Yesterday was a good day, but it was also bittersweet. We celebrated the life of a man I had only known for about 3 years. But, in those 3 years, he was a huge part of mine and my husband’s life, and he will continue to be for the rest of our days here on this earth.
You see, he was the man at our Celebrate Recovery who was the ‘self-appointed’ greeter to the most broken and lost newcomer. He was the encourager who cared deeply and knew how to genuinely ask how you were doing and to intently listen to your answer. He was that man to my husband from the moment when he approached those doors the first time.
My husband was my ex-husband at that time, and he was turning to Celebrate Recovery because he was very lost, broken, and desperate. “Bud” welcomed him from the first moments there and from that first moment he guided, encouraged, and even pushed him to find out how he could heal and find a new relationship with Jesus.
“Bud” nudged him right into a step study that first week. It was there that my ex found out who he really was and why he had been going around those mountains of insanity for so long. He learned about how to let go and let God, and he is now a new and greatly improved version of the man I was married to before.
He was also the man who greeting me when I ventured through those doors a little over a year after my ex-husband. I was only there to find out what kind of place could bring about such a change in that broken and angry alcoholic I used to be married to. But, “Bud” welcomed me and I knew he probably knew more about me than I was comfortable with. I was also pretty sure he had the tweaked version of me that only a broken ex husband could portray.
Then, it was my turn to begin my journey to healing with the help of Celebrate Recovery. And, every week, it was “Bud” greeting me and intently asking me how I was doing, and waiting to listen to my answer.
After traveling the 12 steps of a Christ centered recovery program and learning about co-dependency, control and depression and how to change, I was able to make amends with those I had hurt and, most importantly, to God. The journey was not as quick and easy as I would have preferred, but it was thorough and the lessons were well done. The skills I accumulated will serve me well the remainder of my days and the habits are now ingrained.
Journal, pray, devotions, gratitude, accountability, encourage, give praise, and give back.
After our step studies, my ex and I began our own 10 month journey of steps with the help of a wonderful Christian counselor. We entered a custom process of ‘post marriage’ counseling, and then pre-marital counseling. It was an honor to ask our biggest encouragers to be our witnesses when we were remarried 6 months ago.
That was a beautiful day. Only the very closest family and our closest CR family as we reconciled and exchanged our new wedding vows.
Now my new husband emulates the man who welcomed him from that first time and now he is constantly seeking out the lost and broken to encourage them and give them the hope he received so generously from “Bud”.
All things are possible with God.
Thank you God for the gift of your servant, “Bud”. For his friendship and encouragement, but mostly for his love. Please welcome him home and celebrate his journey to you and all those he has pointed to you along the way.
Prayers for the repose of his soul. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen