I had a teacher in sixth grade who thought she’d motivate me to try harder in school by giving me straight Ds. It didn’t motivate me. Quite the opposite, I began to believe I was stupid. The memory still stings.
I carried that false belief for nearly 14 years. It wasn’t until I was working on my master’s degree and one of my professors told my wife I was a sharp student that I began to believe I had academic potential. It took a university professor, speaking words of truth and encouragement, to remove that label and bring healing.
While most of us have not experienced the severe trauma that the residents featured in this newsletter have, we do carry scars from experiences and words that hurt us, and if we’re not intentional about diving into the truth of who God says we are, those old wounds can become labels that limit and define us. The Bible tells us we are children of God, friends of Jesus, new creatures, created in His image and crowned with glory and honor.
In addition to what God says in His Word, He uses other people to speak into our lives and encourage us the way that professor encouraged me. Those around you might see gifts and talents in you that you cannot see yourself.
When I think of the people featured here and throughout our ministry, I am reminded that we all need success. We need to hear the message: Well done. You’re not who others pictured you to be or who you thought you were. You are so much more, and God has a meaningful plan for your life. You have a contribution to make. Your corner of the world will be better because you are operating in the strengths God has given you.
On June 26, we will celebrate the way the men and women finishing our LIFE Recovery program have incorporated these new messages into their lives, left behind their addictions and embraced who God created them to be. They’re realizing every day that they have the potential to do more than they ever dared to dream.
Commencement isn’t the end of their journey, but the healing has begun and there’s beautiful opportunities ahead of them. I hope you can come and celebrate these new beginnings with us.