Archives For Celebrate Recovery

By Jill

I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, who celebrates recovery over the loss of faith and struggles with codependency, love and relationship addiction, and sexual brokenness. My name is Jill.

I can’t think of a better way to describe my parents other than being a mule and racehorse. My dad was hot-tempered but steady, and my mother was beautiful while always on the run. I truly believe with all my heart that my parents love me and did the best they could with what had been modeled to them, which was a lot of their own childhood dysfunction.

I have two siblings, an older brother and a baby sister, who truly are and always have been my best friends. It is safe to say that we were inconveniences to my parents’ drama, often forgotten, and never afforded the emotional or physical space just to be kids. We were not the siblings who fought or argued with one another as we learned very young to be quiet, be still, and stay unseen. We stuck together to protect one another and keep the peace.

For the first half of my childhood, my parents were…

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By Rodney Holmstrom, National Field Director 

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

Have you ever seen the movie “Castaway”?

There is a scene where the main character is stranded on an island all by himself for four-plus years. His time on this island was one of misery and loneliness. His biggest goal was to eventually get off this island that had caused so much harm to his life. He was finally able to build a raft and, after many attempts, was able to escape the grips of the huge waves crashing down on and around him.

After escaping the island, there was a moment when he looked back with grief. You could see in his face extensive agony and pain as he saw the island drift away from his view. From the outside looking in, one might conclude that this man was out of his mind. How can he be grieving the separation from something so ugly and heartbreaking in his life? The reality is, although this place was difficult, it was also familiar and predictable.

Isaiah 12:2 reads, “I will trust and not be afraid.” From this, we find…

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By Teri

I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, an overcomer of grief and loss, who struggles with food addiction and unhealthy self-reliance, and my name is Teri.

I come from a Christian home with wonderful parents, and I remember well my first encounter with godly conviction and recognizing my need for Jesus. That was the first day I remember asking Jesus to forgive me and telling Him I would love Him forever. Though I strayed away from my faith during my teens, His love wouldn’t let me go, and I’ve now been walking with Jesus for 42 years.

For many years I lived out my walk with Jesus, believing that God gave me a sound mind, and therefore He expected me to be independent and use my head to figure things out. I relied on my knowledge and abilities to solve my problems. Though I would say the words, “I need you, God,” I meant I needed Him to forgive me and to get me to Heaven, but I didn’t really need Him in my day-to-day living. I was self-sufficient. When problems arose, whether in marriage or parenting, my first go-to was…

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By Teri

It was my first day back to work after spending 26 days at my husband’s hospital bedside. The doctor’s prognosis? He would likely never walk again. My only comfort was that the three walls of my cubicle allowed me to hide my tears. My husband was the responsible one in our marriage, always filling my car with gas when I left it on empty and tying up loose ends I’d left undone. How would I pick up the slack and provide him emotional support when I was such a wreck? A co-worker shared I Peter 5:7, “Cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you.” I protested, “God, I did cast my cares upon you, and nothing has changed!” As the tears continued, I found myself lost in a memory…

On the shore of my favorite fishing pond, I cast my line with intention. I did this as many times as necessary to get my baited hook on target. Though the surface waters were as glass, it was only a matter of time before the unseen currents below pulled my line from where I had cast, and so, I cast…

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Broken Chains from https://www.brokenchainsjc.com/

By Jeff

I grew up as the youngest of 4 children. My mother and father worked full time, leaving my sisters to take care of me most of the time. As I look back, I can see where eating became my way of comforting the lack of attention from my parents. It was easier to give me something to eat than to be bothered with me. I became overweight as a result and spent much of my adolescence as the “fat kid.” Others made fun of me, and I had a hard time fitting in.

At 13 years old, I smoked marijuana for the first time and drank alcohol. Soon I fitted in with the “cool kids.” By age 15, I began lifting weights and boxing. I decided that I would never be picked on again. Getting high and fighting became normal for me as a teenager.

After graduating high school, I joined the Army. I bought a motorcycle for cheap transportation to work. I learned that drinking and fighting were all I wanted to do during my off-hours. Soon I was shot in the leg in…

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By Jeff Stultz, National Director Broken Chains

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”

We were all created by God with a purpose. We’re born with all that we need to accomplish that purpose. However, many times the enemy works in our lives when we’re young to steal, kill, and destroy our ability to fulfill that purpose. When the enemy makes us question our self-worth as children, we grow into insecure adults—feeling unworthy of God’s love and forcing us to find communities where we fit in with others that struggle with the same low self-esteem. We medicate this pain in our lives with various hurts, hang-ups, and habits like drug addiction, pornography, co-dependency, relationships, etc. This self-medicating effectively destroys our ability to be used by God for the purpose we were created for. This leads us to a life of pain and a circle of hiding that pain and finding happiness with unhealthy behaviors.

