through the door of modern Christianity were continuously imprisoned, beaten, and murdered in horrendous ways. Why would so many people so passionately pursue something that wasn’t real when they knew that it meant a life lived in poverty and quite probably, torture and painful death?

All of this is important, but the main reason I choose to believe in Jesus Christ is because of what he stood for. Some words from the Bible that further my belief in a life led by my beliefs are:

“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus, but the Pharisees and teachers of the law muttered, ‘this man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’’ – Luke 15:1-2

Tax collectors in the time of Jesus have no comparison by today’s standards. In that time, the land was under Roman rule by way of the Roman army. Roman soldiers were beyond cruel. Imagine a foreign army invades, rapes and murders your family, and then they hire your neighbor to collect taxes from you to be given back to the very army that raped and murdered your family. This was the role of the tax collector in the time of Jesus, and yet he spoke with them, ate with them, loved them, and offered them salvation.

This is the what I choose to fill my void with – the pursuit of righteousness by way of Jesus Christ. Once set upon that path, temptations do not disappear, but they do diminish drastically.

S2L Recovery Healing Addicts in Middle Tennessee

Our S2L Recovery community constantly reminds us of the importance of a life through Jesus Christ. Through his words and teachings, we can help addicts journey down the path of recovery and the blossoming and nourishment of the Christian faith. If you or someone you love is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, please reach out to us and let us help you towards recovery!

It’s Time for an Intervention–Be Prepared – Part 2

An Intervention: What to do After the Plan has Been Set

We have discussed how to begin the preparation process for a formal intervention, noting the importance of what an intervention should encompass and entail. An intervention is an intentional time to sit down with someone we love and express love and concern. For many addicts, their intervention is a precious memory of something hard, but also something that put them on the path to change, on the path to recovery. There are so many factors that go into having a healthy intervention day.

The Day of the Intervention

Now that you have versed yourself on the preliminary necessities, it’s time for the day you’ve been strategizing for. You have the 3-8 people who love your loved one and want to genuinely help guide them through their addiction recovery. As a group, you have learned all you can about the addiction, and about how to help without enabling. You have prayed, shared and made plans of action. Everyone has agreed to the ground rules and now it’s time to do this thing.

Come up with a creative way to get your loved one to the intervention. Very few people with painful addictions will show up if they anticipate what is going on. Plan a family dinner, a game night, small party, or another engaging event. Have someone designated to pick up your loved one or to ensure that they come to the intervention. Have a planned start time, plan out where each person will sit, and have every single, meticulous detail worked out before your addicted loved one arrives. Place people of high influence closest to your loved one. (Side note: one of our friends shared that having his daughter right beside him during his intervention made a huge impact!)

Implementing the Intervention

When your loved one starts to realize what’s going on, they may start to think, “Oh great. Here it comes.” However, the idea is to shower them with love and to show them the light of Jesus through your words and actions. The greatest thing they need to take away is that you care deeply about them and so does God. Nothing else you say or do will matter if they don’t first hear your love and the Lord’s love.

Have the designated facilitator open up and share why you all are there. Everything communicated should be said with respect. Avoid any temptation to talk down to your loved one. It’s very important that we help them maintain their dignity through this addiction recovery process. They are already telling themselves all the worst things and believing all of it too. Your goal should be to see them as Christ sees them and then to treat them that way.

Once the table has been set for the intervention, go around the circle one at a time and have each individual read their letter to the addict. No one should interrupt anyone else, and no one should speak unless it’s their turn to read their letter. As emotions rise, the temptation to jump in, defend yourself or your loved one, or to react to manipulation will be strong. You want to do your best to keep everything calm because, in a situation like dealing with addiction, the environment could easily become a jumble of emotions, reactions and non-moving tension.

Concluding the Intervention and Taking the Next Steps

At this point during the intervention process, introduce the options for getting help, and be prepared to address any excuses that your loved one may give. Remember, this is scary for them. Their addiction is their comfort zone, and leaving it behind is terrifying. Let them know who their support team is. Their own personal rallying team who will plan to come by and check on the recovering addict, clean out unhealthy items, be with them, and pray with them through this process.

