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Bonus : Rob and Heather Dolby: Part 2

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
November 11, 2019 1:00 am

Bonus : Rob and Heather Dolby: Part 2

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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November 11, 2019 1:00 am

Here is the extended version of our conversation with Rob and Heather Dolby. They discuss life in recovery and the church’s role in welcoming someone back into the community after treatment.

Series: HEADSPACE/ a series on mental health

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I'm Captain Rob Dolby with the Salvation Army, and I'm here with Heather, my wife, Captain Heather. That's right. And together in ministry, we've been serving and loving and working with people experiencing addiction for a combined 36 years. Right. Right.

Don't we look young and fresh? Yeah. You know, we've been talking about hope, but also substances. People use substances. That's the reality of addiction, whether that's alcohol, whether that's drugs, toxic relationships, all kinds of things. And those are substances. But we're also talking about the substantive nature of hope.

That's not even the right word. Is it? Hope is a substance, but there's almost this feeling, you know, when you're journeying with someone who may be as a family member experiencing addiction, that does it almost feel irresponsible to say, then we'll just pray God is going to be faithful. You know, God is going to come through.

Meanwhile, they're watching this person suffer sometimes on the street in horrible circumstances. But at the end of the day, when you hear these stories that aren't just made up, that are lives being transformed, often it's this this time where hope comes in and when hope, when love comes in, shame, you know, all these other things are cast away. Like you said, hope is powerful.

Hope is powerful. Yeah. I remember when we were serving in South Carolina and we were overseeing drug and alcohol program and we had a men's program and a women's program. And one of the guys that came through the program and experienced not just sobriety, but he had an experience with Jesus Christ.

Remember that song he wrote? There's no high like the most high, right? There's no high like the most high. And I think that's like the hopeful part.

Right. Because anyone who has experienced addiction of some kind, I just it's interestingly enough, this idea of God coming in. People have like an experience that all of a sudden, like going from your addiction being something you enjoy, like using or getting high is like at first it's a thrill. But over time, if we're going to be honest, we become slaves to that. And it's a life that leads us increasingly into darkness or disillusionment or depression. And people feel like their lives are slipping away and they become more desperate. And this idea of there's no high like the most high is that he, the God that created us, like can set us free from that slavery.

And all of a sudden we find ourselves found by him and life feels fresh and new. And so people can say, you know what? Of any high I felt while I was in my addiction, that high quickly became a low because I was a slave to it.

And I sold out my family and my friends, even my own kids. Like we have people share with us that they got to a place where they're like selling their kids Christmas gifts, you know, just, you know, for dope. And that like people do that.

And they're even as they're doing it, they're hating themselves for doing it, but they can't seem to stop. So to be able to break free from that into something completely fresh and new, that is hope. It's supernatural.

It is so supernatural. So even in recovery, people talk about the pink cloud, right, which they refer to the pink cloud as, well, you know, your first three weeks here, you're going to feel really good. But just wait, you know, until it all wears off and reality kind of kicks in. Right. Which is then it's going to be hard and then it's going to require a lot of work, which, listen, recovery, even discipleship is not easy. Like it requires discipline, it requires accountability, things that our flesh naturally doesn't want to just do.

That's right. But, you know, often as practitioners in mission, we get to say to people, there's one thing we can promise you. If there's one thing I can promise you, it's that not only are you loved, but you have an inherent worth because you're a child of God and you have hope that goes beyond the grave. Psalm 68 says that God takes the lonely and he sets them in the middle of a family.

Wow. And I love that because that's totally my story and I know that's your story, too. And because that was our experience that we went from being on the outside to of like life and family and acceptance and spiritual connection. Somebody chose to open the door to us, like so whether, you know, you press the buzzer at detox and somebody lets you in and that begins or with me, somebody invites me to their home and shares their table and I become part of their family.

Somebody invites us into that. And I think you really have a hard time understanding the fullness of what it is to be a child of God, unless you understand the family of God, because God's the father and I'm his daughter. But I've also got brothers and sisters like all around the world who were all in this thing together. And so this idea of spiritual community or like what we like to call Jesus family is everything, because as someone mentioned earlier today, like God reveals himself through believers as we are obedient to the moving of his Holy Spirit. Even some of the church movements we're seeing today where it's this idea of the open table, right, to be invitational, to allow people to come in and be a part of the family of God.

