Earlier this week, Celebrate Recovery Lesson 22, Gratitude, was taught as part of our annual ‘Grat Night’ celebration. This lesson is based on Step 11: We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and power to carry that out.
If you are anything like me, you started your recovery far from being grateful for the situation you found yourself in. Maybe you walked through the door of your first recovery or support group meeting because you were desperate for answers to the stuckness you were experiencing in your life. Or maybe you were at a bottom, like me. Whatever the reason, gratefulness probably wasn’t on the list of character traits that friends would say you had.
Like most of the recovery steps, gratitude takes time to develop. It is a process that builds inside of us, as we work through the preceding steps. You don’t have to be in a recovery program to develop an attitude of gratitude.
If you are new to this practice, don’t be surprised if you are struggling to have a grateful heart. Start small. Take baby steps. God will slowly give you glimpses into people, events, and things He has placed in your life that you can be grateful for.
On ‘Grat Night’ we open the microphone for anyone to come forward and share what they are grateful for. It is always a special night to be witness to the life transformation brought about by applying the biblical recovery principles to our lives. The open mic time is followed by communion and our normal open share groups. What a fitting way to inaugurate the holiday season.
Here are just a few of the gratitudes that were shared from people new and old in the program (permission granted to share anonymously):
“I am grateful for a recovery which has taught me how to embrace life and see God’s handiwork. I am grateful for the lessons I have learned to be a better spouse, father, friend, and employee. I am grateful that God uses my failures for his glory and to bless others.” (Male participant)
“I am grateful for:
- God leading me to CR and a recovery group where I can be honest with myself and others.
- God giving me the patience/endurance/skills to find a new career.
- God granting me the financial stability over 7 months to find my next career.
- God helping my kids through a tough time between my spouse and I.
- God giving me multiple opportunities to keep my family intact.
- Learning to let God take control, and be thankful.” (Male participant)
“I am grateful that God is a giving God. I realize more and more how dependent I am on His unseen, everyday gifts: breath, the light of a new day, purpose, relationships. I am grateful that God’s gifts are often received through other people.” (Female participant)
I am grateful for my spouse, my father, my family, my church, and my support group. I am grateful for learning the presence of God in my life, and feeling His grace, peace and blessing, and His unconditional love and forgiveness. (Male participant)
“I am grateful for:
- All of the authentic relationships I have in my life today with friends and family,
- The lessons I have learned the past few years that have given me a compass to assess and evaluate “what is really important” and to let go of everything else,
- Taking better care of myself, being able to set boundaries with others, being alright with “not being everything to everybody,” no longer wear the perfect mask, and
- My health, my home, my job, my faith.” (Female participant)
“I am grateful for the powerful growth and healing that only comes with Jesus’ grace and love. I am grateful for the wonderful relationships and supportive friendships that develop by consistently working my program on Monday nights. I am grateful for a place to be real and transparent.” (Male participant)
We are grateful to the followers and contributors to this blog, and the opportunity for God to use our pain for His good purpose.
What are you thankful for in this season of your life? May the fruit of gratitude grow in you on your Road to Recovery.
Contributed by a leader at Celebrate Recovery on the Plateau.