Be sure to have the chosen facilitator review the consequences laid out in the letters. Make it clear what life will look like if your loved chooses to get help and what their life will look like if they choose to not pursue rehabilitation. Everyone will need to be prepared to follow through on their consequences. Having your own healthy boundaries is the most loving thing you can do to encourage your loved one to get the help they need.

By trying to love and care for them in the past, you may have been enabling their behavior for years. Change can be just as scary for us as for them. By the end of the intervention, the should facilitator collect the letters and save them for your loved one. These letters can be a great reminder down the road for your loved one as they pursue recovery to their addiction. If your loved one chooses the path to healing, it’s time to put your plans into action to get them the help they need.

Some Things to Remember After the Intervention

An intervention is simply the beginning of the journey for any recovering addict. The key to implementing a successful rehabilitation process is following through with everything said and promised. By leading a faith-based recovery path, there are many ways to embrace the word of God and continue down towards sobriety.

Once the intervention has concluded there are a few key components to keep close:

  • Don’t forget to pray – Every day, over and over. Nothing that we can do for our loved one is more powerful than prayer.
  • The intervention team should keep meeting – by continuing to be, the addicted loved one can’t manipulate anyone. It also helps keep everyone in the group accountable.
  • Continue to educate yourselves after the interventionseek help and support for yourself. The road to recovery is long and has many moving parts. Heal yourself too.
  • Do not give your loved one money – If you have to, go buy or pay for the specific need yourself. It’s better to never financially support someone in any type of an addiction.
  • When you are enabling an addict it causes stress an anxiety in your own life – Trying to help a loved one through addiction is a daunting journey. Codependency often means that your life and well-being depends on that person’s life and well-being. Understand the harmful potency of codependency especially when dealing with addiction. While your loved one recovers you too should attend meetings, join online support groups like Refuge for Families, and/or start seeing a Christian counselor or phycologist that specializes in codependency.
  • We are children of God, made in His image and with a purpose – Most importantly remember our identities are those of God’s children. He/She/You are not your addictions, hang-ups, pasts or hurts. Getting out of denial and accepting the problem is important, but we can’t stay in the “I’m an addict, alcoholic, codependent, etc,” mentality. We have to see who God calls us to be in order to move forward and to heal.

S2L Recovery in Middle Tennessee

Our S2L Recovery community is here to fulfill our purpose in guiding those struggling with addiction through a Christian-based rehabilitation program. If you or someone you love is in need of recovery, please reach out and let us walk with you. We are here to help you through this process towards a life with God and sobriety.

Home from REHAB, No More Bubble!

The Journey of Returning Home From Rehab

I have been home for almost three days now. While I was a student at S2L Recovery in Middle Tennessee, one of the things I heard most from staff and alumni was how difficult it is to stay diligent once you leave “the bubble.” Already, I have found this to be true. At S2L there are seven simple principles taught which can be found inside the pages of Lost and Found: Recovery in Christ. Inside of these teachings are four pillars:

  1. Pray
  2. Read your Bible
  3. Fellowship with good people
  4. Serve others

I should clarify although these are simple in principle and they are much harder in the application. As recovering addicts we want to stay true to these four disciplines, however, upon departure from a rehabilitation program, distractions come at you exponentially high rate. If you ask students who have been through a program repeatedly what they were lacking when they went back out into the real world, the answer is almost unanimously – lack of diligence, not lack of desire.

So, I ask myself, how do I maintain my discipline in these areas? How do I avoid or sift through the distractions and prioritize things? Before coming to S2L Recovery, I would often ignore details in my life. However, when we brush the small things off that require our attention, often the more important things in our lives begin to crumble. Indeed, the big things are often held together by the smaller things. Not just metaphorically, but literally. It is the cement between the bricks that hold a house together. You can’t have a piece of fabric without string. Why shouldn’t this apply to the tasks in our everyday lives?

Learning to Conquer the Distractions After Rehab

I am aware of what I need to do on a daily basis to continue in a life with Christ and sustain from drugs and/or alcohol, but if I do not implement those four pillars, I need to take a look at my priorities. It takes more than just a desire. I need to consistently tend to the details of my life. To do lists can be helpful, but only if you complete the tasks on the list. Personally, I need more than a to-do list. In my own life, it becomes more and more apparent how many bad habits I had and still have apart from drugs and alcohol. I never made my bed, I would wake up and scroll through social media, news headlines, and my hygiene even suffered.

