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 is a light or message from God to those who struggle similarly. God says, “There is hope for each area you struggle with.” There is hope for freedom and healing from substance abuse, no matter what substance it is or how long you’ve struggled. There is hope for restored relationships and families. There is hope for a new beginning in life after a string of failures and bad decisions. The testimonies from millions of participants in Celebrate Recovery include every hurt, hang-up, and habit that people have experienced.
Principle 8 of Celebrate Recovery says, “Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.”
Stephanie is now a leader in her church, a Celebrate Recovery State Rep, and a representative for the Broken Chains Motorcycle ministry. Her light shines for God’s healing for pre-teen emotional and substance abuse. What does your light shine for? Let it shine!
If you would like to learn how to start your own Celebrate Recovery ministry, to contact your Celebrate Recovery Rep, please visit: https://crgroups.info/. To get involved in an already existing Celebrate Recovery ministry near you, please visit: https://locator.crgroups.info/.