Archives For Celebrate Recovery

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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By Dickie Everman

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)

As I read this verse, it reminds me of when my wife and I had taken one of my daughters and three of our grandchildren up to see the Ark Encounter in northern Kentucky. We spent one day at the Ark, which was amazing, but that’s another story.

The next day we took the grandchildren shopping for school clothes. I am not sure how this always happens, but we were in a clothing store, and Bennie, who is four, and Abagail, who is seven, found the table with closeout toys. I told them we were there to buy school clothes, not toys.

To make a long story short, I gave in and bought the toys. Bennie had picked out the Star Wars ship, the Millennium Falcon. I decided to go ahead and pay for it, so that I could take him to the car and the girls could continue shopping. He was so excited to open the toy to…

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By Mary Jane

I’m a grateful believer in Jesus who struggles with life hurts and low self-confidence. My name is Mary Jane.

My childhood memories consist of a typical loving home, rules and regulations, attending church activities regularly, and being the youngest of four daughters. When I started school, I was told I had a speech defect. I was held back to repeat the 2nd grade while my friends went on to the next grade. I was left behind feeling stupid. I often felt out of place because of this. If that wasn’t bad enough, I knocked my permanent front teeth out in the 3rd grade, which also affected my confidence. As a child, I never remember anyone saying anything negative to me, but in my mind, I thought I was not as good as others.

As an adult, I got married, divorced, married a second time, and started a family. When I went to work outside of my home, I thought I had to dedicate my life to being successful, to be a “somebody” so people would like me, and I could show everyone I was as good as others.

A job offer came…

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By Sheila Knudson, Northeast Regional Director 

Recently while reading Gordon MacDonald’s book, Rebuilding Your Broken World, I came across this statement: “The granting of restorative grace is among the greatest and most unique gifts one Christian can give another.”

I just sat there pondering on what a powerful statement that was! Restorative grace . . . a term I had never heard of or even thought about before. MacDonald goes on to say that there were two chapters he could not write in his story if he had not received this one unique gift. One that he could not give himself but instead received from others in his circle. That gift was restorative grace, and its objective was to rebuild his once broken personal world.

I thought back to my own personal broken world and my journey of restoration. I thought about how God, other Christians, as well as my Celebrate Recovery Family gave me the gift of restorative grace. I realized I, too, could not give myself this gift—the gift that has totally changed my life and its trajectory. Yet, that gift, restorative grace, continues to provide me with life, hope, peace,…

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By Theresa

Proverbs 14:1 says, “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands” (NLT).

For the first 18 years of my marriage, I tried to build a home for my husband and our three children. However, the only tools I had were defective. They were damaged by trauma, resentment, and shame. Added to this combination was a drinking problem . . . one that began in my early teenage years. With a toolbox like this, our home was a set-up for disaster.

I’ve heard it said, “sin will take you places you never thought you’d go and keep you there longer than you ever wanted to stay.” Since the sin of adultery is part of my story, I can add to that quotation, “the ripple effect of sin reaches farther than the eye can see or the heart can know.”

My sinful choice concluded with me leaving our home and family just three weeks short of our 20th anniversary. Over the next two years, my drinking spiraled out of control until, one night, I determined that the only plausible plan was to end my life. But…

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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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