Is it possible for you to see something through my eyes for a minute? Let me be real here and you just might see what I’m looking at…
I’ve been at Lake Valley Community Church for well over a decade – something like 16 years. When I came here, I had been working on something that I had squirreled away in my brain. I was playing a mental chess game with myself to repress and deny what was bothering me, struggling to keep that happy, plastic face on. A few people suggested something called MOO, but my perspective on MOO was very limited. I used to think that MOO was only for losers who needed an intervention, or were ready to check themselves in.
Many of you know from personal experience how far off the mark that is, right? I learned how we all have something we are dealing with and my stuff is not all that unusual. In fact, I’m boringly normal. I just did not realize how screwed up ‘normal’ actually is! I long for acceptance. Not to have a good enough mask, but to be accepted for who I actually am. I found this in MOO. I found that there are a lot of things that are true about me, but that the truest is what Jesus says about me. I found some other brothers who were willing to get real and be open and honest about the stuff in their lives, too. To be fair though, I needed a lot more than what could be covered in a weekend.
Some of you might think the same thing about Celebrate Recovery. My wife has been part of a group called Celebrate Recovery for about three years. While there, she has gained a really functional toolset and significant freedom in her life challenges. So, I figured I would go to Celebrate Recovery with my wife for a week or two like a good supportive husband, read the pamphlet, buy the book and just “do it” by myself.
It was a rather unsettling experience at first (kind of like MOO). My desire to get beyond more of my past overcame my honest fear of the process. I was so tired of dragging around some of what I was trying to deny or avoid that I finally had the courage to be willing to try. MOO really set me up for my CR experience and helped me gain the clarity that I had so desperately been seeking.
The clarity that I have gained through my MOO experience and a year of Celebrate Recovery is that I have a childhood hurt of perfectionist, performance-based acceptance which I coped with by the habit of “putting on a mask” and posing like I was meeting those impossible standards (some of which were my own). This naturally morphed into the hangup, or default, of pain/conflict avoidance which looks like bailing on painful or hurtful issues, and workaholism – which is just a socially acceptable way of not being present.
I have been hurt by others. So have you. I have hurt others. So have you. I have hurt myself. Yep, you have too. Is your suffering greater than your fear of dealing with it? Are you going to continue to allow your perspective or prejudice of what you think you have heard about MOO or Celebrate Recovery to keep you from trying it out? I’d like to ask you, to challenge you, to take a leap of faith and participate in a MOO event or a CR group. It may just change your trajectory! – BRAD MOLL