Archives For Celebrate Recovery

God is Good

By Kareena

I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with co-dependency and with love and relationship addiction.

My childhood was filled with rejection, abandonment, and abuse. My biological mom left my sister and me with our dad when I was 8 months old. Growing up, I was physically abused by my stepmom and sexually molested by a step-sibling from the age of 6 until I was 12. The molestation stopped when a relative alerted authorities, but no charges were pressed because someone said it was untrue. I was taught not to talk about it, to act like those six years never happened. Putting on a mask, I tried to be “normal.”

At 19, I married a seemingly charming man. My husband soon showed that he was a verbally abusive and controlling alcoholic. Degrading insults, getting drunk, and punching holes through walls were common events. After 14 months of marriage, I got the courage to say that I wanted out.

Four years later, I married Joe, whom I’d met online. After two years of infertility, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. Around that same time, we went to church with relatives although…

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By Scott Kemp, North Central Regional Director

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again — my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 43:5 NLT).

I recently became ill and was eventually diagnosed with influenza A. As I sank deeper into the illness, a real sense of hopelessness began to rise up in my mind. I started getting delusional and began to think:

“I sure hope the doctor can give me something to make me feel better.”

“I sure hope I can get better in time for that special event this weekend.”

“I sure hope I make it through this!”

The fear and anxiety generated by the infection were real, and that hopeless feeling slowly became depressing. Turning on the TV during my recovery, I quickly realized how hopeless the world can be, too. We humans are hurrying to fill our empty lives with “stuff.” Abuse, addiction, illness, and broken relationships surround us. It’s so easy to lose heart. I began to feel doubtful about myself and began bathing in self-pity. I desperately needed some encouragement and hope.

As I lay on the couch feeling sorry…

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by Bryan E. Crute

February is designated as a time of celebration and reflection, a time designated as Black History Month. But as our nation continues to be divided along racial, religious, socioeconomic, and a host of other divisive fault lines that constantly threaten to create relationship quakes of epic proportions, I am reminded of my childhood.

I experienced overt racism growing up in a small country town of about 3,000 people. Epithets, dripping with anger and ignorance, were hurled at me on a regular basis and cut me to my core. The old idiom “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” just wasn’t true. Being rejected and isolated solely because of my skin color often left me feeling alone and lonely. Why would some of my white friends treat me differently when they were with their parents than when we were in the classroom? It was very confusing for me.

My dad and mom took my siblings and me to Sunday school and church every Sunday. They kept Jesus’ example of love and forgiveness before us, along with their support and love. This laid a foundation for…

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Meeshias Story

by Meeshia H.

As I folded a new basket of clothes, I would work on one article of clothing and glance back at the television. I would go back to another article of clothing and then glance at the TV again. I was watching the sentencing of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar given by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina.

My heart and mind continued to go through many different reactions: horror, anger, and sorrow. My heart wept for those women. As Judge Aquilina handed down her sentence of 40 to 175 years in prison, my heart leaped in my chest. Now he pays the price for the abuse he has done! Now these beautiful ladies can rest knowing he will pay the price!

But as soon as the celebration of justice was delivered, I heard this haunting question rise to the top of my emotions: “What of the thousands of sexual assault victims who never receive justice? What of the victims who will never lift their voices to stand on the #MeToo platform or have their case presented in front of a judge? How will they ever heal?”

I, too, have been that woman…

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Rebels

By Brian Raynor

Hello, my name is Brian. I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, and I struggle with alcohol and drugs.

As a young child, life for me was pretty normal. My mom stayed home and my dad bought wrecked cars, fixed them, and sold them. It was fun, as a little kid, having a garage behind our house. I could go down to the shop, hang out, and watch my dad work. I started helping him out, and I was good at working on cars. Just like my dad.

A few years went by and car sales were not going well. My dad was a perfectionist and would invest more time and money in the cars than they were worth. The business was bleeding money, and he ended up going through his entire life savings. All this stress made my dad an angry and uptight person. I was with him every single day working, and as I got older I was expected to work and help with the cars. The work I did never seemed to be good enough or right for him, no matter how hard I tried. All my…

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First Time at Celebrate Recovery

By Mac Owen, National Director, Celebrate Recovery

I’ll never forget the big, 6-foot-4 shell of a man who walked into Celebrate Recovery one cold winter night. He had a bodyguard on either side of him. Actually, they were two friends who brought him to a place where he could find help, and they weren’t going to let him escape. He had an expression of pain and sadness on his face. There was no mistaking that much of his life’s plans had gone badly.

They brought him to Newcomers 101 that night so he could hear about the program. About halfway through my explaining what Celebrate Recovery was all about, he raised his hand said, “Can I ask a question?” “Sure, go ahead” I replied. “Why are you smiling so much? I don’t have anything to smile about.” I responded, “Well, hopefully, that will change. Please keep coming back for at least six weeks. See if things might just start to get better. We always have a misery-back guarantee.”

He liked that and said, “You’re on; I will be back for six weeks. But really I don’t see how anything can…

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Give Gift

By Danny Duchene, National Director Celebrate Recovery Inside

“Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and my words.”

