Freedom to Believe

step 12 magazine

Full Circle Heading

On a late May afternoon, I pulled into the driveway of a semi-rural ranch-style facility to witness a rehab graduation. I was greeted by friendly faces; faces, which were once colored with the darkness and the desperation of active addiction, but now projected a lightness of hope and health.

As the sanctuary seats filled up with friends, family, staff members and recovery brothers and sisters, I noticed the laughter and genuine connectedness of energy—freely emoted and held captive by a roof and four walls. Rustic, casual and humbly simple, the sanctuary stage quickly transformed into a platform of celebration—honoring freedom from addiction, dedication to recovery, and the successful completion of six months of rehab!

The staff at Full Circle Recovery dedicates significant time and energy towards ensuring every graduation is a memorable experience. The event is just one of many rewards clients can expect when they decide to make addiction a part of their past. On this day, Frank, Jeff and Steve stood proudly in the spotlight, grounded in the present, with eyes on the future knowing they will always have the support of their Full Circle family.

The celebration kicked off with a short well-crafted video inspiring reflection about individuality, personal responsibility and the miraculous power of God in a life of purpose and fulfillment. One by one, roommates, family members, staff members and friends stepped onto the stage to share funny moments, encouragement, and personal observations of change and growth in each of the graduates. There were tears of appreciation and disbelief, roars of laughter at the humanness and awkwardness of living for six months with a gaggle of recovering addicts, and heartfelt determination to stay connected to God and their sobriety shared by the graduates themselves.

Each graduate was presented with a prayer quilt that was hand-made with love and intention by the women of a Chino Hills Church, specifically for Frank, Jeff, and Steve. Displayed with a synopsis of their situations and struggles, the quilts were placed in the church lobby with untied quilting tassels. Church members would say a prayer for each graduate, tie the tassel, and share their blessings.

The motivation to go to rehab and make a positive change in a life off-track comes in many forms and through many channels. Desperation leads to willingness, which leads to change, which leads to freedom. Along the journey we pick up knowledge, inspiration, determination and dependence on a power outside of ourselves. Sometimes having a tangible item can ground us in our challenging moments and reconnect us to our higher purpose. I think Frank, Jeff, and Steve will find comfort and security with their personal prayer quilts to inspire memories of their time at Full Circle Recovery as they embark on their new lives.

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