Jesus came that we might have life and have it to the full. But this is not a promise. Focus…

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By Sabrena

I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with codependency, food issues, and other addictive/compulsive behaviors to seek escape. My name is Sabrena.

My childhood was filled with chaos I could not control and feelings too overwhelming for a child to handle: loneliness, abandonment, fear, anger, resentment, and sadness­– to name a few. My father was an alcoholic, and my mother codependent. They loved my sister and me, but fell very short of supplying the love, attention, care, and direction we needed. As a result, I turned to coping mechanisms that helped me survive in the moment. Ultimately, this caused cycles of greater damage, more negative emotions, and escalation of addictive, compulsive behaviors.

At a very young age, food became my comfort– my first drug of choice. As I ate, I didn’t have to deal with my feelings; I could block out how bad my life was. It helped me when I was sad, lonely, depressed, angry, and confused. As I began to gain weight, other kids called me names and made fun of me, which only added to my home life’s pain. This hurt caused me to turn to food…

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By Sabrena Stolze, National State Rep Trainer

Shame is a terrible motivator. I have struggled in all areas of self-discipline for most of my life and have unwittingly tried to use shame to motivate myself to change. After 13 years of working the Principles and Steps in Celebrate Recovery, I thought I had let go of my shame, allowing God’s love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness to become my motivators to change, with the Holy Spirit providing the power to do so.

However, the last year of COVID restrictions, resulting in working from home and increased isolation, has challenged me greatly in the area of self-discipline, and I realized there is still work to be done. While I have stepped into God’s grace to a much greater degree than years past, I still judge myself harshly for “what I do not do” rather than rejoicing in who I am in Christ and the accomplishments He gives me each day. Sometimes it’s an accomplishment just getting out of bed or not acting out in addictive, compulsive ways for one more day.

God’s word tells us in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those…

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hand in grass, free

By Roger

I’m a faithful believer in Christ overcoming a Sexual Addiction to pornography and a lust for fantasy, and my name is Roger.

I was born into a family that stayed heavily involved in church my entire childhood. Growing up, our family certainly had its ups and downs, but I never questioned whether I was fully loved. Having no brothers, my childhood choices were to play with dolls or ride my bike, so I did both. I was the lead Barbie car driver and took great pride in chauffeuring my sisters’ dolls to the appointed location as reckless as I would imagine Bo and Luke Duke would. But riding my bike with my dog, Gummer, by my side was where I spent most of my childhood. I would imagine I was on a motorcycle as I rode by myself. It was like the noise of the wind would drown out all the real parts of life that I didn’t want to experience. Looking back, I am now able to see this season as the start of the longing for fantasy in my world.

As the teenage years commenced, the draw…

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Man Walking

By Roger Stanton, Nation Assimilation Coach

A year ago, my wife and I were faced with an incredible opportunity to move our family from the Pacific Northwest to Hawaii. We were met with a decision that pitted the life we loved against what may be an even better life for our family. In the end, we decided against the move, but we have spent the last year in quarantine, wondering what life would have been like if we did go.

Abram, along with his wife and nephew, faced a similar situation at the end of Genesis 11. While he and his family had set out for the Promised Land of Canaan, the Bible says they settled in Harran. And then Genesis 12:1 happened:

“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed…

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By Rodney Holmstrom, National Field Director  

The holidays can be especially tough for so many. It can bring up past memories, losses, and even unwanted anniversaries. This year seems to add an extra level of heaviness with Covid and ongoing strife in our world.

The question that seems to be resonating in this season for me, and may apply to you as well at this time, is: “Am I ‘struggling’ or am I ‘challenged’?” I am learning that there is a difference between the two for me. If we are facing a trial in our life but are not using the tools around us to deal with it in a healthy way, then it is struggling…with no hope. However, if we are facing the trials, temptations, or all our battles with the tools we have before us, it moves us from “struggling” to “challenged,” which comes with hope for a better future. I don’t know about you, but I will take challenged over struggling any day.

As it’s been said, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” This season may bring up some old memories and pains, leaving you challenged today as…

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By Mac

I’m a believer in Jesus Christ whose drug and alcohol addiction brought me to Celebrate Recovery, my name is Mac. Being raised in the church by godly parents is no sure ticket to heaven. There are still choices to make. And my choice was to party! At all costs, I did what made me feel good at the moment, and I would forget all the church talk of living the good life ingrained in me from my first memories. Now I was free to do what made me feel good: drugs, alcohol, and getting my girlfriend, Mary, pregnant at age 15. We married at age 18, and that’s when I really became free to do whatever I wanted. No one was going to tell me how to live. Ironically, by the age of 29, all the things I was doing that were part of my freedom became my master. I was now a slave. My wife had chosen to go back to our church roots and re-engage her relationship with Jesus Christ. My drug addiction became a heavy yoke, while Mary found true freedom in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Mary…

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