Last night I began a new step in recovery, formally leading a group. It’s a bit deeper than practicing Step Twelve like I’m used to. The difference is mostly semantical; but rather than simply facilitating open sharing (keeping us on track), I feel a bit of pressure to be able to readily offer wisdom for all.
12. Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in all our affairs.
Verse: Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
And because this role comes with a tiny bit of compensation, it feels more like the first meeting in a potentially official career.
And, of course, I’m immediately second-guessing my ability and qualifications.
This morning, after sleeplessly fretting for hours, I journaled a few points to keep in mind. Have I missed any?
I see a danger of slipping easily into a mindset of “expert/student” rather than remaining fellow travelers on a familar road. True support is not advice-giving, and neither should there be an assumption of receiving it. I believe we each know our own answers, discovered through our relationship with our Almighty Creator and Redeemer. It’s only knowledge of a scientific sort that can be imparted.
…Don’t worry about what you will say. Say whatever God tells you at the time. It will not really be you speaking. It will be the Holy Spirit.
I need to remember we’ve all already made significant progress (having taken that first step across the meeting-room threshold, so to speak), and seek to draw out our collective experience.
This is care-giving, not cure-giving. We are still here to support one another, not fix one another. Only God transforms. Hasn’t it been trying to play God that brought us to this place?
We are all called to minister to each other. This is perhaps my biggest (or smallest?) area of confidence. Other than 50 hours of Stephen Ministry (Christian Care-Giving) classroom time, and my own knowledge from study and personal history, I don’t have the bonafides of a professional. (PAMWeb.org is an influential resource on how we are all lay ministers.)
Instead, I need to focus on just how validating God’s path for me has been. It is undeniable.
2 Corinthians 8:11
So now finish doing … [what you started]…, so that your readiness in desiring it may be completed out of what you have. (ESV)
So now finish the work you started.
Then your doing will be equal to your wanting to do. (ERV)
Recovery is really all about maturing, self-discovery, and learning, together with a lot of divine interaction (read: crying out to God for grace).
The ask here is, I think, for your prayers as I walk through this deeper course of being centered in Christ. You know how I love analogies and this one feels like a promotion to a new ship with an all-new crew, unfamiliar with my testimony.
I am sure that the good work God began in you will continue until He completes it on the day when Jesus comes.
My own voyage continues, and I’m working now on:
Plan, now do
Commit, then complete
Faith, with action
Patient, yet urgent
All images from PxHere.com, Creative Commons Zero (CC0).