Archives For Celebrate Recovery

By Joe

Dear Suicidal Me:

If you’re reading this, you’re not in a good place. The track repeating in your head is full of lies. You have value and worth. You are loved.

You probably don’t believe me, and that’s ok too. Remember what Christ said about you and know he would have paid the ultimate price for you even if you were the only sinner in the world. He has a plan for you. These thoughts are coming because YOUR plan for you isn’t working.

The depression is deep right now, and you’re not going to be rationalized out of it. I know it’s hard to reach out. Not everyone knows how to help you, but some do. Maybe someone will say something that isn’t helpful. They are saying it because they care. Forgive them and find someone who will listen and let you hurt. You don’t need a fixer, but deep down, you know you need a friend and how to find them.

I know these thoughts keep coming, and you know how to stay safe, but you need to know you are not rational. If you think you can make a rational decision…

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By Joe

I’m a grateful believer in Jesus who struggles with mental health. My name is Joe.

For most of my life, I have struggled with extremely negative self-talk. My limited coping skills for ADHD, depression and anxiety, limited social connections, bullying, and abuse fueled my disdain for myself. As a result, I never felt worthy of the love of others, and I had very little love for myself.

My life was like a funnel. I slowly circled the top at first, but as the baggage built up, I began spinning faster and faster until I dove down to my rock bottom. I tried harder and harder to work my way back up, but I could not overcome the lifelong hang-ups and habits. Finally, I was ready to give up. I was sure the mess I had made and the mess I had become could never be cleaned up.

When there was no reason to love me or believe in me, my wife got me help and stood by me. For the first time in my life, I got a glimpse of the love of Christ through my wife. I finally understood what Jesus did…

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By Roger Stanton, National Ambassador Coach

Shepherds place oil on the forehead of their sheep to help keep them focused on the shepherd’s voice. In addition, the oil keeps the bugs away from the sheep’s faces and, most importantly, out of their nose. Once the bugs get into the nasal cavity, they can kill the sheep more easily by burrowing into their brains.

It’s not a stretch to think about how these bugs are similar to some of the distractions in our world that not only distract us from our shepherd’s voice but can lead to deadly addictions. We can see how our distractions today could lead to death in any area of our lives.

The Shepherd David understood this when he penned these two passages in Psalms:

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:5-6 NIV).

“The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people…

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By Roger Stanton, National Ambassador Coach

I’m a grateful believer in Jesus, who is overcoming an addiction to pornography and lust, and my name is Roger.

I spent most of my Sundays and Wednesdays at my local church growing up. I learned to emulate what I thought was a solid faith in Jesus. However, the faith “I built” wasn’t strong enough to hold up to the temptations life would bring along. To make matters worse, the religion I subscribed to disallowed my ability to be a sinner and a “good person” at the same time. As I grew into adulthood and racked up my sins, I faced a true coming to Jesus moment.

Shortly after getting married, my wife caught me in my addiction. That day I had to own the fact that I was indeed a sinner. I had heard my whole life that Jesus could help the sinners, but I didn’t know how to be the sinner that accepted Christ’s saving. I was full of pride and needed change.

Seven years of relapses later, our local church launched a Celebrate Recovery ministry. I was coerced to show up to the opening night for…

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By Stephanie

I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, in recovery to work on perfectionism and self-control. My name is Stephanie.

I grew up in a small town; we did not have much. My childhood was not what one would call normal. My father was in construction by trade, but his real job was selling drugs to support his habits. My mother left the picture early on due to the chaos and abuse in our home. I had to raise my siblings at an early age, and the chaos led me to follow my father’s example, using drugs at age ten and drinking by thirteen. By the time I was 15, I was a dropout living with a man twice my age, selling drugs full-time and using them just as much to numb my sadness, anger, and shame. I would struggle with using men for validation and drugs to zone out for over 15 years. I jumped from relationship to relationship seeking the love and acceptance I desperately needed. I would seek ways to fill the void in my life until my 30s.

I grew to need to control situations because of my…

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By Danny Duchene, National Director for CR Inside

I recently read a testimony by one of the Celebrate Recovery Inside state reps. Stephanie’s soul-damaging experiences of a life of substance abuse began at the age of ten years old. When I think about the innocence and vulnerability of ten-year-old children, I realize what a miracle Stephanie’s story is. In 1998, the CDC and Kaiser Permanente published mental health research called the ACES study that describes early age traumatic experiences (“About the CDC-Kaiser ACE Study”). Some of these impacts include chronic illnesses, a greater likelihood of long-term mental health problems, and the social and behavioral side effects of a life of substance abuse. Unfortunately, many people never recover from their early age traumatic experiences.

When I consider the ACES study in the light of Stephanie’s testimony that includes pre-teen trauma, I remember the words of Jesus when he said, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14 NLT). Stephanie’s light shines in the specific areas of her testimony. In the same way, every testimony of a changed life through faith in Jesus Christ…

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By Sylvia

I’m a grateful believer in Jesus, who struggles with co-dependency, pride, and food issues, and my name is Sylvia.