Tending to the small things in my life now starts with making the bed when I wake up. As the director of S2L Recovery often says, “If you make your bed when you get up, you have already accomplished something for the day.” It is a small detail, but it is a small detail that can set the tone and pace for your entire day. Now instead of laying in bed all morning, I am up with a made bed, and I have the motivation to pray to God and to read his Word.

Believe me, if making your bed can set the tone for your day, talking with the Lord can transform your day. If you’re struggling to do the big things in your everyday life, then pay attention to the details that you have prioritized and continue down the path of recovery.

S2L Recovery Providing Faith-Based Rehabilitation Programs in Middle TN

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, it’s time to take the step in a full recovery. Leading a Christian rehabilitation center has allowed S2L Recovery to changes lives and fulfill the word of the Lord. Please contact us today and let us help you discover peace through recovery and God.

“We want each of you to stay diligent until the very end, so that your hope may be fully assured” – Hebrews 6:11

It’s time for intervention–now what? Part 1

An Intervention

Intervention. One simple word, but yet it evokes such a vast range of emotions. Fear, anxiety, hurt, pain, and bitterness can all keep us from taking this step in addiction recovery. Thoughts that swirl through the mind when contemplating an intervention could include:

  • What will they do?
  • What will they say?
  • What should I say?
  • What if I screw it up?
  • What if they hate me?

This mental narrative can prevent us from taking necessary action. Each recovery story is unique, but for many, an intervention is exactly what got them to the place they needed to be. A place where they were ready for a change.

You may be thinking, “Great! An intervention! That’s what we need to do!” But you also may be wondering on where to even begin. We recently had the privilege of sitting down with Kevin Parker, a recovered addict and former ministry leader of Celebrate Recovery at Rock Point Church in Crawfordsville, IN. His own journey of recovery started when his wife, children, and a few good friends staged an intervention that ended up saving his life and all he held dear. Since being in recovery, Kevin has been able to walk through the healing process with many others, and he has been kind enough to pass on some wisdom to us. When asked we could share this information with our S2L Recovery community, he quickly agreed and said that “all the credit belongs to God!”

The Steps of an Intervention

You may be asking yourself, “what is an intervention exactly?” A formal intervention is when a small group of people who prepare a time to sit down with the addicted loved one in order to: express concern and care, share the love and hurt, and to set up expectations, boundaries, and also consequences if the loved one chooses not to get help. Let’s look into the critical steps of successfully staging an intervention to help your loved one recover from their addiction.

Who to Join and How to Prepare

When setting up an intervention for a drug or alcohol addict you need to ensure you’re surrounding your loved one with the right people. Choosing the right group of people is key in an intervention. A group of 3-8 people is the most ideal, and each person should genuinely love and care about the addict. Be sure to avoid inviting anyone who may be angry or bitter. People with those feelings may use this as a time of retribution, whereas an intervention should be a time of deep love and care.

Once you have formed a group of carefully chosen individuals, set up a time or multiple meetings, to gather prior to the intervention. Take this time to get to know each other on a deeper level of understanding. Share with each other the experiences you’ve had when dealing with your loved one’s addiction. Be sure to reach a place of full comfortability, openness and unified making it so everyone is on the same page. By opening up this discussion everyone will know what stories your addicted loved one is telling and who has truly been helping out. This will be the best safeguard against manipulation and will help everyone to have the full story, understand the full picture and stay accountable. Don’t forget to pray together! This journey will not be easy, but it will absolutely be worth it.

Research and Learn

Encourage each person to learn as much as they can about their loved one’s addiction, about enabling behaviors, and about codependency. The more you each learn and comprehend, the better the group can help support your loved one in a real and healthy way. For example, if you have set up strong, effective boundaries, but Grandma keeps giving the addicted loved one money, nobody wins. Plus, many of us can discover own hurts and hang-ups as we have searched for answers. Loving an addict can seem completely counterintuitive to our feelings. However, we need to take responsibility for our part in the process of this faith-based recovery, as well.

Make sure to conduct thorough research prior to the addiction intervention. Find a rehabilitation center that has a good reputation, map out group meetings close by, and find the name of a Christian counselor or phycologist who specializes in addiction and recovery. Have a plan in place to make it easy for your loved one to take action and get help. Brainstorm all the excuses your loved one could possibly use such as:

  • Time off work
  • The need to rearrange their schedule
  • Help with their kids
  • A ride to meetings or appointments

Make a plan of action and choose who can help with each area of excuse. Be as prepared as possible for whatever excuse your loved one may use to say try and deny help with their addiction.

