Archives For Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery, founded by John Baker and Rick Warren at Saddleback Church, is now used in over 25,000 churches as a Christ-centered recovery ministry, helping people recover from their deepest hurts, hang-ups, and habits!

By Kristen

Hi, my name is Kristen. I am a grateful believer in Christ in recovery for bulimia, overachieving, and perfectionism.

Life was crazy, chaotic, and unsteady for me growing up. I was an awkward, nerdy, athletic kid, and I just wante to fit in somewhere. Because of several experiences, I came to believe the lies that I would never be good enough and that I was to blame for everything that went wrong. I thought that the best way to cope was to choose (or force myself) to always be happy on the outside, no matter what. So I started putting on masks. However, inside I started pretending and living in a fantasy life to cope.

This way of coping eventually paved the way for me to start struggling with an addiction that was pretty easy for me to hide…bulimia. My life was marked by insecurity, performance, people-pleasing, and the striving for perfection. I convinced myself that this was something that was only hurting me and that I could control it.

I finally came to a point where I realized my eating disorder was controlling me, so I started getting help. While attending Celebrate…

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Make Every Step Count

By Rick Warren

“All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.”

1 Corinthians 9:25-26 (NLT)

 

Every step in your journey with Jesus should be taken with purpose and intentionality. There’s a heavenly prize ahead—an eternal reward that awaits those who honor God in everything they do.

Living a life on purpose requires self-discipline. This means you won’t be able to do everything that other people do. God’s plan is different from the world’s plan. Being a disciple of Jesus often means taking the more difficult path.

Olympic runners must give up all kinds of stuff in order to go for the gold. They must go to bed at a certain time, eat a certain way, and train at a certain time. They must count the cost of what it will take to win. Then they make the necessary sacrifices, denying their natural urges and click reference inclinations. The rigorous training is never the focus; their sights are set…

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By Donna Yearsin, National Director Celebration Place

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”

Romans 7:15-20 (NIV)

One of the most beautiful things about recovery involves introspection. Focus questions posed during Open Share Groups cause participants to stop and think about their own thoughts, feelings, and actions– an honest assessment of what is…

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By Tiffani

Each hurt we go through can build walls in our lives; some can turn into good boundaries, others build walls of protection surrounding us and we think ugliness cannot break though to get to us. Hi, I’m a grateful believer in Jesus– I have victory over co-dependency, isolation, fear of abandonment, and shame. I struggle with food addiction and the effects of past abuse, and my name is Tiffani.

I grew up in an alcoholic home where both my father and stepfather drank heavily. My mom used shame, fear and withdrawal to parent us. I remember the night my dad left. A police officer woke me and my two sisters and helped us get dressed, they took us to a friend’s house to spend the night. I had so many questions but even at that young age I knew better than to ask. In my mind it was better to be as quiet and invisible as possible. My walls began to form. I had quite a few life-changing events all happening at the age of 6: my parents separated, I moved from a middle-class suburb area to a more inner-city location, I…

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By Rodney Holmstrom, National Assimilation Coach

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

There was a man walking along on a cold winter day. Suddenly hitting a patch of black ice, he fell and then BAM! He wasn’t expecting this, but found himself on the ground, cold, wet, humiliated and seemingly alone. He cut his elbow and was bleeding quite a bit. He wanted to go crawl into a hole and hide. His first thought was complete embarrassment for what had happened and wondered if anyone had seen him fall so abruptly. Before he realized it, a stranger was kneeling by him grabbing his arm, helping him back to his feet. He felt embarrassed by the situation. However, the stranger wasn’t focused on that at all. Instead he focused on showing love and compassion while making sure he was ok. He knew he was hurting and came alongside him, helping him mend his wounds.

