How do we use our mistakes to help others?

by | May 15, 2023

In Celebrate Recovery we have a saying that ‘God never wastes a hurt’ which, for those of us who have been in recovery for a while, we know is true, but how does this happen?

One of my starkest recollections of my life before attending Celebrate Recovery was the feeling that, having blown my own life up through foolish choices, I was no longer in a position to be of any value to anyone anywhere.  I was washed up with no purpose.

Hearing the words ‘God never wastes a hurt’ brought about a mixture of feelings between disbelief and possibility.  But how?

In my own journey, the first thing I found was that in recognising and accepting that I was just a normal human being who had made a mess of things by relying on my own power and control. Journeying with other humans who had similar experiences, I could connect with people in a completely new way – understanding we weren’t bad, we were simply human, and in need of the support of one another and our Higher Power, Jesus.

As I listened in my Open Share Group to others’ sharing their own stories, I found myself relating to many of their hurts and hangups and I realised that the same might be true as others listened to me, so this was another incentive to be open and honest about my journey. 

Being asked to share my testimony with my Celebrate Recovery large group towards the end of my first year, whilst at the time was a big ordeal, I found that people listened closely to what I was saying, were hugely supportive, and said my story had given them hope. Needless to say, this blew me away – was God really using my past mess to help others?

Going on to share my testimony in other settings, both publicly and privately, also started to open up conversations with people who, for the first time doing so, shared with me their own struggles.  It became apparent that in being open about my hurts, hangups and habits they felt safe to share theirs with me and it was a joy to be able to encourage some of them into Celebrate Recovery for themselves. 

Now, as both a Ministry Leader, Open Share Group leader and Sponsor in Celebrate Recovery, I feel most privileged to be in a position where I get to see first-hand God bringing hope to the hurting and lives transformed as they work through the 8 principles of Celebrate Recovery.    You see, one of the changes God made in me was to give me real compassion for people who feel their lives have been broken beyond repair and to get alongside them and show them the love that was shown to me.  I couldn’t have understood that had I not been there myself – so I believe this has given purpose to my past.  Recovery is not a gift we keep for ourselves; it is a gift we get to give away so that God can recycle our mistakes and use them for the good of others!  What a blessing!  What an honour!

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