By: Ferdinando Turkovich
“They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”
- Isaiah 35:10
There is a song called the “Isaiah Song” sung by All Nations Worship Assembly Atlanta. The lyrics come from Isaiah chapter 35 and talk about redemption. Redemption is a funny word. What does it mean to be redeemed, to be set free? Better yet, have you ever experienced such joy and gladness that it spills over, and sorrow and sighing flee away?
Over the years we have had the honor of walking among the sorrow and sighing of many of our friends. Sometimes we are a stop, a place of refuge for the wandering, sorrowful soul. There are instances in the life of an individual where true transformation takes place, and it is in these marvelous moments when joy and gladness send sorrow and sadness fleeing away.
Our men’s recovery group has been such a place to both heal and deal with all of life’s hurts, hang-ups, and habits. This has been a safe place for men to freely come together and share the deeper places of their souls with each other. It is a place of tears and fears; freedom and confrontation; hope and belonging.
To experience the joy and gladness that chases away sorrow and sadness, these men are required to give up the pride that says “I’m okay,” the shame that says “I’m too bad,” and the fear that says “I’ll never change.” These men must be vulnerable - trusting that there will be a person to hold them up when they cannot stand on their own. But to be vulnerable, one often must be shown how.
What is vulnerability? Practically speaking, it is trusting another person or group of
people with the pieces of our souls that we often hide from the outside world. These are often the pain places that we don’t want to remember; the mistakes we wish never happened; the failures that keep us from trying. What our men’s group has found to be true is that being vulnerable frees us from these internal prisons, and healing can then truly begin.