I am always on the lookout for where God wants to move in my recovery next. To stand still is to risk relapse, regression and a rapid decent into the abyss of regrets and shame that I was delivered from. This is unappealing to say the least, so I remain vigilant to see the move of God on my life. This takes an open, willing and expectant posture. I must try and avoid demanding it come in my time and in my preferred way too, which is harder than it sounds.
As our world has been buffeted through one challenge after another, now comes the challenge of equity.
I was born in the early ‘60’s. I saw the early birth pangs of this (the civil rights marches) on TV. However, my family of origin was not progressive or open-minded in this area. Prejudice and discrimination permeated the air, and while not usually spoken of, it was understood that those of other cultures (read: not Western European) were tolerated, but not really accepted. I grew up in a rural, racially insulated area where few people of color dotted the landscape until I reached young adulthood. This caused me to be anxious around anyone of color, fearing that I would say or do something stupid and they would become angry at me and do something bad to me or my family. This was straight from the family influences I was immersed in. So, I stayed in my insulated blanket, and tried to interact with people of color as little as possible, thereby guaranteeing that I would not develop beyond this primitive and erroneous understanding.
As the years rolled on, and I came to know some folks of diverse backgrounds and they were nothing like I’d been led to believe. But I was still afraid to speak too much, or get too close, fearing I would, out of ignorance, hurt their feelings. And because I struggled with deep codependence I would keep these relationships very surface-level. Again, no way to learn about their lives, their struggles or what part I could play in being part of the solution instead of a silent participant in oppression.
Then I entered recovery and began to deal with the dysfunctional issues that led to a lot of crazy wrong thinking from my family of origin and other places too. I started seeing people as just people and taking responsibility for myself and letting others take responsibility for themselves. I started to get to know people from other cultures and people of color that were willing to be more open with me, who were willing to let me be awkward with some of my juvenile questions, and if any of you happen to be reading this, a million thank you’s.
Now it’s time for me (again) to take responsibility for myself and learn about how I can be a better citizen, friend, sister in Christ, and do the work of becoming educated about what I can do to use the privilege I have for those that God has placed before me. And to see what comes next. As when I started recovery, I just have to trust that God who loves justice and mercy will be close with me as I walk forward. He came to break the chains. If I believe that, then I must be part of it.