Apologies

My journey of healing through Celebrate Recovery is based on the following 8 Principles Based on the Beatitudes:

1.  Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable. (Step 1)
“Happy are those who know that they are spiritually poor.”
2.  Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him and that He has the power to help me recover. (Step 2)
“Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
3.  Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control. (Step 3)
“Happy are the meek.”
4.  Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust. (Steps  4 and 5)
“Happy are the pure in heart.”
5.  Voluntarily submit to any and all changes God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects. (Steps 6 and 7)
“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires”
6.  Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others when possible, except when to do so would harm them or others. (Steps 8 and 9)
“Happy are the merciful.”  “Happy are the peacemakers”
7.  Reserve a time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will. (Steps 10 and 11)
8.  Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and my words. (Step 12)
“Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires.”
I chose a word in 2014 to focus on to guide me through the year.  I chose the word “Release”.  I chose this word because I am on a journey this year through a wonderful program called Celebrate Recovery.  Many people think that recovery only applies to those people that have had some type of drug or alcohol problem; but that just isn’t so.  We were all born sinners and we all have something to recover from whether it was self inflicted or inflicted on us by others.  It is through this Christ centered program with the wonderful support group that we travel through 8 principles based on the Beatitudes and a 12 step bible based program.  The 12 steps are based on the same type of 12 steps that are found in the Anonymous groups.  However in Celebrate Recovery we actually name our higher power, the only true higher power there is – Jesus Christ.
We started this group 6 months ago in October with a small group of dedicated people that knew that the only true recovery that would last a life time was through the healing of Jesus Christ.  We opened the doors to the public in December and have now Celebrated 15 weeks of watching wonderful people find a pathway to recovery.  As we repeat those 8 principles and 12 steps each week I find myself wanting to jump ahead and skip steps.  The more I long to do this the more I realize that there is a reason and a purpose for the order in which these steps are taken.
I have made it to Principle 4:  Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.  I want to skip this step so badly.  I find myself wanting to keep wearing those rose colored glasses that keep the world shaded the way I want it to be.  But that defeats the purpose of Principle 3: the one where I give up my control and put it into Christ’s control.  If I don’t actively commit myself to doing this step, my recovery will not be fully accomplished in the way that Christ desires it to be.
I find myself struggling not to jump ahead to Principle 6.  Where I actively forgive those who hurt me and I ask forgiveness from those that I hurt.  The problem I am having though with this step is I am finding myself wanting to apologize to anyone that the person that hurt me as a child, might have hurt also.  I want to say, I am sorry if this person touched you and I didn’t protect you from that.  But I have to realize that I was a child myself, that I had no control over what this other person did.  So while I desperately want to apologize, I can not take that responsibility on my shoulders.  I am so very sorry for anything that this person might have done to you.  My heart cries inside my chest to think that this person could have hurt so many people, more than I will ever know, and I truly understand what it is like to not have control over a situation.  So while I can not make apologies for that person, when I get to the step in Principle 6 I will make amends for anything that I did have control over.
For now I need to focus on Principle 4; I need to make my moral inventory, and I need to hold myself accountable to those things in which I had control over and that I am responsible for.
Many people may wonder why I am focusing on the things that happened during my childhood more than the things that have happened as an adult.  There are things that I was taught as a child that have a direct impact on how I have handled my adulthood and in order to heal from adult hurts, I need to heal from the childhood hurts first.  Those hurts helped to guide my choices as an adult and when I understand them better, I will be able to understand my adult choices better too.  I am so glad that as we share each week we can talk about any hurt, habit or hang-up.  I find myself talking through both childhood and adulthood hurts and as I do I am finding the connections between my reactions.  Sometimes the child in me still has a voice and I am learning to listen to her more.
So the apologies will come, they will probably not be what I am expecting and I am sure they won’t be what the person I apologize to expects.  In fact, I am quite sure that I have absolutely no idea who I am to make amend to right now, and when I figure that out through going through this step, those people will be equally surprised.  It is 0nly through making my honest moral inventory, that I will discover that maybe I have more people then I thought I did to make apologies to and they probably won’t be who I had in mind to start with.  I will also have to come to the complete understanding that several of those people that hurt me will probably never apologize.  Some because they are no longer alive, others because they don’t have any idea how to apologize, it is not in their personality make-up.  Those are the ones that I will have to forgive in order to heal and recover.  And I am going to have to remember to not take it back.  Once I have taken that step, I have to remember that the only one that my anger and hurt is hurting is me, they are going on with their life happy and carefree and have not a care in the world that my anger is there.
See Celebrate Recovery is for everything, hurts, habits, and hang-ups.  No matter where you are Celebrate Recovery is in over 20,000 churches worldwide and you should search one out.  Just go one time, and when you see the warm, inviting reception from the people that are involved, you won’t be stopping at just one visit.  There is something powerful going on with Celebrate Recovery, Jesus is making himself known in our lives in ways we never expected.
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