Recovery is a journey, and one that takes time—A journey in trusting again, in surrendering, in persevering. Each man and woman in our New Life Recovery program will probably tell you that the journey isn’t easy, but so worth it––worth becoming the new person they are today.
Leslie* shared this letter recently with the other women at Shepherd’s Door. She talks about her struggles and growth in learning to trust again.
“For the last two years God’s love for me has been something that I had no way to measure. Intellectually I knew he loved me, but it never made its way to my heart. I saw only pain and despair I had never known before. I wanted to die every single day and when I woke up after my failed suicide attempt in the hospital, I was even more angry at the injustice of all that had happened. I saw no more plans for my life because my life was my children, my partner and my home – and when it was all taken from me, so was my will to fight.
When I returned to Shepherd’s Door after leaving, something changed in me– I felt a deep sense of gratitude that I had no reason to feel. Nothing in my life had changed– but it was there and I am still amazed by it.
I also promised myself and the growth leaders I would do whatever it took to stay this time. A few days ago I wanted to push forward with paperwork to be able to see my son again, and as I was planning my strategy, Mary (Growth Counselor) came to me. She told me that I wasn’t ready and that I needed to build myself up to be stronger for that fight–– Two words I didn’t want to hear, “Not Yet.” As I was forming my argument in my head, thinking about all the ways she was wrong and that she didn’t understand, I stopped.
A word came out of my mouth before I could grab it back, so I knew it wasn’t my word– I said “OK.” Then I said, “I trust you, and I trust this process.” –That night when I was journaling, it hit me like a brick– I had yielded to someone else, and said to another person words I believed I would never say to another human being: “I trust you.” I understood at that moment that I was indeed being transformed. I trusted Mary because Mary trusted God, and God speaks through his children.
I realized that I was trusting God again with my life.
I saw that my gratitude grew into trust which has grown into hope, and God promises that hope does not disappoint. I need this program of restoration because I am a baby in recovery- and as I get better I will forget how dark my life had become…
…I want to learn the truth about who God really is and his truth about who I am. And I am okay with not seeing that now, because as I stay here and do the next right thing, more will be revealed to me. My mustard seed of hope will grow into to a new understanding of my purpose as I walk out my faith in God––and I guess today, I want to know how things turn out…”
*Name changed for privacy