Choose a Support Team

It’s important for an addict to have a support team, those who will encourage, rally and help them through their journey of recovery. Before the intervention is implemented, choose people to be the addict’s support team! Some of the roles within the support team may be:

  • Who can help clean out the loved one’s house or space – help them get rid of unhealthy items (drugs, alcohol, paraphernalia, etc)
  • Who can visit with them – take time to pray with them and just be with them, enjoy one another’s company.
  • Who can perform consistent check-ins – someone who reaches out on a daily basis to just remind the addict that they are loved, they are supported and through God’s movement they can make it through this recovery.

Make a schedule and be ready to share your plans thoroughly with your loved one.

Choose an Intervention Leader or Facilitator

For many addicts, chaos rules their life. They thrive on manipulation, high emotions, and trying to be in control. Having this main point person run the time will keep things orderly and calm. Agree ahead of time to only have the facilitator speak to the loved one outside of the letter reading time. There will be many moments during the intervention in which this will not be easy. Following this guideline may mean ignoring pleas, insults, and tears. Just remember, the goal is to keep everything progressive in an empathetic, strategic and somber way. You don’t want to let your feelings be in control of the intervention.

Writing a Letter to The Addict You Love

The last preparation step prior to an addiction intervention is writing a 1-2 page letter to your loved one. Each member of this intervention needs to partake in addressing the addict through these written words. This letter should include, but isn’t limited to:

  • Ways that your loved one has been a blessing in your life
  • Ways they have hurt you because of their addiction
  • The consequences if they choose not to get help

For instance, the addict’s son could decide that Dad can’t come to his games anymore, or Mom decides that because of her son’s drug addiction, he can’t have any more help with his bills. Maybe the addict’s wife tells him that he will have to move out, or his friends tell him that he can’t come over any longer.

Consider holding another pre-intervention get-together where you can share your letters with each other. Practice reading them out loud and get comfortable with what you will be saying. Writing and sharing the letter is hard, and it can be very emotional. Take your time, pray for the right words, and remember that the goal is love and restoration!

S2L Recovery in Middle Tennessee

Now that you and your group are ready, the next step will be to invite your addicted loved one and hold the intervention itself. We dive into the ins and outs of intervention day in It’s Time For An Intervention: Part 2 – Be Prepared. While dealing with someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, redemption and peace can seem hard to come by. But continue to pray, seek the Lord and He will direct you in this process.

Please reach out to S2L Recovery and let us know how we can help you or someone you love through an addiction. We would love to pray with you and help you along this faith-based journey to healing.

4 Lies we believe when loving an addict

Loving an Addict

None of us ever plan on a loved one becoming an addict. We don’t go into friendships, relationships, marriages, or have children thinking “I better be prepared in case this person ends up with some bad habits.” So, when we find ourselves in just that position, it’s normal to not know what to do. In addition, the spiritual element causes us to see an enemy who wants to destroy our loved ones and allow chaos and confusion to take hold in our lives. So many of us have tried to help, wanted to be helped, and even in the deepest desperation to help, we see our best efforts fall flat (at best) or enable (at worst).

To understand deeper what it’s like to not only love an addict but what burdens may be brewing in your own soul due to this addiction, S2L Recovery spouse broke down four of the biggest lies that she believed while her husband was in his addiction and recovery.

1. I’m Not the One Who Needs Help

“What should I do at the meeting?” I asked awkwardly, “I mean since I’ve never struggled with being addicted drugs or alcohol?” With kindness and a little pity, the woman sitting across from me simply said, “Ask God to show you where your own hang-ups are.” Still feeling frustrated and nervous I completed my first group meeting. Not yet understanding co-dependency, and knowing that God was calling us to work with people who struggle with addictions, I sat down in a circle of women who were wanting to recover from chemical dependency.

