To love and to lead people through recovery with the Twelve Steps, the Word of God, and the teaching of Jesus Christ.
We are a fellowship of recovering people who welcome members from any type of addiction or struggle – a Christian 12 step program who openly accepts those who are exploring spiritual growth.
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from the enemy, to torment me. Three times I asked the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10.
We believe as Paul so beautifully states in this scripture about his thorn, that our addictions became a means to surrender to the Lord. And through our challenges we were drawn into recovery, God’s word and the teachings of that word by our Savior Jesus Christ. Not so much as a cure but more as a means to overcome our afflictions through the abundance of God’s Grace.
Peace & Hope
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. ROMANS 5: 1-5
We believe that when we concede to the power of God’s Grace through our Savior Jesus Christ we stand protected in His light. And when we surrender to our addictions, letting go of our will and asking God to shoulder them we become triumphant over our weaknesses and they are turned to strengths as we are filled with the power of the HolySpirit through God’s endless love.
In January of 2007 I hit my bottom! I was drinking and drugging every day and knew that something had to change or I was going to die. Through tears, I yelled at the top of my voice for God to save me or kill me. I couldn’t live like this anymore. I found my way into the rooms of a 12 step program, got a higher power in my life that I called God and began a very long journey to restore my sanity and become well.
Eight years into my sobriety I was feeling spiritually bankrupt. Clean but not filled. A friend invited me to The Journey church in March of 2015. I joined their recovery group and things began to change. I fully realized the power of prayer and that Fall I was baptized and gave my life to Christ! A little later I became co-leader of that recovery group. We adopted a Christian 12 step program ( Strength In Recovery) and I’ve never looked back! Finding Jesus took my recovery to a level I had never dreamed of and Strength In Recovery has united me with Christians in recovery of many maladies and their loved ones as we band together like family loving each other well through the principles of 12 steps and the teachings of our higher power Jesus Christ. Amen.Chuck R.
Let me start off by saying I’m truly grateful for grace. God will change us from the inside out when we accept Jesus into our hearts. Throughout my life I have always struggled with my self-esteem, self-worth and a feeling of being inadequate. I was diagnosed with ADD at a young age and put on medication to help with my out bursts and grades in school. I never liked the way it made me feel and honestly just think it was a last resort for my family.
Fast forward to my teenage years and young adult. I started using drugs and alcohol to cope with my feelings and short comings. I was out on my own by the age of 18 and scared of what life was going to be like. I turned to even harder drugs and started drinking a lot more. After 2 failed relationships and having children in those relationships life just got too difficult and I felt like I truly wasn’t good enough and could never stop using drugs. I had no God in my life and nobody ever told me about the power of faith in Jesus Christ!
One night while drinking heavily and taking prescription pills I attempted suicide. By the grace of God, I ended up in the hospital and went away for a week. While I was away, I was diagnosed with a dual disorder of bi polar and drug addiction. I was put on medication to treat my mood disorder and released with no plan or anything to help me get better. I continued to use drugs and drink. In 2014 God used the long arm of the law to get my attention. I went to jail. Finally, I could be free of the mental obsession and physical compulsion to use drugs! That’s where my relationship with Christ started. I picked up the Bible (KJV) and started reading in the book of James because it is my name and I didn’t know where to start. God knew exactly what I needed to read because it talked about counting my situation as pure joy! From there I went to long-term in-patient treatment and continued seeking a relationship with Jesus.
While in treatment my counselor told me about this church called the Journey and how their mission is to help people like me grow stronger in their faith. So when I got out of treatment I started attending the Journey. When Pastor Mark made his alter call I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and haven’t looked back since. While attending the Journey I heard about “J Groups “. I looked into it and started attending the recovery group. While attending the group I decided that I had people around me who cared about me enough that they could help me get off my mental health medication. They held me accountable if they saw my moods change or saw anything out of the ordinary. By the Grace of God I have been off all medications for about 4 years and drug and alcohol free for over 5 years! I made the decision to go public with my faith on 11-1-15 All Saints day. I have had the opportunity to baptize my wife the following year and my son the year after that! I took over the recovery group in 2016 and co-lead it with my very close friend Chuck. We have watched God grow the group to about 30 people and use us to do recovery ministry inside and outside the walls of the church!
I am so grateful for what God has done in and through me! All I had to do was accept him into my life whole heartedly and He changed me from the inside out!! I’m still a work in progress but I’m definitely not the man I once was; As far as the east is from the west!James V.
My “cover story” was that I was raised in an all-American town, in an all-American family. We went to church. We did the right things. We lived the right way. Except for when we didn’t.
It took me years to recognize that the secrets were real. They had been kept hidden, even from ourselves. To reconcile this, I had to silence the memories and feelings that didn’t fit with the picture. I discovered that alcohol could put the demons to sleep. I tried vodka at a graduation party and had a dramatic personality change for the worse. I tried to beat up my sort-of boyfriend in the Delaware River. I was home, out of my mind, by 10 pm. My first thought the next day was “I can’t wait to do that again.” I did do it again, and again, and again, and again.
Thirteen blurry, depressed, and insane years later I hit bottom. I knew I was crazy. I’d tried everything to “fix” myself. Street drugs let my demons surface too easily so I took psychiatric drugs instead. After hallucinating armadillos in my apartment and waking up from a wretchedly debauched weekend, I knew that there was not one shred of the “good girl” left in me. Desperate, I crawled out of the gutter and into my first AA meeting.
At midnight, on Christmas Eve, 1983, three weeks sober and utterly miserable, I sat at an “Alcathon” and contemplated killing myself with the butcher knife sticking out of a turkey. What a pathetic place to be on Christmas Eve! Where was the God these people yammered about? How would I ever get out of this mess?
I don’t remember why but I suddenly felt that I was safe. I couldn’t drink as long as I stayed where I was and I wouldn’t kill myself with all these people around. I’d actually stayed sober for three weeks! That was an absolute miracle! I felt that God had come down onto the Earth…He came down to save me! He saw me at my most depraved and came anyway. He pulled me out of the darkness.
I went to a trillion AA meetings over the next few years. Gradually, my ability to function returned. I still struggled some with depression, overeating, medications, and confusion, but I could pass for a functional adult most of the time.
As the years rolled by and the stupor wore off, the secrets of my childhood floated to the surface. I went through more depression and despair. One Sunday morning, I felt God was telling me to go to a little church nearby. I made myself go. Shortly, God decided to introduce Himself to me properly. I had a powerful experience of God’s presence and love that led me from darkness and started a new life for me.
Part of that walk has been a deep but gentle healing process. God has helped me to accept the dark secrets of my early life and shown me a path to wholeness that doesn’t focus on reliving the hurts. I am still healing, still growing, and still learning from God.
I came to The Journey during a burnout period several years ago. Pastor Mark’s teaching helps me heal. I belong to the recovery J-group, “Strength In Recovery” and have grown as I get closer to God and to others in the group. I have internalized the truth that God loves me and now trust the Lord in a way I never could before. I am truly grateful that after 35 years of sobriety, I can still grow and heal and give back what has been given to me.Rebecca