Welcome Back

He sat in all humility, my guess is he wanted to disappear completely, but he had to come back. He had to try again to get this thing called recovery. He had a piece of it but it’s hard outside our walls. It’s hard to work your job, go to school and get in those recovery meetings and meet with your sponsor, the things that keep you alive. So you miss an AA meeting because your job has left you worn. Then another and another and no one is requiring a signed slip like when you were in the ARC. You don’t have a required group to attend where the tools of recovery will be reinforced. You aren’t surrounded by 99 other men and the staff supporting and pulling for you.

You’re out there. On your own.

And sometimes it’s too much.

“Welcome back”, I said as I saw him sitting in the chair outside the Intake office. He’s always a soft-spoken man and this day perhaps softer as he said, “thanks for having me back.”

Thanks for having me back? Really? As if we wouldn’t or as if we aren’t the ones grateful you chose to come back and regain order and sobriety and peace. Thank you! YOU for knowing this is a safe place.

His words have been playing in my head as I think of the times I’ve left. I know I’m the same kind of different as these men. The ones who have couch-surfed in crack houses or lost their business, their nursing license, their teaching positions; the one who have lost it all because of the disease of addiction.

We have a program too, we followers of Jesus. Because it’s hard out there. Out there where we so easily fall victim to greed and gossip, or envy and apathy. I’m only different in that my failures have been kept quiet. It’s like that for most of us. The envy, hate or whatever it is that haunts us makes us no different. Just more presentable. Not to God but to each other.

Still, God loves me. His forgiveness and grace are free and unending. His love, unconditional.

Thanks for having me back.

This is edited from the original post published in 2012.

16 Comments

  1. Beautifully written! Thanks for putting our common experience into words in a way we could see it!

    January 24, 2017
    Reply
  2. Brenda said:

    Raising my Jesus-Follower hand. 🙂 Nice post, Debby, thanks for sharing. 🙂 ((blessings))

    January 25, 2017
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  3. Debby,
    So succinctly said! I too, am grateful that God’s love is unconditional and I’m grateful that there are people in my life who do take me back, again and again. Your work for those in recovery is so admirable and I have no doubt that you leave filled up by sharing with them just as they take in what you’re so generously offering! xoxo

    January 25, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      Valerie, on the days I least want to be there is when I’m reminded why I need to be with them…to see God’s hope all around me. Thank you friend!

      January 25, 2017
      Reply
  4. judikruis said:

    You are so right. This isn’t just about recovery, shelters or other…it is for us all. Bless you Debby for sharing your heart!

    January 25, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      That is what God continually reminds me Judi. And I so needed to learn this – still learning!

      January 25, 2017
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  5. hopeful50 said:

    I walked through addiction with my adult daughter. Over and over and over again. I always wanted to see her ‘back.’ Today she serves the Lord – the One she could never hide from. What an amazing God He is. You do such good work. xoxo

    January 25, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      That’s what we all pray we’ll see Susan. It’s the sweetest welcome back on earth, isn’t it? Thank God for your perseverance, faith, prayers and unconditional love and for your daughter’s return.

      January 25, 2017
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  6. It’s the unconditional love that makes all the difference, that gives the motivation to try again, that banishes fear of facing God (or our godly mentor) after failing again and again, that gives hope of acceptance, that gives us value and a reason to get up and try again.
    Thanks for sharing this experience and for so aptly using it as an illustration for how God welcomes us back.
    I love the translation you used, calling God “The Eternal”. The French translations I have read use “l’Eternel” for Jehovah, and there is something so awesome in the way that reads and builds my faith as I read it and worship Him.

    January 25, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      That verse is from the Voice translation. Have you used that? It think it’s fairly new, just a few years, but I go to it often. Thanks for your words of affirmation ruth.

      January 25, 2017
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      • If I’ve used it, it was just in comparison with other translations on Bible Gateway. I don’t have a copy of my own. I’ll have to single it out more often. Thanks for the info! 🙂

        January 29, 2017
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  7. sarahgirl3 said:

    I know I fall victim to many things, and it can happen in the blink of an eye. I love your perspective here!

    January 25, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      So true – in the blink of an eye. Thanks Sarah.

      January 26, 2017
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  8. Linda Stoll said:

    His arms are always open wide in welcome, acceptance, and grace. May ours be, too …

    January 26, 2017
    Reply

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