I started my journey at The Recovery Church about 3 ½ years ago, when I first started drug court. I was very fragile at that time in my life! I knew that I wanted a different life, a sober life. I wasn’t quite sure who I was or where I was going! Although I was very certain the only way I was going to get there and obtain this new life was through Jesus Christ. All the other ways I had tried failed miserably, which looking back, is a good thing-it brought me to this place in my life, the place that I knew I needed Jesus in my life.
It all started when Debbie visited us in jail. When she had finished and was leaving she hugged me and whispered in my ear, “you are special, you have a light in you, I see the spark in your eyes, and God has something special for you!”
I knew my father had been with pastor Dennis in the beginning before it was The Recovery Church. Pastor Dennis has told me many stories about the beginning when God birthed Steps of Christ Recovery Group. My father met Pastor through jail and was with him in the very beginning of Steps of Christ Recovery Church. He was with the church until he went to be with the Lord. My father had spent much of his life in prison and when he was free he was an outlaw. I saw this ministry completely transform his life. He became a different man-a good Godly man and a caring father.
So when my friend invited me, I was excited to go. The different Connect Groups and step meetings, along with the people, helped me find me! They helped me understand who I was, and who I no longer had to be.
I’ve grown so much in this church family, yes I said family because that’s what it is. I’ve seen God’s word and promises come true in my life. They even got me a tutor and helped me pass my G.E.D. While the people of this church family love me, the teachers have also taught me to love myself-Pastor Dennis and Debbie are always reminding us how valuable we are to God, that He gave His only Son, gave Himself for us. Pastor Dennis is always saying that God’s purpose for our lives summoned our very existence.
When my two year journey in drug court ended, and I graduated, it was time for me to move out of my family’s home and begin making it on my own. I had never lived alone and I was really scared! The church gave me a safe place. One of the ladies whose life had been radically transformed was moving out of the Recovery House and I had been praying to be accepted as the next residence.
They usually save these spots for people at the beginning of the journey not the ones who have graduated. But I knew I needed continued accountability and God opened that door for me-our Father is so good.
The opportunity to move into the Recovery House has probably been one of the best decisions of my sobriety. While I’m still being held accountable to continue learning and making the right choices-to do the right things, it’s also given me space in which to grow. They do not give us anything free, they use the home to teach us responsibility and how to live successfully in this world. However they do adjust the rent and bills to fit our income. They provided a financial tutor, Franky Bryant, who teaches us about budgeting and saving, but also about the importance of giving back and tithing—trusting God with our finances. If we will apply His principles He will bless our lives according to His word. He continues to prosper and promote me. I have advanced at my job to manager and now I’m in training for my own store.
I have this relationship with God that I can talk to Him, and pray to Him, and read His word in peace, just the Father and myself. Now I actually hear Him telling me the same thing Pastor Debbie said. He has something special planned for me, something great.
While I’m so excited to know His plan for my life, to see it unfold, to see my calling, He’s also told me to be patient, it’s not time, He’s told me to keep my feet planted and enjoy the journey.
So I know I still have lots of growing to do until I get there-like pastor always says, it’s a life time journey. I’m extremely grateful to God for the people He’s placed in my life, beginning with Debbie in the jails, and the space in which I have been blessed with as I continue growing and maturing.
It’s amazing that I grew up in this very church building as a child. I was baptized here when I was 5 years old, and now again at the age of 41 by Pastor Dennis.
I believe there is a message in this—I was lost but now I’ve been found-I was blind but now I see. This must be the place God want’s me for sure.
God bless you