“I wouldn’t recommend it…But I wouldn’t give up what I learned from it.“
That’s how Patti describes the relapse she went through a few years ago. After 19 years clean and sober, she found herself blacked out near the doors of Mission Arlington®.
She says Tillie and another staff member helped Patti back to her house and invited her to Bible Study the next Wednesday. Patti knew she wouldn’t remember the invitation, so she scribbled on a post it note immediately “Wednesday Bible Study, 7:30, Ms. Tillie” and she stuck it to a post outside her apartment.
On the next Wednesday night, Tillie came to pick Patti up. Eventually, Patti started volunteering at Mission Arlington. She remembers, “The empty hours on my days off from work were spent with godly people doing His work. The more time I spent away from the alcohol and in the presence of God, the less I needed the bottle.“
Soon, she found her way to Celebrate Recovery, a Christ centered recovery group at Grace Street Fellowship.
In her 20’s, she had gone through a 12 step program with Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous and counts that as an important learning experience. But the second time, with Celebrate Recovery, she says, is so different. While AA was about what she was doing by herself to be sober, with CR, it’s about relying on God and getting as close to him as humanly possible.
Several years ago, Patti asked God to “Remove all barriers, anything between him and I.” Since then, God has been answering that prayer, one painful thing at a time. Now she says with a grin, “That was a prayer and a half. Don’t ever, ever, ever pray for something like that unless you are really prepared.“ Today, Patti works full time with Mission Arlington®
Patti used to be prideful about her recovery, but now she boasts in Jesus Christ as her Lord. Instead of putting faith in the time she has clean, she puts her faith in God. We celebrate with her for how God has changed her life.
(Originally Published in April 2014.)