In Luke 11:9-10, Jesus Christ tells his followers, “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” This statement embodies what we believe here at Clearview Girls Academy. We ask questions, we open doors, and we seek answers. What we are seeking answers for is the best way to help our students on their mental health recovery journey.
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we will not be shy about our love of Jesus Christ and how we utilize his teachings in our own lives. However, we do not want to give the impression that we are a religious-centric recovery center. We are not in the business of religious indoctrination. We are in the business of mental health recovery.
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we understand the difference between religion and spirituality, and we take that distinction seriously. We encourage our staff to share their testimonials about how Christ has worked in their lives. This is not to convert our students to Christianity, but to help them better understand the benefits of acquiring a spiritual life. Also, we believe a key component that is often missing in mental health recovery is faith in something greater than ourselves. We believe that something greater is Jesus Christ. Our goal is to help our students find what that “something greater” is for them.
What Does God or Christ Have to Do With Mental Health Recovery?
Jesus declares to his followers, in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” What does a statement like that have to do with mental health recovery?
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we utilize the teachings of Jesus Christ to inspire us and to help us bring the message of hope and compassion to our students. For example, in the above statement, Jesus lets us know that there will be “trying times” in life, but if you have faith, put in the work, and keep moving forward, you can succeed. We don’t feel that this is a unique message to Christ either. It is a universal message of perseverance that we aim to instill in our students.
What does God have to do with recovery? The honest answer is that this will be unique to each individual’s journey. For our staff, Christ has been a guide in their journey. Also, for many of our students and their loved ones, Christ has been a guide for their recovery. However, many other students at Clearview Girls Academy have found other spiritual paths to help them with their recovery.
Understanding the Relationship Between God and Spirituality
In Mathew 23:12, Jesus exclaims, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” That is how we feel when it comes to choosing a spiritual practice. We do not claim to have a monopoly over spiritual recovery. Yes, we have an unwavering love for the Lord, but we are not so prideful as to be upset if our students choose another spiritual set of beliefs. Our goal is to help our students recover, and if they garner a spiritual life in the process, then we feel like we have accomplished something amazing.
The truth is that religion is polarizing. We are not blind to that fact. However, we also refuse to blind ourselves to our faith for fear of upsetting someone. We believe that the messages Jesus Christ shares encompass universal truths. They are love, understanding, faith, and compassion. We don’t believe you have to be Christian to see the benefits of those teachings.
Many people may be unaware of the role that spirituality often plays in recovery. An example of this is how spirituality plays a role in 12-Step recovery. When it was first formed, the 12-Step recovery system used the term “God.” Subsequently, to make the method more inclusive, the founders changed the term to “Higher Power.” These days, they use the term “Higher Power of your own understanding.” Why? Because those who developed the 12-Step recovery groups understand that it isn’t about a specific God. It is about the concept of believing in something greater than yourself. Something or someone that reminds you of how great you are. How great you can be. And, how great you will be.
The Spiritual Message Moving Forward in Recovery
In John 20:21, Jesus exclaims, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” This is a message we wish to impart to our students at Clearview Girls Academy. We want to bring peace back into their lives. This is the peace that their struggles with mental health had taken away. Then we want them to take that peace back out into the world as they lead the fulfilled life God has always intended for them.
While it may be considered taboo by others in the recovery community, we do not shy away from our love, inspiration, and ultimate guidance from the Lord, Jesus Christ. That does not mean that we in any way attempt to push religion or indoctrinate our students. We believe that a spiritual practice can be a critical aspect of an individual’s self-medicating and/or mental health recovery. While we personally find our inspiration from Christ, we allow our students to find and experience their own forms of spirituality. We feel that adopting a spiritual life can take our students as far as they wish to go. For more information, please call Clearview Girls Academy today at (888) 796-5484.