Archives For Celebrate Recovery

Cling to God

By Celebrate Recovery

By Jeni Baker, Co-Global Executive Director

When I remember You on my bed, I meditate and thoughtfully focus on You in the night watches, For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63:6-8 (AMP)

When my kids were young, my middle daughter had a fear of loud noises. One day, when she was about 3 years old, I was bringing groceries in from the car, and she was trailing behind me. I set the bags on the ground and as soon as I opened the front door, the home phone was ringing. It caught my daughter off guard and terrified her. She proceeded to somehow climb up my body and cling to my neck with every ounce of strength she had. If she could have somehow burrowed into my skin, she would have. She clung to me because she…

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By Jeni Baker, Co-Global Executive Director

Hi, my name is Jeni, and I’m a child of God who struggles with co-dependency and I’m an adult child of family dysfunction. I first got into recovery 9.5 years ago when I was finally willing to admit that I was in emotional pain and that my desire to control everything and do it all on my own power was making my life unmanageable. Even though I have been in recovery for a while now, going through the pandemic has shown me just how important it is to keep working on my own recovery. New issues may pop up, or in my case, old hang-ups and habits can creep back in during times of stress and pain. My struggles with control and codependency came roaring back during the pandemic. Everything felt chaotic, a big trigger for me, and my life suddenly had no routine to it. We were all home all the time, and even though it was kind of fun for a couple of weeks, we all quickly…

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By Andy

I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with anxiety, depression, and sexual addiction, and my name is Andy.

I was raised in a wonderful home, the middle child of three brothers, and a son to a mom and a dad who loved their children dearly. Unfortunately, my parents both grew up in homes with alcoholic fathers who would occasionally turn abusive. Due to this, my parents promised each other that their children would grow up in a stable home. Mom and Dad achieved this to the best of their ability and gave my brothers and me a home where we were loved and raised to work hard. Growing up, I became quite competitive with my siblings, particularly with my older brother. When I compared myself to him, I always felt like I fell short somehow, and I became jealous and resentful of him. I wanted to show him that I had worth and value, that I wasn’t the fat, slow, stupid kid I saw myself as when I compared myself to him. This desire to prove myself would bleed over into other areas and relationships in my life.

Throughout school,…

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Run the Race

By Celebrate Recovery

By Andy Petry, National Director of The Landing

Over the past couple of years, I’ve started to get back into a rhythm of working out—and that has prompted me to start running again. Now, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with running—I love the benefits of the activity, the silence and solitude that comes with it, and how I feel afterward. But running has never been fun. It’s hard and painful when I find myself in the middle of it. And every time I’m on a run, I wonder why I thought it was a good idea in the first place. I inevitably come back to this thought: at least I’m running. Yes, I’m tired. Yes, my body hurts a bit. Yes, I’m out of breath. But that pain is not being wasted. Every run is another step down the road in taking care of my health. My body gets stronger as I push it out of its comfort zone. And that’s important—you know why? Because staying in my comfort zone has only ever worked to the detriment of my health.

The same is true in my recovery. Pushing myself out of my…

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By Hess

The late Dr. Lewis Smedes wrote: 

“Hope is to our spirits what oxygen is to our lungs. Lose hope and you die.”

But what exactly IS hope? Even secular psychologists will tell you that you need hope. However, they will also tell you to look for that hope within yourself. 

But if the object of hope has to be found within ourselves, no wonder there is so much hopelessness in our world. No wonder mental health is the biggest health problem in the world right now, second only to the coronavirus. So, hope that must be found in ourselves… is no hope at all. 

The object of our hope as Christians is Jesus Christ! The writer of Hebrews describes our hope this way: Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us (Hebrews 6:18-20 NLT).

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By Hess

I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with depression and anger, and my name is Hess. I was blessed to grow up in a great family, but one thing I did not learn was how to open up to those closest to me. As a result, I was a “stuffer” and “conflict-avoider” early on. I thought the life goal for Christians was to please God and people. And if I got angry, I stuffed it. 

My first bout with depression came when I was 20 years old, when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. Accompanied by painful cramping, bleeding, and uncontrollable diarrhea (providing me with many humbling experiences!), I had to be hospitalized for six weeks after Christmas of my junior year. During the third week in the hospital, that depression started settling in while I kept track on the bottom of a Kleenex box the number of times I barely made it to the bathroom each day. 

I prayed many times a day, asking God for healing. But the healing never came. As a 20-year-old, I came to understand CR Principle 1…

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By Joe Clark, National Director of Celebrate Recovery Native Nations

The Christmas season was rapidly approaching, and Thanksgiving was just a few days away. My birthday was just a couple of days ago, and I caught a cold on my birthday. I didn’t get to go to Celebrate Recovery because I didn’t want to get anyone else sick. With all the chaos in the world and the distractions in the news, it’s easy to forget what the season is and what it represents. If we take our eyes off Jesus and the hope that only he can bring, it is so easy to lose hope. Hebrews 6:19 says we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and strong. It enters behind the curtain in the Most Holy Place in Heaven, where Jesus has gone ahead of us and for us. Jesus has plans, hope, and a future for us.