Terrified that I would be found out as a “fake” I tried to avoid pointed questions and was cautious of over-sharing. However, what I learned from being in that group has forever changed me. I got to see the human side of addiction. I saw moms desperate to be reunited with their kids, women, who were willing to put in the hard work to become who God said they were – ladies who loved and laughed and cried and cared about each other. I did ask God to reveal to me where I needed to recover, and he used this group meeting to teach me about trusting Him with the people I care about.

Some of the Lord’s words that helped me discover what I needed to recover and heal include:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all He has done.” Philippians 4:6 (NLT)

He taught me that He is the one who works in their lives, it’s not my job to fix them or change them.

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” Philippians 2:13 (NLT)

He taught me that I wasn’t in control, and what a sweet blessing that really is.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

It’s easy to think we don’t need help, but that’s a lie that will keep us from healing and learning what we do need to do.

2. What I Say Doesn’t Matter

Anger, tears, apathy, manipulation, begging, and belittling are a few of the ways that we try to talk our loved ones out of their struggle. Words are a big deal to me. I say a lot of them, write a lot of them, and I take the words of others to heart (any other “Words of Affirmation” love-language people out there?). I love using thorough words to communicate my exact thoughts and feelings. When my boyfriend (now husband) started admitting little things about his new harmful habits, I was often at a loss for words. What should I say to encourage him to stop? What if my words push him away? How can I convey my concern and change his heart, but not lose him?

Fast-forward several years, we are newly wedded and I’m coming home to find him high-as-a-kite more often than not. My concern had turned to deep desperation. Sometimes anger spurred mean words and accusations. Sometimes hurt poured out tears and I would beg him to stop. I tried threats, I tried to shame him, I tried anything I could think of to pierce his heart. It wasn’t until I decided to turn it over to God and to really trust Him, that I began to see any change.

I know the power of words well, so I turned my efforts into a firm, but kind approach. I took the words I poured onto my husband and started to pour them out to God in prayer. Instead of begging my husband to stop, I started begging God to move. Instead of crying to get my way, I was crying to my Heavenly Father, who loves me and holds me.

Some words that helped me heal and move:

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 (NLT)

Instead of anger and belittling, I started treating my husband with respect. Not because he was worthy of it on his own merits, but because God calls me to do it out of my love for Him.

“Respect each other out of your reverence for Christ. For wives, this means to respect your husbands as to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:21-22 (NLT)

Prayer made all the difference. How I spoke to my husband and to the Lord changed everything.

3. I Can’t Tell Anyone Else

One of the most common lies I’ve seen loved ones of an addict believe is that we can’t share with anyone because “they won’t understand.” Ecclesiastes states, “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) Understand that nothing we are going through is new, many others have gone through these struggles, too. The enemy wants us to feel alone, isolated, and secretive. The enemy wants us to believe that our loved one will never forgive us. However, if we reach out, if we tell someone what’s going on, then we might hear the two best words – “Me too.”

God created us in His image to be relational. We were never supposed to walk through life without support and accountability. When we find a person we can trust and we share what we are going through, we create an ally in the fight. We have someone to pray for us, someone to check in on us, who asks about things and someone who will keep us accountable for how we handle situations, struggles, and life.

Another healing verse from Ecclesiastes that helped me through my loved one’s addiction is:
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT)

4. It’s Hopeless

The biggest lie, and perhaps worst lie, that Satan can lead us to believe is that our loved one’s situation, that our situation is hopeless. When we believe that things are hopeless, we give up. We stop praying, stop caring, and we stop seeking help. We may write our struggles off, we may block them out, we may detach from the world, all in an effort to stop our pain. We may feel depressed or anxious, always anticipating the next big disaster.

When we started visiting St Kitts to prepare for our move there, we would share with people we met why God was sending us to their country. We would talk about starting recovery programs to help people with addictions. Multiple times residents responded with the typical, “Oh, don’t bother to help the adults here. The adults here are hopeless.” You could clearly see how hopelessness had affected the culture. There were no drug and alcohol recovery programs, no help for anyone beyond detoxing in the hospital. If you truly believe something is hopeless, then you give up in believing that things will ever change. Having hope means everything in this journey. The best way to find enlightening hope for our loved ones is by having faith that God can do anything. He can give back true light and hope to those feeling such loss and darkness.

