By Merrily Brast, Staff Writer
On Tuesday, June 16th, 22 individuals graduated from UGM LIFE Recovery. However, as Executive Director Phil Altmeyer pointed out, graduation is not the end of their journeys but the beginning.
The term “graduation” carries a connotation of completion: reaching the end of a task or a period of time. But recovery isn’t something you finish.
Paul states in his letter to the Philippian church, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
God has begun a good work in each of the 22 men and women who graduated from UGM, and He will be faithful to complete it. But it takes effort to continue healing and growing.
UGM Alumnus Amanda Ladd commissioned the graduates to continue what they started in the LIFE recovery program. Here are a few of the challenges she presented:
Stay connected. Relationship, accountability, and support are vital to active and ongoing recovery. Plug into a church or a Christian community that will strengthen you in the Lord.
Pray. Prayer keeps you connected to and close to the heart of God. Carry everything to Him and be intentional about spending time in prayer for yourself and others.
Be encouraged. Don’t forget Paul’s declaration that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Remind yourself of God’s power and capability.
Remember. Hopeless, lost, and stuck in addiction—remembering where you were is important to recognizing God’s faithfulness.
The enemy would like nothing better than to drag people back into bondage. But this is not God’s plan for you! Surround yourselves with Christian support. Be prayerful and strengthened in God’s power. And don’t forget where you’ve been or God’s faithfulness in delivering you.
God did not create you to live in bondage to addiction. “God’s plan for you is success!”
In Jeremiah 29, God tells the exiled Israelites, "For I know the plans that I have for you, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." We believe God has these plans for the men and women who graduated, as well. Please continue praying for these individuals as they take this next big step into the life God has for them.
Meet Some Graduates
“When I came here, I really felt like I was a victim…it was a weird mixture of pride and shame that kept me from admitting what had happened to me had been on my own accord. When I was able to see the true accountability piece, it really set me free.” –Mandy McGee, the Center for Women and Children
“At first it was pretty rough. It still is. There are still a lot of things that I’m struggling through. But I’ll tell you, today I feel alive…UGM saved my life, God saved my soul.” –Tim O’Brien, Men’s Recovery
“He’s restoring my life…The Lord told me that I have the rest of my life ahead of me, and I am looking forward to living the rest of my life with Him by my side.” –DonnaLynn Davis, Anna Ogden Hall
You can hear full interviews with these three individuals and other UGM graduates, by clicking here.
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