Monday, 17 December 2018

J Journey from Addiction

Spare Some Grace

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Life is messy. Obvious statement, I know. Right now life seems very messy. My life in particular. Messy is the right word for what life looks like to me at this moment. Bear with me while I whine. There is an actual realization at the end, I promise.
As I mentioned, I lost my job. I don’t like that term. It sounds like it fell out of my back pocket while I was sitting on the couch or at a restaurant. I threw that term around and others like I was “separated” from my company and that my boss and I agreed that I wasn’t the “right person for that job.” I called my oldest son the other night. He is in his freshman year of college and lives ten hours away. Anyway, I called him to tell him what was going on. I remember thinking that I didn’t want him to worry or impact his studies due to my job “loss” when I could handle this! So I got him on the phone, told him that I had been “separated” from my company, that my boss and I agreed that I wasn’t the “right person for the job” and that we worked out a separation agreement.
I didn’t think any more about it until later that night when I noticed my wife was very quiet and closed off. I asked her what was wrong. She said she felt like I hadn’t been truthful with our son. She said I was just trying to make myself look better. I was immediately adamant. What are you talking about? Of course I was truthful with my son. I went through our conversation again with her. She said it again. I think you weren’t completely truthful and it bothers me.
I spent the whole night denying those words. I went running with my friend the next morning. I couldn’t wait to tell him what happened so he could take my side. I eagerly explained what happened and how insulted I was that she said I wasn’t completely truthful. He said that I probably wasn’t completely truthful. It wasn’t a big deal but that I was probably soft selling it.
Throughout my recovery, I have found that despite my continual flaws, I have been given so much grace. My wife didn’t really talk about it again. She said her piece. She wanted to make sure that I saw my flaws. She didn’t judge me for them. My friend wanted to make sure that he was honest with me. He said that too often he and I in the past had not been direct enough with each other and that isn’t the kind of friendship he wanted.
In my recovery, God has been direct with me. He daily brings to my attention the flaws I need to address. He doesn’t judge or condemn. He gives me the opportunity to lean into Him and to address each and every one of them. Like my job. I have for so long taken so much pride and so much of my identity of who I am by what I do. So I don’t have a job right now. God has given me peace over that. He has given peace to my wife as well. I know He is giving me the opportunity to lean into Him during this time. Thankfully, He can spare me some grace.

Columnist: Keith Baker

KL Baker is a Christ-follower, husband, father, writer, sponsor, and corporate flunky living with his wife and two boys in a suburb of Houston, TX. Writing is an important part of his recovery from addiction as is counseling, accountability, sponsoring, and working the 12 steps. He is working on a new blog and a new book tentatively titled "Lazarus People."

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