Words of hope:

“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

”I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NLT)

Living Beyond the Lies

Please note that the lies we endure on this journey is infinite and goes beyond this list. Many of our perspectives are skewed from lies that we have believed most of our lives. How we have learned to cope with our pain or what the world around us tries to sell as truth may be masking the path to fulfillment and healing. The best way to defeat the lies is by knowing what God says, what the real truth is.

If you are in the midst of loving someone who is struggling with an addiction, then get into the Word of God. Open your bible every day and ask God to speak His truth to you. Just like light drives out the darkness, the truth of God will drive out the lies. The way S2L Recovery leads addicts to sobriety is through a Christian faith-based program, allowing everyone walking on the road to recovery can be embraced the words and love of God.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:5 (NLT)

If you or a loved one needs help, please contact us for support and guidance.

Why does addiction kill some and others recover?

As a man who has battled a horrible addiction to opiates and now, a pastor and director for an addiction recovery program, I have seen both sides of addiction and recovery. I have done funerals for men that were not any crazier, wilder, or riskier then I was. They died from doing the exact same thing I was doing when I lived a life of addiction. So, why did I survive and they didn’t or couldn’t?

I could try and explain these deaths by how some people receive laced drugs (like fentanyl-laced heroin) or have unknown medical issues (like cardiomyopathy) but I don’t feel as though that would explain the whole story. I don’t write these following words flippantly because this is an extremely hard topic for me to discuss. I have images of mother’s faces grimacing with the pain and sorrow that comes from burying their children burned in my mind. It’s not only the internal empathy ravaging my soul, but I have also lost people that I love to addiction, too.

The Question of Recovery

The question, “Why does addiction kill some and others recover?”, is a question that I cannot answer completely, or at least to everyone’s satisfaction. What I can say is that God is Sovereign and we are not promised tomorrow. I know, without a shred of a doubt, based on the authority of God’s word that people can and do recover from addiction.

I have to admit that early on my default position was to shake my fist at God and say why did you not save them? I would even get frustrated and ask God why would you call me to a ministry that is so littered with destruction? This just doesn’t seem right. God revealed to me through His word and other pastors that the feeling I had that, “this is not right”, is exactly what the Bible teaches. God created a perfect place where we could live in perfect unity with Him without the destruction of pain and death, however, something did go way wrong.

As you read the creation/fall account in Genesis 1-3, you see that God’s perfect creation was devastated by sin. That death and destruction entered into the world and a curse came upon the earth. We have all tasted the brokenness of a fallen world. I cannot blame Adam or Eve for this curse as a result of sin because I willingly participated in it.

The hope that I hold onto dearly is that God promises that one day all of this ends for the redeemed. God provides a way out of this darkness and destruction through Jesus. God says in James 1 that He can even use this pain and suffering to bring Him glory. He can use the seasons of trial to cause us to draw closer to Him and persevere.

God promises one day that the presence of sin will be removed for the redeemed. But he also makes promises for us here and now. God says that He will provide rest from the chaos. He promises that we can have true peace and joy when everything going on around us should cause the opposite. He tells us that we do not have to worry or be overwhelmed with anxiety. He promises that His children have victory over death, that death has no sting. Even through the funerals I have officiated for believers, I can rest assured that Jesus conquered death and one day we will all meet again.

The Takeaway

I hold steadfast to these promises made by God. They encourage me to faithfully bring the message of hope from the Gospel. God lays out in His word that we can have victory from the yokes of slavery and that includes the chains of addiction. When I read these truths I see that breaking the chains of addiction doesn’t have to be a mundane daily admittance of “I am an addict”. It’s actually the opposite. It is, “I am a bloodstained child of the Kingdom; I am made new and I am not defined by the wickedness of my past; I press on to know the Lord. I don’t claim to be perfect but I don’t look back and I press on toward the goal to which Christ called me.”

If someone you know is struggling with addiction then step in and have these hard conversations. Make it as hard as possible for them to stay in an addictive lifestyle and show them how easy it can be for them to walk into recovery. If you personally are struggling with addiction, please reach out and get help. The S2L Recovery program helps addicts throughout Middle TN and beyond to complete a faith-based recovery program. This drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation center can be the catalyst to launch you into the “new creation” that God has called you to. So be bold and act. Press on brother or sister and behold your creator. What you behold is what you will become more like.

Closing Words of the Lord

“[16] So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. [17] For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, [18] as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (ESV) 2 Corinthians 4:16-1