A few weeks ago I taught the “Give” lesson from the Celebrate Recovery Leader’s Guide. As I was preparing the message, a statement from Pastor John Baker stood out for me. He said, “By placing God first in your life, you will realize that everything you have is a gift from him.”

This was the pivotal statement for the lesson on “Give.” All that we have comes from God. This includes material possessions, our recovery, and even the encouragement we have received from others. In reality, it was God working through people that brought recovery and encouragement into our lives. Even our faith is a gift from God.

When we share our faith with others, we are sharing a gift given to us. It was the greatest gift when Jesus gave his life. “ did not even keep back his own Son, but offered him for us all! He gave us his Son—will he not also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32 GNT). Take a moment…

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Christmas Gift

Lori’s brother was given a 23-year sentence. Out of compassion Lori chose to raise her brother’s daughter. Becky was only 3 years old when Lori became her new mother. Since Becky’s dad was arrested close to Christmas, the season always came with difficult emotions. But when Becky was 5 years old, something new began showing up that reminded her of her daddy’s love: Angel Tree gifts, brought through Prison Fellowship’s Project Angel Tree. For the next 10 years Becky was an “Angel.” This means that from the age of 5 to the age of 15, Becky received regular gifts from her daddy, who was incarcerated. Every year, when the Angel Tree gifts were brought by local church volunteers, Becky jumped up and down with delight, because not only was she getting a Christmas gift, it was from her daddy.

As Becky entered her teens she gained a better understanding of her dad’s circumstances. She realized that her dad was not buying and sending the gifts to her by himself, but that caring people she had never met were volunteering their resources and time to bring her gifts in the name of her daddy….

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Freedom

By Alexandra Applegate, Storytelling Intern at Saddleback Church

The echoes of Jerry’s screams bounced off the walls and the vulgar words he used rang in his ears, making his wife and children recoil in fear. When he lost control and became inconsolably angry like this, it was hard for Jerry to look in the mirror and not see his own parents.

Jerry’s father was a military man who believed physical abuse was a form of discipline, and Jerry’s mother spent most nights drinking rather than being with Jerry. The time spent at his father’s brought physical bruises and tears while the time spent at his mother’s left him questioning why he wasn’t her first priority. Consistently being mistreated and forgotten about by his divorced parents left him with an anger he didn’t know how to separate himself from as an adult.

“I had my father’s anger. It was explosive at any given time,” Jerry said. “When something didn’t go my way, I got angry. If I couldn’t control the situation, I got angry. I yelled, I cursed, whatever made me feel better at the time.”

During his adulthood, this anger continued to lurk around every corner of Jerry’s…

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By Mary Owen, National Training Coach Celebrate Recovery

When Mac and I were first married, we loved to go camping. Part of the adventure became floating down whitewater rivers. At first the rivers we ran were easy. As our sense of adventure grew, so did the difficulty of the rivers. We soon discovered that it wasn’t wise to go through rapids until we pulled over and scouted the best possible approach. We witnessed many people just plow through the rapids. Some would make it. Some would capsize and need rescuing. We decided to pull over at fast-moving spots to identify the rocks that could trap or capsize us. We would choose the safest route and then go for it!

This took extra time and effort. However, it increased our chances for a safe and exciting run because we had a plan. There was another alternative. We could have said, “No way, we’re not doing that!” Then we’d have to hike to the road and get a ride to our car. Soon we’d be back at our campsite, ending our adventure and feeling defeated.

Problems are going to arise in life’s adventure. We can scout it out…

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By Roger Nix

Hi, my name is Roger Nix, and I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. I’m celebrating recovery from sexual sin and from anger issues that have come from parenting a special needs child.

I have been in ministry all of my adult life. At 18, I felt a call into ministry. After four years of ministry preparation at Oral Roberts University, my wife and I were newly married and part of a team that helped launch an evangelistic ministry (which happens to be one of the producing entities of the film Home Run.) For the past 16 years I have been privileged to pastor a beautiful community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, called Believers Church.

But long before I ever heard God’s call into ministry, long before I ever was married or was involved in pastoring, I had an encounter when I was 10 years old that would nearly destroy my life and take everything I held precious and dear to me. One day my buddies and I decided to go dumpster-diving in hopes of finding buried treasure. What we found, however, was a pile of Playboy magazines. To a group of young…

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Lady

Hi, I’m a grateful believer in Jesus. I struggle with codependency, anxiety, and the effects of past abuse. My name is Tiffani. I became a Christian when I was 30 years old, and for many years I volunteered in children’s ministry. I served as a Sunday school teacher, VBS teacher and coordinator. I also served as a youth group leader, teen chat leader, young adult leader, and eventually as the children and youth ministry coordinator. All the while my life was secretly spinning out of control. The poor choices I made left me feeling unloved, unworthy, and lonely. When my chaotic lifestyle came into the light, I was asked to step down from all of these positions that I loved and found my worth in. My heart broke; I had to accept I was not a good example for the children. I was hopeless. Fortunately, a counselor told me about a local Celebrate Recovery program and I started attending.

After a few years in Celebrate Recovery, I went to my first One-Day event where I attended the breakout session for Celebration Place. I remember thinking – this is it, this is what I…

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