Maybe even some people call it messy church, you know, just get together with people, even if they don't have it all together and find a way to make connections and share our testimony, share our Jesus story, share the word of God with people in those tangible ways. I mean, a meal around a table is a beautiful gift. In the Salvation Army, we often work with people in a shelter. And, you know, how often is that you've at Christmastime or things even given someone a hug, you know, in their responses was it's been a long time.

I can't remember the last time someone touched me in a way that was loving. That's right. That's a real thing. Sometimes we think it's rocket science, but it's really just making the choice to live life together. And so this idea of spiritual community, especially in recovery.

You referred to it already. It's hard work, right? It's not hard work because God is difficult and far away and, you know, he's like reclusive. It's hard work because, gosh, like for me, acknowledging what I'm really like and the deep desires and longings of my heart and and and believing and dreaming that God could have something different for me than what I've always known. That's a lot of inner work to do. And so whether it's recovery, conversation, recovery, community or just spiritual growth and development as a, you know, as a church community or a spiritual fellowship, it's a lot of internal work that I can't do on my own. So it's interesting when you think about addiction, people struggling on that journey of recovery, wherever they're at, you know, sometimes in the church, we can kind of think, well, you know, we're not psychiatrists, we're not drug and alcohol counselors, we're not professionals, we're not mental health workers. So I think sometimes we can fall into this place of fear where we're like, so we can just basically, you know, make recommendations to people and maybe referrals.

Right. But then we don't really realize the richness of what what is it that a church community brings to the table? And of course, we want to be responsible.

And if we're not trained clinicians, we probably shouldn't be giving psychological advice. We get that. But we do have something to add as a church community to come around people.

We sure do. So being making the choice as an individual in my own self, but also as part of a church community to say we're going to be a safe place for people to do. Just show up and be who they really are so that they don't have to be like me and pretend for eight years out of fear. You know, even just choosing to remember someone's name so that next time you see them, you can be like, hey, Rob, how are you?

I love talking last week. In everyday society, remembering somebody's name, I mean, it's polite. But when somebody remembers your name because they think you're worth knowing, when maybe even your own family won't talk to you, that is huge. And that, again, is not rocket science. And you don't have to be fancy and learned to remember someone's name. You just have to be intentional.

Yeah. Then we get into this place where, you know, community sometimes in these beautiful examples comes around, supports someone, invest in someone. And you're making an investment, you know, that looks like a church coming around, someone helping them maybe just with some practical things. But then also maybe they're, you know, getting a job, staying clean and sober. Sometimes people don't always get it right the first time. Ain't that the truth? You know, so sometimes what happens then with this communities come around a person invested, you know, you become invested in that person with that person in that community.

And then all of a sudden, hey, what happens one day, they stop showing up or, you know, something happens and there's a relapse. That's a really good point. So there are a lot of amazing people.

And not being from the United States, you and I both agree, especially living in the south where we've spent the last 10 years. Americans really love being good neighbors and they love this idea of neighbors helping neighbors, whether that's a cup of sugar or whatever the case may be. But when that generosity, you lavish on a family in need or a person in need with the expectation, it's going to lead to a certain outcome in that person's life. Like if you give somebody money or you give somebody a car or you help them with a hotel room or whatever that thing is because it's what they say they needed.

But then they still make the same old terrible choices and end up in the same old terrible places. Often people who are helping and have a heart to help can become easily frustrated, can become disillusioned and like say, well, forget you then. And it's a difficult thing to navigate because we have to ask ourselves, how am I going to measure success? How do I know if I'm doing the right thing? And, you know, you and I have been through a lot with helping people.

We've learned a lot of lessons and we've learned a lot from how people have helped us in our story. But I believe I never go wrong when I'm trying to please the Lord. So I believe if the Lord moves in my heart and leads me or leads my community or my family to help someone in a certain way, then I feel comfortable doing that. Even if that's not the time the person has their aha moment and everything changes for them. Because I remember touch points along the way in my journey. And I know you have some in yours where somebody did something that was extravagantly loving or extravagantly generous that that touched us deeply. But it wasn't our changing moment. It wasn't like that spiritual breakthrough, but it contributed to that day that would come.

So God uses everything, even if it doesn't happen the way I wanted when I wanted. I like what you said, you know, you got to bring more people into the circle, trusted people. And that's a good place if you have a pastor that you trust, you know, a small group leader that you can really trust, even just to find one person to just say, you know, I just need you to pray for me. I just need you pray for my son. There's a lot going on and just start there because it's not something that one person can handle. It's not something that you can fix for somebody. That's right.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-03 08:41:16 / 2024-02-03 08:46:18 / 5

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