“I went directly to Genesis Recovery after spending 8 days in a medical detox facility. Upon my arrival, I was a bit taken aback by the sheer size and beauty of this serene recovery center, snuggly situated in the mountains outside of Lakeside. I wasn’t sure what to expect or what I’d gotten myself into, being an agnostic at the time and seeing signs along the road that read “Featherstone Christian Camp, 4 Miles”. I remember attending morning devotion the next day and thinking “I’m going to have to ‘fake this till I make it’ to keep these people off my back”.
In those first days, I proceeded to do so, but, through a series of significant events, God revealed himself to me. My first important experience occurred when a resident prayed for God to come into my life, during which prayer I felt chills which I nevertheless dismissed as nothing. I was dismayed when told that church attendance was mandatory, being a huge football fan and having made that my religion – yet another thing I was going to have to fake.
That Sunday I went to my first church service in 12 years. I remember sitting in the aisle and becoming very emotional during worship and throughout the service. At the end of the service, the pastor said something that would be a game-changer: he said, “If you need to recommit your life to Jesus, say this prayer in the privacy of your own heart.” I thought to myself, “I probably need to do that.” So I commenced to say the prayer, and then afterward he asked everyone who had said the prayer to stand up. I was convinced I wasn’t going to do that, but, looking down, I discovered that somehow I was already on my feet. Then he asked everyone standing to come forward to the altar, and I was for sure not going to do that. But, once again, against my own will and intention, my legs just started moving. That day I was saved. Making the decision to recommit my life to Jesus Christ was the start of a new life for me – a literal rebirth of the spirit. This was not forced upon me but was a decision which, in the end, I made myself.
As a result, the recovery work and process self-exploration in which I was immersed at Genesis Recovery flew by. I began to delve into the 12-Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous; and, now having God in my life, I made a thorough and honest effort to do recovery right. It was the first time I had ever attempted to overcome my addiction or attended a rehabilitation program, and, I thought to myself, “if I can get this thing right the 1st time, I will never again have to go through the pain and misery that I experienced in my addiction”.
Thanks to the amazing counseling staff and a peer-driven community, I was able to take a look at some of the most important issues that had caused me to use. One of the many things I learned is that drugs and alcohol were only symptoms of a deeper spiritual malady, and that I needed to get down to causes and conditions. By taking suggestions and doing whatever was asked of me, attending outside meetings and completing all the work from my counselors for my individual and group sessions, I was able to complete the 120 day program and have subsequently moved on to sober-living.
Today my life is completely different, having internalized the various tools with which Genesis Recovery provides its residents. I have a job, I attend meetings regularly, I go to 3 bible studies a week and I attend church every Sunday – which, ironically, is still my favorite day of the week, but now for a different and much better reason.
I remember one day Tommy telling a pastor, who had inquired about the success rate at Genesis Recovery, that “if people do their own thing, choose not to pick up the tools that we lay out and give a half-hearted attempt then the success rate is 0%; but if they take the suggestions we give them here and, when they leave, use the tools we’ve laid out, giving this their best effort, then the success rate is 100%”. When I heard this I told myself that I wanted to be in that 100%, and I have done all of the things that he listed.
I came to Genesis Recovery with 8 days sober and an agnostic concept of God. Presently, coming up on 6 months of sobriety and having a stronger connection with God than ever before, I feel that I owe my life to Him and to Genesis Recovery. God saved my life by bringing me to Genesis Recovery and they showed me a new way to live, which brought me back to God.”