By: Ferdinando Turkovich
This year has been marked with many “new beginnings” for my family and I. It is fitting that we pause this week for Thanksgiving. Highlighting just a few, I’ll start with Celebrate Recovery. What seems like eons ago, our late, beloved brother Mike Parrish started this ministry with a vision in mind. Growing out of that vision the ministry has taken on a new identity. At one time we struggled to see maybe one or two men show up who were not already leading the group in some capacity. Now, we have a dedicated men’s group who will be faithfully finishing their first year together. In that year we have seen many “firsts,” and have been blessed to “Celebrate” both personal triumph on an individual level, as well as the establishment of a brotherhood of safe people.
I would be remiss if I did not pause and say thank you to the men and especially to the woman who sacrificed so many Tuesday nights or Wednesday evenings to provide a firm foundation for the future healing of many hurts, hang-ups, and habits. As I meander down my list of thanksgivings, I linger over the memories from Anna and I’s
wedding. Even the lows leading up to it and the few that have fallowed are cherished, for they represent a very blessed new beginning. In tangible ways, the Lord has shown me how his mercies are renewed every day.
To my wife who has been one of my biggest supporters, thank you for holding me accountable each and every day. As I wind down this year’s thanksgiving list, I pause at a few that continued to show up year after year. To the men and the woman who took me in when I was an angry, broken, and confused; to the friends who stood by and watched me struggle as I searched for a cause and was militant in my beliefs; to the
organizations who never saw me the way I saw myself, but championed the man of God I am becoming; to those I say thank you for your prayers and support. I would not be here if it were not for all these thankless individuals.
The Apostle Paul states that peace will come when we pray and are thankful to God. I have come to realize that it is through all of the aforementioned individuals that he shows me why and how I can be thankful. So this year, whether you find yourself riding the wave of triumph like the men of Celebrate Recovery, or you are somewhere closer to where I was at the beginning of this journey, listen to the advice of someone who is not too far removed from death and disaster. This year be thankful for what you do have, and not what you don’t.
“Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your
prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all
understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 4:5-7 C.E.B.)