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3 Unexpected Gifts Waiting For You This Christmas

Have you ever made plans to take a trip you weren’t expecting? While traveling on route to work, have you ever taken the left turn instead of the right? Oftentimes, and without realizing it, the unexpected moments in life bring about some of the greatest gifts we could ever imagine. IF we keep our eyes open.

Recently, my wife began leading a spouses group for Small Groups Online. At one point on our journey, this would have been very unexpected. But through the healing of her heart, she began to feel the leading to make the left instead of the right and throughout the last several months, she’s absolutely loved the honor of leading women who are experiencing the same kind of pain and betrayal she once knew.

This is a very specific example of course, but I believe there are some pretty special gifts that when recovery is done as it should be we should expect to receive. (Let me be clear: We don’t recover and heal in order to “get” a trophy to put up on our shelf. If this is the motive, we really need to check our hearts) But what are a few gifts we should expect along the journey if we’re doing things the right way?

1. Truthfulness

By far the greatest gift I ever received in recovery was becoming a person of truthfulness. Granted, it was a gift that was gained through a TON of hard work. Compare that to the former reality: For many years, I hadn’t known what honesty, integrity, and character really looked like. I hid my addiction for 13 years — mostly because of the massive amount of shame I felt. And because of that shame, I hid. I isolated myself from other people. Shame convinced me of the lie that if I told anyone about what I was really struggling with, they wouldn’t love me. They wouldn’t respect me. What I didn’t know was that those lies couldn’t be further from the truth. I had to learn that freedom only comes through revealing what is most painful in your life. It’s learning to allow others to see who you really are without the fear of rejection. For many, it’s definitely a risk. But believe me, it’s a risk worth taking.

2. Humility

I’m not sure whether you know this or not about yourself, but you have the capacity to be a very arrogant person. How do I know this? Because I have been (and can be) the exact same way. Many addicts share this quality of justifying and minimizing their behavior and blaming someone else for the problems they have. It’s having a “victim” mindset and refusing to take responsibility over your actions. I know that was really tough to hear and you may be tempted to click off of this article, but I want to challenge you to keep reading. Please hear me out: Besides truthfulness, the gift of humility is one of the most precious qualities you can receive. Until I could learn what my sin was doing not only to my own heart, but to others as well, I really couldn’t experience true healing. It’s the recognition of the ugliness of my actions all stemming from a heart that is in pain.

3. Value (for myself & the opposite sex)

Are you ready for a really uncomfortable truth? Pornography completely devalues a person’s life. I know this is difficult to hear, especially if you’re in the middle of the battle. But I remember some really important men in my life who loved me enough to tell me the truth about what porn was doing to me — even if I didn’t see it. What began as an innocent curiosity in my life grew into an almost daily need for validation from the insecurities & loneliness I would feel all throughout my pre-adolescent, teenage, and young adult years. It wasn’t until I realized that the very kind of acceptance I was seeking was actually wearing away at my own self-respect and honor. And not only that, but the way in which I viewed the opposite sex was obviously also affected. If you view someone as merely an object to be used for your own pleasure, they cease to have value.

The beauty is that ALL of these characteristics and more are available to the one who commits everything to the journey of recovery. I’ve often told people who I’ve talked to about my story that real life actually didn’t begin until 14 years ago when I started my journey. Why? Because it helped reveal who I really was on the inside. It revealed a lot of pain that I was trying to medicate. Pain that had long since gone unaddressed in my life. Once I began to identify what my specific needs were and how to meet them in healthy ways, it was like a whole new world opened up to me!

What are the blessings, the gold, the gifts you never saw coming on your journey? The things that, when you look back, you would never trade? Small Groups Online can help you to discover those gifts. Each week, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with others who are also on their own healing journey as well. What a great way to get 2024 started, prioritizing your heart to get healthy and putting yourself in community that will change your life.