I grew up in church with a mom who was the piano player, so we were there if the church was open. My biological father had left when I was very young, and although I didn’t realize it growing up, I had abandonment issues and used a variety of things like food and men to fill a void left by his absence. I always felt like I was a Christian, but I didn’t always make choices that reflected Jesus in me, and I didn’t have a personal relationship with him. I had many friends and was always social, but inside I was lonely and hurting, especially after my mom passed away when I was 24. I had cared for her during her last year and knew she needed to be released from her suffering, but it was incredibly hard to lose the person I loved most when I was young and felt alone and, in a way, abandoned again. I moved to Northwest Arkansas a few years later and immediately met my…

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By Sylvia Chesser, Celebration Place Director of Celebrate Recovery

I grow vegetables as a hobby. I get such joy watching how each variety develops in its own way. And I love being outside with God in the early morning, quietly pruning, weeding, praying, and harvesting the fruits he gives our family.

As much as I like being alone out there, I need help getting the garden started and cleaned up each year. I am so grateful that my husband always helps with the tilling and turning of the soil.

“The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it” (Genesis 2:15 NLT).

As I tend my garden, I must make sure that non-beneficial insects are removed before they destroy the plants.

A tomato hornworm starts out tiny but eats through the leaves quickly before moving on to the fruit, and it grows each day significantly.

If you don’t notice and pull it off, one worm can destroy a whole plant in a couple of days.

Similarly, this can happen in our lives if we don’t notice little things like pride, envy, and anger when they first appear in our hearts. If…

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By Cindy

I would love to say that I needed recovery because of a few unhealthy habits or because of a short, dark period of my life. However, my need for recovery spans almost 40 years. I needed healing because I allowed fear, worry, anxiety, and low self-esteem to influence every factor of my existence. I followed them down dangerous paths. And I made decisions based upon my dependence on them. That is why I get so excited when I can now say this:

Hello, my name is Cindy. I am a fierce believer in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have victory in fear, worry, and anxiety. And I am currently recovering from low self-esteem and self-hatred.

Filtering my world through fear started very early in my life. I grew up in a home where my mom feared almost everything, and my dad ran the family by high expectations. My identity and self-worth became tied to how well I performed for my parents and how I could ease my mom’s fears. However, I falsely became deluded into thinking that high achievements and mitigating fears were my main purpose. Whenever I failed in…

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By Richard Cobb

“The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you.”

Deuteronomy 7:22 (NIV)

For those of us in need of sustained recovery, we come to Celebrate Recovery because we have been participating in unhealthy habits or hang-ups or because we are dealing with hurts in unhealthy ways. Through the benefits of Celebrate Recovery, we discover that recovery comes as we walk a step-by-step process. Our healing and sustained recovery does not come as an all-at-once experience. Celebrate Recovery is specifically designed to guide us through the 12 Steps and the 8 Principles. The recovery process requires an investment over a substantial period of time. We receive the help necessary to retrain our hearts and readjust our lives at a safe, reliable, and sustainable pace through our investment and participation in the step-by-step method.

This method mirrors how God assisted the Israelites in Deuteronomy 7:22, shown above. While God most definitely had the power to defeat all obstacles from their path at once, he purposefully instructed…

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By David

My name is David, I’m a child of God, and I am in recovery for sex addiction. I want to share with you how working the steps of a Step Study has changed my life. My recovery journey began almost two years ago, around the time the pandemic started in 2020. Due to social distancing, I started working from home. It was a safe environment for my health but being alone allowed my porn addiction to run rampant. I never thought of myself as a sex addict, but it dawned on me I had a problem. After enough guilt and shame, I finally mustered up the courage to confess to my wife of my porn addiction. Unfortunately, I absolutely broke my wife’s heart, and we didn’t know how to restore our marriage or heal from the pain. I thankfully, however, remembered hearing about Celebrate Recovery during my church’s announcements. Originally, I thought of it as the ministry for drug and alcohol abuse, but I found it was the place for me to join after doing some research.

I found CR in an interesting time when hardly anyone met in groups, so…

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Facing Your Struggles

By Rodney Holmstrom, Global Field Director

I am a big sports fan. Of course, my desire is for my team to win the championship every year. Not a very big wish, huh?

I was thinking this morning, what if when the season started, they just automatically said, “Rodney, without even starting the season, your team won. They are the new champions of their league.”

If I’m being honest, that excitement might last about 3 seconds and then I would be asking questions like, “What?! How? They didn’t do anything?!” Holding the trophy in the end without the journey toward it doesn’t quite mean the same thing, does it?

You see, what makes crossing the finish line sweet is not just about receiving a trophy, but it’s also about understanding and being satisfied with the work that went into the process and the journey.

Think about the stories of the journeys we took to get to where we are now. You will hear things like, “We had some rough spots that challenged us, but with God’s help, we persevered and kept fighting.”

I am reminded that while I have been given the privilege and honor of…

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