This has me thinking about my brothers and sisters struggling with mental health issues. Some may struggle with depression, anger, anxiety or other issues that make…

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“Accept God’s salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Ephesians 6:17 (NCV)

You are in a constant battle for your mind. That’s where temptation begins. When God gives you an idea, that’s inspiration. But when the devil gives you an idea, that’s temptation. Every day, you have to choose which ideas you’re going to accept.

The Bible says if you want to overcome temptation you need to resist the devil. How can you do that? By replacing tempting thoughts with biblical truth.

There are two steps you can take to prepare for battle:

The first step is to “accept God’s salvation as your helmet.” What does a helmet do? It protects your mind. Your mind is where the battle against temptation is fought. Before you can say “no” to the devil, you have to say “yes” to Jesus Christ.

The second step is to “take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” and use it against the devil’s temptations. This requires memorizing Scripture so you will know top article how to counter the devil’s lies. He isn’t afraid…

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“In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”

Psalm 5:3 (NIV)

When you ask God for help, you can wait with expectation.

You pray to a God who honors his promises. He is a good Father who always gives you what you need. When you wait expectantly, you demonstrate faith by believing God will do what he has promised.

Expectation isn’t entitlement. Entitlement says, “I will get what I need from God because I deserve it, I’ve earned it. I’ve read my Bible five times this week and have been to church twice, so God has to give me what I need.” Expectation says, “God will give me what I need because of who he is.”

Waiting expectantly isn’t easy, especially when you feel powerless. When you are trusting God to do the impossible—in your marriage, career, or relationships—and his timing feels too slow, it’s hard to keep trusting him.

Don’t be discouraged, and don’t give up! Even though you don’t know why God hasn’t answered your prayers, you can trust him to keep…

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By Jeni Baker, Global Co-Executive Director of CR

As a recovering Co-Dependent and an Adult Child of Family Dysfunction, a big part of my recovery was learning that my emotions dont make me a burden. When I share my feelings, people wont think that I’m not worth it and leave me. Im lovable even if Im feeling bad, or low, or having a hard time.

Just shy of a year into this Covid pandemic, I was writing a gratitude list about this past year, and something occurred to me. I spent the first 5-6 months of the pandemic angry. Like really angry, bitter, and resentful. But as I look back on all that God has done for me this past year, I realized he let me have my big feelings, and my temper tantrums, and my pity parties, and he still loved me. He let me work through my emotions without abandoning me, giving up on me, or forsaking me. He let me be honest about how I was feeling, and he so gently led me through the process of refining those thoughts and feelings….

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By Jeni

My name is Jeni, and I’m a believer who struggles with Co-Dependency and Adult Child of Family Dysfunction.

When I was young, my parents got a divorce right around the time I was in 1st grade. My mom remarried, and I found myself with a stepdad who I did not want. I was angry that he had a place in my life and would argue with him often. They eventually divorced, and my mom remarried, and I found myself again with another stepdad with who I argued with all the time.

When I was around 12, my dad started to become less involved in my life, leaving me confused and feeling abandoned. I feared I did something wrong. So I began to perform. I tried to be this perfect kid to earn his love and approval. This started the unhealthy habit of trying to be what I thought everyone wanted me to be, which I carried right into adulthood.

I met my husband, Johnny, in college ministry. Johnny drank while we were dating, but I didn’t know the full extent of how much.

He continued to drink for the first 3 1/2 years of…

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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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“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

Philippians 2:13 (NLT)

Jesus wants you to surrender your whole life to him. He doesn’t want just a part of your life, he wants all of it.

You may think you’ve surrendered enough to him, but Jesus wants it all. C.S. Lewis, the Christian apologist and author of the Narnia series, says Jesus is like a dentist. When you go to the dentist, you want him to fix your toothache. You want him to stop the pain. But the dentist isn’t willing to stop there. If he’s a good dentist, he’s going to poke and prod around your teeth to find out what is causing the toothache. He doesn’t just want to stop you from hurting, he wants to heal what is causing the pain.

This is what Jesus wants to do in your life. He wants to uncover all the sin and hurt…

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