gethsemaneI suggested to a client the other day, that if we are able to “come to ourselves” and find recovery and the spiritual awakening that brings the “mighty change of heart,” then our suffering and more especially the suffering of those we love will not be in vain. If however, we never are able to accomplish the finding of ourselves and become lost in our addiction, losing family, friends, church membership and all that is dear, then we have accomplished a tragedy.

As I work with recovering addicts in the clinic that have achieved significant periods of sobriety, their thoughts often turn to gratitude for what they have learned. DUI clients often become grateful that they received the DUI and were forced to experience treatment. In the beginning they were often angry at the perceived injustice of their situation, but over time, in combination with sobriety and clarity, gratitude soon arrives. It is always true that not much happens without sobriety. We can never leave the bondage of our thinking errors and denial while we are using.

The example I often reflect on is the Sons of Mosiah and Alma the Younger. We don’t remember the part of their lives when they tried to destroy the church, we celebrate what wonderful missionaries and leaders they were. But their disbelief and wickedness brought the angel into their lives that effected the beginning of the transformation. In that way, a great blessing to themselves and all they served, grew out of their repentance. We also, as addicts, can use our addiction as the beginning of our change and coming to Christ. It can be the catalyst for our own spiritual awakening and salvation. It can come to be a blessing in our lives and in the lives of those we love. It can be, if we let it.

In my own life, I have come to a deep appreciation and feel tremendous gratitude for the Saviors’ love and healing that have come into my life.  I regret the path I chose to travel to Him, but am so completely grateful that He makes it available to me.  I am going to continue on this path of recovery, in part so that my families suffering, and the suffering of all that I took advantage of and hurt while I was in my addictive behaviors, will not be in vain.

Blessings, roger