Archives For Celebrate Recovery

Healthy Roots

By Celebrate Recovery

Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

In a storyline on the drama series Grey’s Anatomy, the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with a patient who was admitted. They ran tests, did research, collaborated with others, and they just couldn’t figure it out. So, they decided to bring in a Master Diagnostic Technician. And yet, even with her advanced knowledge and experience, she couldn’t figure out what was going on either.

She ordered the doctors to stop all of the patient’s medications. The medications were masking the patient’s symptoms, so they could not diagnose her properly. The Master Diagnostic Technician said the disease needed to start “talking to them,” basically pointing them to the roots of the issue. Eventually, as the patient’s symptoms emerged, they…

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I’m a grateful believer in recovery for codependency and food and body image issues, and I struggle with the symptoms associated with Inattentive ADHD and Complex PTSD. My name is Sabrena.

I grew up in a dysfunctional home with an alcoholic father and a codependent mother. When I was 19 years old, I married my high school sweetheart, who also had an alcoholic father and a codependent mother. We spent the next 20 years carrying forward the dysfunction we grew up in. We further damaged each other and ourselves with the issues we had and didn’t understand how to change.

In 2007, we both got involved in Celebrate Recovery, which started at our church. We’ve spent the last 16 years working on the issues that almost destroyed our marriage and our family. God has done miraculous healing and restoration in both of our lives.

A few years ago, I was doing a Step Study online, and a couple of the participants were working through the step study specifically in the context of their new diagnosis of ADHD. As I listened to their sharing, I could identify…

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I am a believer and follower of Jesus in recovery from alcoholism and addiction, and my name is Ken. I began my recovery in 1995 and celebrate 27 years of sobriety. It took almost eight months of attending meetings to recognize the powerlessness and unmanageability of the issues that brought me into recovery, but that was just the beginning of my recovery journey.

My sponsor was an incredible mentor, and I am so grateful God placed him in my life. He could relate to my issues and had personal experiences with many of the things I had struggled with. He helped me through the 12-step process, and I began applying them to my daily life. To be completely honest, I really didn’t like many of the things he said I would have to do, and many of them terrified me. When I read the steps for the first time, I identified the ones I thought would be easy, but I also looked at the ones I didn’t want to do.

Some may relate to my original fears about doing the fourth and fifth steps. There was no…

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Last week I was talking with one of my family. They were struggling with an issue. They had made a bad financial decision and were struggling with the consequences. It wasn’t the first time they had made the same mistake. They had done the same thing many times. I felt a little frustrated while they were explaining because they were still attempting to justify their choice even when they had been told it was a poor choice. 

Psychologists have called behaviors like this a repetitive compulsion. Over the past twenty-eight years, I have learned that this behavior is one of my biggest struggles. In recovery, Insanity is regularly described as “Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.” I spent many years of my life making the same mistakes repeatedly, and it wasn’t until I began learning to live in my recovery in Christ that I began to identify these destructive patterns in my own life and begin to make healthier choices.

I would love to say that I don’t repeat my mistakes today, but the truth is I sometimes find myself doing the…

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Breaking Free from Unhealthy Cycles

By Rodney and Carol Holmstrom

Coming into marriage, we brought in our individual hurts from the past. We both had low self-esteem and a dysfunctional view on what a family was supposed to look like. We bought into the lie that marriage would fix all our problems; in reality, it only amplified the issues we needed to face.

When things got tough due to my (Rodney) core beliefs that “I am not enough” resonating in my heart, I slipped into the protection of performance and proving to the world that I was enough. As a result, I hid myself in my work and became a workaholic. This caused an emotional separation between my wife and me. My false understanding of my identity and my low self-esteem affected how I treated her. One day, I came home to an empty house—my wife had left me, and we were on the brink of divorce. There had been so much damage done, I thought that there was no hope for reconciliation, much less a healthy marriage.

I (Carol) retreated behind my familiar emotional walls and masks. Within three…

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By Rodney Holmstrom, Global Field Director

I know when hard things happen around us or to us in life and ministry, it can make us a bit wobbly. It is the hard conversations or facing tough battles that feel scary and insurmountable. Or your personal struggles, seeing people close to you turn away from God, walking through hard relationship struggles, or __________. 

All this can create a rippling wave of hurt, anxiety, doubt, fear, and extensive pain in our hearts and lives. 

I know I am not immune to the same feelings and struggles and can be a little dysregulated in this space. 

Some reminders I hold onto in the messy places of life and ministry tend to help me stay the course in the dry, barren, and even difficult things that life throws at us. 

*If God has called you to this chapter in your life and ministry, He will sustain you through the journey.

*The discomfort you are feeling is temporary. Lean into God with your pain and trust that He is accessible…

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By Sylvia Chesser, Celebration Place Director of Celebrate Recovery


“For You have been a defense for the helpless,

A defense for the needy in his distress,

A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat;

For the breath of the ruthless

Is like a rain storm against a wall.” Isaiah 25:4 (NASB1995)

I love thunderstorms… watching the clouds turn dark and start to churn with lightning playing in the shadows is fascinating and exciting to me, and I love the grumbling sounds of the thunder’s chorus.

