Doors and Faith
Before recovery, bad decision-making is a large part of how we operate. Part of the struggle of entering recovery is we often don’t know how to choose what’s best for us. We may not have the tools to make life-giving decisions. We don’t want to stay where we are, but we’re not sure how to leave.
For others of us, change is frightening. We want something more than what we’ve experienced, but we also don’t know what this “more” might entail.
When all we’ve known is destruction and pain, what will it look like to enter through the door of healing and health?
It’s a risk. It’s not easy to give up the familiar, even if the familiar behaviors and beliefs are killing us.
But at some point, we have to decide which door we go through—the door that leads to growth and life, or the door that suffocates us through addictive and compulsory behaviors.
The choice seems easy—if we stay stuck in the unhealthy, we only dig deeper into chaos and the isolation of self-loathing. If we embrace recovery and surrender to our powerlessness, life will be infinitely better.
However, if we’re honest, sometimes we ask ourselves,
“But what if it’s not better?”
Sometimes the door to recovery and the door that leads us further into our addiction look the same to us—both seem costly and tiring.
Through one door, we risk deep loss and increased mental, physical, spiritual and emotional strain.
Through the recovery door, we see glimpses of limitless opportunities of life and health.
But sometimes, the old, familiar door feels safer.
In the moments of choice, we come face to face with our deepest fears- what if I can’t get better? What if things get worse? What if I lose control?
But maybe we don’t have to get rid of these questions in order to make a move toward what can bring us life.
Maybe we don’t have to set aside all our fears and doubts around entering real and powerful recovery.
Recovery isn’t about answering all our questions, but it is about hope.
We take a step into recovery when we believe there is an alternative to the awful, soul-killing way we’ve been surviving.
With hope, seeing is something you do with your insides. Believing is something you do when you’re feeling around in the dark. We may have hope we can get better even if we don’t always see it.
But as much as entering recovery can include fumbling through unknowns, it’s also where the incredible takes place: those in bondage are set free. Dead people can live. Those in addiction receive life.
The doors we choose to walk through are not new doors. No matter how scary the journey of recovery can be, you’re not the first to walk down that path.
You’re not the first to face question after question and swim against the current of your past. You’re not the first to face the challenge of letting go.
Lots of desperate people have walked this way. And hurting hands have pushed open this door.
Recovery is about doing something new. Let others in. Take suggestions from those in recovery. Practice surrender no matter how uncomfortable it feels. Explore who you really are. Learn to sit with your own pain.
These are practices through which God brings freedom.
And this God doesn’t demand perfect belief before he will guide us through the door to healing. Instead, this God knows the difficulty of surrender, authenticity and choosing life and willingly offers patience, love and compassion.
The choice is still ours, but we don’t walk through the door alone.
There are people cheering for us, hands to hold us when we can’t walk on our own, and a Higher Power who loves and desires life for us.
And sometimes, that’s all we need to make the door to recovery a little less frightening.
-Chris Gibson, MDiv