Some people love the holidays and look forward to them all year long. Some of us struggle during the holidays, and it’s definitely not our favorite time of year. Learning to focus on Jesus Christ, our relationship with God through him,…

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By Will

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors and that our lives had become unmanageable.

Hi, my name is Will. I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and a recovering addict. I am a Native American and a member of the Yurok Tribe.

My pride & ego prevented me from admitting I was powerless and that my life had become unmanageable. For this reason, I stayed in my addiction for decades. It’s also the reason I thought the only way I’d be able to quit was to commit suicide. But thankfully, God had something else in mind.

I’ll be sharing a little about my past & end with what my recovery journey has been up to now. I celebrated ten years of recovery on February 14, 2022. I realize what I went through in my 58 years of life helped prepare me for the man I am today. I would not trade this experience for the world.

I was born in Santa Cruz, CA, in 1964. I was raised by a Christian mother who tried her best to raise me and my five siblings by herself. She…

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By Bob Newby, West Region Director for Celebrate Recovery

I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. I struggle with codependency showing itself in anxiety, avoidance, people-pleasing, and control. My name is Bob.

Growing up, nurturing was hit or miss…it mainly seemed a miss for me. I grew up with the pain of feeling ignored, marginalized, and unimportant. 

My insecurities and hurts led me to abuse alcohol at a young age. The first time I got drunk, I was only 14, on a deer hunting trip with my dad and his buddies. By the time I was 17, I was regularly drinking to cope with my emotional pain. 

During the fall semester of my freshman year of college, a man named Jim came to my dorm room and invited me to a Bible study. I really wanted to come, because I had lots of questions. I had been reading the Bible on my own off and on for a couple of years. This man had joy and peace that transcended his circumstances. Jim had what I wanted. I could see Jesus in my friend Jim….

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By Bob Newby, West Region Director for Celebrate Recovery

Our small group is reading through the book of Daniel. There are some very profound lessons for those of us in recovery. I want to highlight one for us to consider. 

Nebuchadnezzar was a mighty, wealthy, influential, and gifted man. He built Babylon into the greatest empire of his day. From the world’s perspective, he had it all. He built the world’s most powerful military for aggression, protection, and influence. He had access to all the resources to create whatever he wanted. It would seem at first glance that if he wrote a book about leadership, it would have been a best seller. In 600 B.C., he would have been the “Man of the Year” for Time Magazine.

That is why it is so shocking that this amazing king of kings and Man of the Year winner would be homeless, isolated, eating grass, with fingernails like the claws of a bird and unkempt hair like the feathers of a bird—only twelve months later.

Here is how that happened:

King Nebuchadnezzar had…

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By Charlie

I’m a follower of Christ in recovery from alcoholism, codependency, lust, and the lingering effects of racial trauma. My name is Charlie.

Situations or people did not make me an alcoholic or codependent. However, they made me nervous, uneasy, and desirous of comfort. My thinking led me to believe I had some power over people, places, and things. I believed a drink or a relationship would provide the needed ease and comfort.

I grew up in a wonderful East Coast University city surrounded by supportive family and friends. I was never in need. I maintained relationships with a host of diverse friends from high school and college. Though my city was relatively ok, surrounding cities were not always as welcoming. In school, I was taught the Bill of Rights. My experience had me questioning that document. Coupled with the usual concerns of youth, acne, dances, crushes, and homework, I was getting uncomfortable and confused. From the murder of Emmett Till in 1955, the 16th St Baptist Church bombing, Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, Bloody Sunday, and the murder of Fred Hampton in 1969—I’ve been confused for a long time. As Fannie Lou…

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By Cheryl Luke, National Director of Cultural Communities

So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife.

Genesis 16:3 (ESV)

Hagar was a woman with no voice. An Egyptian captive, pregnant with another woman’s child. Powerless to control her environment, and rather than submitting to Sarai, she chose to run away to escape her mistreatment. While wandering in the desert, in utter distress, Hagar had an unexpected encounter with God that would alter her thinking and change the trajectory of her life.

“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me’” (Genesis 16:13 NIV).

The Lord saw her! A writer for notes, “God saw Hagar in her faults, she despised Sarah.” “God saw her frustrations.” He knew she was powerless and abused, and “he saw her fear.” He found her wandering, alone, in the wilderness, with nowhere to go.

To say Hagar felt lonely, afraid, and…

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