Not Your Usual Graduation

By Jeremy Reynalds, Ph.D.

Founder and CEO

Joy Junction Inc.

Graduation at Joy Junction April 15, 2015

Graduation at Joy Junction April 15, 2015

Just a few days ago, we held a graduation ceremony for some of the members of Joy Junction’s nine month Christ in Power life recovery program.

Joy Junction Resident Services Manager Denis Billy found out that it was a significant time for them. Jami said that graduating meant to her that she had accomplished something she never thought would happen, and that her “new start” had finally begun. She said many doors were now open for her and her family.

She continued, “I’m now able to go to court and get my kids, and finally have a chance to leave Joy Junction with my kids and attain housing.”

Jami added, “This program has done wonders for me and I appreciated every moment. I have never completed anything until now. By completing this program, I feel that I can do just about anything.”

Robin said the graduation had been a long time coming, “a lifetime really.”

He added, “Nine months of knowing that this is what I need, and nine months of not really believing that I can make it. But I made it! It’s not the end, but the beginning.”

“For the first time in my life,” he said, “I have a solid, personal relationship with Christ and a deeper understanding of the Word of God. I have yoked myself with Jesus, and now my burden is light and my way is guided by Christ. The joy in my heart is from knowing that I no longer have to fix all of the problems in life. I have submitted myself to God.”

Laurie said the moment she walked through Joy Junction’s multi purpose building in cap and gown was one of the best experiences of her life.

She continued, “This program saved my life and my family. Being able to graduate has opened my heart and healed my soul. The next chapter of my life is so promising, and sobriety is so precious. I am a proud child of God.”

Valerie said, “Being able to say that ‘I did it’ brings a lot of light to my dark world. My future looked bleak and I had lost all hope in being able to say ‘I did it,’ but now I’ve come out of the darkness.”

She added, “Completing the Christ In Power Program means that I’m out of the darkness after suffering so much domestic violence, drug addiction, and co dependency. I now feel that I’m finally in the driver’s seat for myself and my two year old daughter.”

Future Graduates

I wondered what those still working their way through the program thought about the graduation, and asked Denis Billy to find out.

One man said, “It made me proud to be a small part of what they went through, and that I can beat whatever addiction that we have. Through support, advice and prayer, I’ll make it through this program and graduate.”

Reflecting on those who graduated he added, “I sat there and saw everyone walk up on that stage. Their eyes were wide open and hearts filled with joy. (They were) proud to have finished this program, which wasn’t easy. But they did it, and now they know they can do anything that God puts in front of them.”

One woman said that to graduate Joy Junction’s Christ in Power life recovery program means she will have completed something she started.

She continued, “It would mean a new beginning for my family and me. It’ll be a transition from a life of desperation to a life of success. I’m looking forward to building a new life. I have complete trust in the Lord that I will finish and become another success story.”

One male participant called his future graduation “a life or death thing.”

He continued, “It would be an accomplishment and a prize of a gold ring in the life of wasted drunkenness. It’s one of the proofs of my release from slavery to a futile alcoholic nightmare. Yes, graduation is the hope, the goal and the reward.”

A woman said that graduation for her is both a challenge and a reward. She said it means she will have completed a task that she didn’t think was “in the cards” for her.

A self confessed former “serious” crack addict, the woman said she now has no desire for the drug. She is even planning to start school with the goal of eventually becoming a drug counselor.

She said, “Joy Junction has given me great structure, and our instructor has given us the tools to conquer and goal that we set our minds to accomplish. I have been in prison twice. All that I can do is keep going forward because I’ve been down long enough. I’m finally moving up.”

Another woman called her future graduation from our program “the best accomplishment in my life.” She said it will be the only thing she has ever accomplished.

She added, “Being in this program has shown me that it’s never too late to change, or to accept Jesus Christ as my savior. It’s very important to me to graduate this program because there is still a lot that I need to learn. So when I leave here, I will be strong enough to keep from falling back into drug addiction. I will be a better mom, wife and most importantly, I will have God.”

Another future graduate said he will be so excited “to accomplish something.”
He added, “I finally gave myself the chance to listen and learn the things needed to make me feel good about myself, with the help of Christ empowering me to live life right. I can now live life accepting and living by the right choices I make, and not feeling my situations are the fault of others. I can change my life, because through God all things are possible.”

What amazing stories. If you know anyone who could benefit from our Christ in Power life recovery program, contact us at 505 877 6967. It could be a life changing call.