What I love most is how a storm can change the climate in multiple ways. In some cases, a storm will dramatically lower the current temperature, bringing a cool change to a hot day. Other times, when the storm has run its course, the dampness in the atmosphere causes the heat to feel even more oppressive and sticky. Rain can clean things and make them look shiny and new or cause huge messes if it’s heavy enough. Large storms have been known to knock out power for days and put trees through the roof until people work hard to clean up and set things right.

Rough situations that happen to us or…

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By Sylvia and Stan

Sylvia – I’m a grateful believer in Jesus who struggles with co-dependency, pride, and food issues. I grew up in church but didn’t understand what it meant to have a personal relationship with Christ. My biological father left when I was young, and I used things like food and men to fill a void left by his absence. My mom always said, “Release, let go, and let God,” and while that helped me keep a strong faith in Him, it also kept me from feeling like I needed to do any work on who I was in Him.

Stan – I’m a grateful believer in Jesus, recovered from 25 years of tobacco use, and am in recovery for my trust, anger, and control issues. My dad was a deacon at our church, so we were known as a Christian family; however, having this label came with pressure to live up to certain expectations. As a young adult, I worked in a profession that expected me to move often, and I filled my time with drinking, anger outbursts, and no meaningful relationships. My relationships revolved around others doing what I…

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By Michelle

I am a grateful believer in Jesus. I struggle with depression and self-worth, and my name is Michelle.

I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Put simply, it’s an emotional dysregulation disorder causing me to have unstable moods, behaviors, and relationships. This affected my ability to do schoolwork, social life, and self-esteem.

As a teenager, I was deemed overdramatic, but my problems were all-consuming, and I couldn’t figure out how to handle them. I was suffering from severe depression and anxiety and began self-harming. My problems didn’t get any better with a diagnosis.

I had to figure out how to live with my problems and handle day-to-day life. My bad habits were running from my problems, ignoring them, and distracting myself because I didn’t want to deal with reality. My life was completely unmanageable. I got overwhelmed easily and was overtaken by my depression; doing tasks like going into grocery stores alone gave me such anxiety that I would avoid it at all costs, and all my relationships were extremely unhealthy. It was my extreme lack of self-worth that was my major issue.

I deemed myself unlovable. I allowed myself to be used and…

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By Mary Owen, National Training Director

“The Spirit God gave us does not make us afraid. His Spirit is a source of power and love and self-control.”

2 Timothy 1:7 (ERV)

We all, at some point, have felt powerless . . . You may even be feeling powerless today. In that Bible verse I just read, it says our source of power comes from God. If we’re not plugged into His power, there IS reason to be afraid. But, when we’re plugged into God, He supplies us with all we need: HIS power, love, and self-control.

It’s God’s triple power surge!! The very three things we need in order to be wise, healthy, and have peace in our hearts, no matter what circumstances we’re going through.


  • I need God’s power to break unhealthy habits I can’t break on my own.
  • I need His power to do what I know is right but can’t seem to do it in my own strength.
  • I need His power to break free from the past and not let those memories hold me in bondage anymore.
  • I need His power to live the new life He…

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By Meeshia 

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I am a grateful believer in Jesus. I struggle with mental health issues and addiction but am learning to live in mental health recovery with complex trauma from childhood abuse. My name is Meeshia.

Most people in recovery recognize the opening lines of the famous Serenity Prayer and have repeated those words with their mouths but not necessarily with belief in their hearts.

It reminds me of when I came into recovery, thinking I knew what it meant to have peace in my life. Peace would simply be (I thought), No More Pain. However, it did not take me very long to begin to learn that peace is not something that just happens, like a magic pill, which makes everything right. Rather, it’s a presence and resolve to believe in a power greater than myself, Jesus, who can be felt and known in all circumstances. I also discovered that this peace is not just like a gift given to me that I need to open my…

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By Sarah Stanton, Celebrate Recovery National Director of Mental Health

Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? In 2016, Celebrate Recovery started a Mental Health Initiative. Seven years later, CR continues to intentionally create safety in our local ministries for those working through mental health challenges.

The church hasn’t always known what to do or even wanted to help “those” people. But WE are those people. Mental health, like physical health, is something that we all have. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.

Here’s your opportunity to take a quick mental health check-up. How is your emotional, psychological, and social well-being? Do you need a tune-up? Do you need a safe person to share this with? Do you have a safe place to share this in?

Fear and anxiety are both something I’ve wrestled with. I have wrestled with it since I was a little girl. I was worrying about the time, the thoughts, and opinions of others, loved ones and their salvation, and my girls in this current climate. You name it; I’ve probably felt anxious about it.

Something I’m learning is that perfect peace is not found in…

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