I am so happy to be writing a series on perseverance with my sweet friends, Mary Geisen, Debbie Kitterman, and Patti Krank. We have become fast friends in the last couple of years…traveling together, doing a podcast together, and more. I can tell you these girls know a whole lot about perseverance!
This is the second post in the series and my first one as the author. You can find the other posts here.
To Persevere in Recovery
I saw a meme online the other day that basically said a beautiful smile hides an injured soul so that no one can really tell how broken you are. I’m not sure if that’s a sadder commentary on our need to hide…or on others’ need not to know. Either way it reminded me of some days within my own recovery journey – days that were long and hard and often felt like they would swallow me whole. So I put on a smile so that no one would ever know.
My story of stronghold is the same as yours. Oh, not literally the same. There are many things that people turn to – alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping, sex, eating, not eating – to try to control the noise inside their own heads. So in that way, all our strongholds are the same. They are the thing we turn to in order to relieve the stress of life just before those stresses overwhelm us. Short-lived release comes until the cycle starts all over again.
As the days of my own recovery began, I remember thinking this should be easy. Right? I mean, I figured out the cycle trapping me, so now all I had to do was stop it. Simple enough.
Just the Beginning
But the reality is that is just the beginning. To keep walking out of the darkness, I had to learn to rely on these three things:
- The word of God. Keeping my nose in the Book kept the rest of me out of a lot of trouble! Seriously, it is where I found hope and strength. And on the hardest days, the perseverance to keep moving forward. It’s no wonder that these became my life verses…
God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I cleaned up my act, he gave me a fresh start.
Indeed, I’ve kept alert to God’s ways; I haven’t taken God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works, I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
- A little help from my friends. These were friends who were willing to get down into the ugly with me. Friends who prayed over me and with me and were willing to hold me accountable. Being surrounded by women who knew the secrets and loved me anyway was a true life saver. They weren’t afraid to ask the hard questions and they could tell when I was being less than truthful. And they cried with me, fought with me, and walked right beside me every step of the way.
- A plan for the future. Persevering in this journey meant making a plan for the future. I’ve had to know how to handle temptation when it comes my way. I’ve had to set boundaries in areas of my life to keep myself out of those situations. And I’ve had to know how to respond when Satan thinks he can get the best of me again.
Friends, I don’t know where you are in your own journey. Maybe you need to persevere into your own recovery. I hope these suggestions will help. And if you need some support and don’t know where to find it, email me. I’ll stand with you.
Or maybe you need to be a persevering friend to someone else who is struggling. I hope my testimony of friends who stood by me encourages you to do the same.
Either way, don’t let a smile plastered on your or someone else’s face stand in the way. Be willing to do the hard work, whichever side of the smile you are standing on.
Because the testimony today is that you can persevere into recovery. And then you can put a real smile on your face!
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