Why Grace Church Embraces Brokenness & Recovery
Leading up to Grace Church's 25th Anniversary, we are counting down the days by posting 25 blog posts in 25 days by 25 authors (well, 24... Dave wrote twice)! The post below is one of these posts. Need tickets to the 25th Anniversary celebration at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on September 11, 2016? Get tickets here: gracechurch.us/25. Want more 25th Anniversary blog posts by awesome authors? Check this out!
BY STACIE LEWIS-CRICK, DIRECTOR OF RECOVERY MINISTRIES
“Trappist monk Thomas Keating once said, “The cross Jesus asked you to carry is yourself. It’s all the pain inflicted on you in your past and all the pain you’ve inflicted on others.” ― Brennan Manning, All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir. Unfortunately none of us is exempt from the suffering and heart wounds pain creates; heart wounds such as fear, issues with trust, anger, loss, abandonment, trauma, and resentment.
At Grace Church, we refer to this suffering as brokenness; broken patterns we have created over time, as a way of dealing with unresolved heart-wounds from our past. Examples of broken patterns are behaviors such as the need to control others, circumstances, or situations; soothing or numbing our feelings through relationships, substances such as alcohol and food or behaviors such as gambling, shopping or sexual integrity issues; deflecting blame on others, situations or circumstances; depression; anxiety; apathy; a need to focus on or rescue others; the inability to forgive ourselves and/or others leading to a life filled with anger and bitterness; and perfectionism, just to name a few. Unfortunately, these patterns don’t relieve or heal our wounds, but continue to foster feelings of shame and guilt, influencing the way we view ourselves, others and the world.
At Grace, we believe that our relationship with God is directly impacted by our emotional health. In order to become spiritually whole, it is critical for each of us to not only acknowledge our brokenness, but embrace it so that we can deal with it openly in an authentic community. God created us to be relational and walk with each other through the challenges of life. That is why community is so important. Community is where we find much of our sense of identity, significance and purpose. The real danger and toxicity lies in the isolation that results when we choose to hide our unspoken truth (pain and brokenness) from God, ourselves and others.
With the understanding that brokenness impacts each of us, as well as our relationship with God, Grace decided ten years ago to create the 180Xchange; a life-change recovery program designed with a clear spiritual pathway to help break this cycle. The 180Xchange Program is a biblically based using the healing power of God, and the accountability of God-centered community. Our belief is that Scripture and spiritual action steps are important healing tools that can benefit all of us. We also trust that if we regularly apply these tools to our lives, we open ourselves to God’s healing love and grace. We learn to understand the importance of facing ourselves honestly by placing our confidence in God; thereby developing healthier relationships, through harmony with God, ourselves, and others.
As we work this program and our wounds start to heal and we experience freedom, sometimes for the first time in our lives. This gives us the opportunity to experience a peaceful and productive life. Feelings of unworthiness, anxiety and inferiority diminish and are replaced by spiritual strength and virtues.
Louie Giglio states, "Brokenness is the bow from which God launches the arrows of healing." Brokenness is the basis of ministry. If we truly want to be used by God, it starts with our own place of pain. When we own and authentically share our story of brokenness with others, it banishes shame and restores hope, teaching others of God’s unconditional grace, forgiveness, and love thereby creating a safe environment for others to be transparent as well. At Grace Church, we believe that owning our brokenness banishes shame, restores hope, and sets us free to be the person God created us to be.
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Beautifully written, friend. I will forever be changed because of Grace's commitment to meet people where they are at & lovingly guide them to what God has for them.
Posted by Brooke on September 3, 2016 @ 12:47 pm