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!

I still remember the moment I realized I was co-dependent. Through Celebrate Recovery, I had been working on issues with control and people pleasing. However, I hadn’t quite put the full puzzle together yet. I was sitting in a breakout session at the Celebrate Recovery National Summit in 2017 and it hit me all at once. “I’m struggling with co-dependency!” My eyes welled up with tears as I processed that thought. I so desperately wanted to be a strong, independent woman and here I was – co-dependent.

I was born into a broken home, with a father recently home from the Vietnam War and a mother determined not to repeat the mistakes she experienced growing up. Life was unstable and emotional, to say the least. It didn’t take long for me to figure out the last thing my world needed was more emotional turmoil. Instead, I was determined to bring joy and approval into my life. I would earn the love my father wasn’t capable of showing and my parents would never be anything but proud of me. It was a tall order, but it made me feel powerful and in control…

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Choosing Trust

By Celebrate Recovery

By Cheryl Luke, National Director Cultural Communities

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)

An interesting exercise in trust is falling backwards into the arms of another person. Maybe you’ve played this game as a child: One person is blindfolded, spun around several times, then positioned in front of someone else. When ready, the blindfolded falls back into the waiting arms of the person standing right behind them. It’s a game of anticipation, hope and trust. Think about the moment just before the fall back. The desire to participate is present, along with the no small degree of trepidation. It’s unnerving! Questions abound. “Can they catch me?” “Will they catch me?” “Do I really want to go through with this?” “I. Can. Do. This!” Fists clenched. Arms crossed tightly over chest. Three. Two. One. Fall back.

Once the decision to fall back is acted upon, self-reliance shifts to total dependence. Whole-hearted confidence and trust are surrendered. This is what God asks of us, as his followers. This is where He wants us to live….

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By Dickie Everman, SE Regional Director

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

Philippians 2:12-13

These verses are two of my favorite verses. I was not raised up in church, even though my grandfather was a pastor. My dad was one of those rebellious pastor’s kids who stopped going to church until later in life. I became a Christ follower when I was thirty-five years old with my wife, JuaNita, and our four children. What brought me to the church was my battle with alcoholism. I wanted to find out who this God was I was praying to. God put some amazing men in my life who invited me to a men’s conference. It was amazing to see and hear 50,000 men singing and praising God with their hands held high. God used this men’s conference and these men to make me want to be a man of…

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By JuaNita

My name is JuaNita, I am a believer who struggles with codependency.

I knew of Jesus and went to church some as a child. By the time I was in elementary school, we quit going to church. I wouldn’t seek Jesus until I was so desperate and hopeless in my life. I became a Christ follower at age 43.

Before giving my life to Jesus, I lived a very worldly life. I took everything it had to offer and lived taking chances. I had so many troubles and I had no idea how to fix them. I suffered the consequences of my actions.

His Word says in Romans 5:3-5: “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” I love this verse…it tells me that life is not going to be all roses when we serve Him. It tells me we will have troubles and suffering. But look what we gain, HOPE AND JOY.

I was sexually…

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By Paul

I am a faithful, dedicated, and serving believer in Jesus Christ who has struggled with mental illness, including self-worth and fear. My name is Paul.

In 1986, the case of Jessica McClure captivated a nation. Jessica fell into a well shaft and became stuck. She was trapped alone in a dark place. I can relate to “Baby Jessica” because this is how I have felt living with mental illness.

In “Baby Jessica’s” situation, people were trying to reach her by digging a parallel tunnel next to the well she was trapped in. However, when I was in my own dark place, I didn’t recognize those who were desperately trying to reach me.

The relationship between my mother and I was close, but it was almost non-existent with my father. He wasn’t a bad father; he just wasn’t there emotionally. I made efforts to try to win my dad’s approval. I developed a poor self-image, low self-worth, fear of rejection, and considerable anger.

I was labeled based on my appearance. The labels hit like darts on my self-worth. I was angry, in a dark place in my mind, and I felt powerless to do anything…

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By Ken Haffner, SC Regional Director

In 1 Thessalonians, Paul describes many of the worldly conditions that affect believers and those who have not come to know Christ. Mental health is an area that can affect both groups equally. There are some simple things we can do to encourage people who are struggling. While we can’t fix people or force them to get help, we can come alongside them in their struggle. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul tells us to “encourage one another and build each other up.”

Serving someone in the middle of a mental health challenge can make you feel very powerless. But loving them like Christ loves us can demonstrate his power. Spending time with the person who is hurting is a good place to begin. Christ wanted to help the people who were hurting. He listened to them and spoke truth without judgment. He asked them questions. And while Christ knew the answers before he asked the questions, we can pause, think, pray and seek discernment before we speak– if we need to even speak at all.

Another thing we can do is simply imagine what it’s like being in…

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By Quint Pitts, CR National Director, Welcome Home

The religious elite found themselves once again frustrated in their attempts to publicly discredit Jesus. They had tried to thwart Jesus so many times without success that they gave up on that plan. Instead, they shifted strategies and began looking for a way to secretly arrest him. To their surprise, an accomplice emerged, not from the crowds or from their ranks, but from Jesus’ inner circle—a guy named Judas.

Judas, like all of us, had a hole in his soul. And Judas, like all of us, had a choice: “How will I fill that emptiness?” You’d think that a guy who saw everything that Jesus did and heard everything that Jesus said would actually look to Jesus to fill that void. But Judas had a problem. He had a divided heart, a heart that he propped up with money and the approval of others. Naturally, Jesus doesn’t want to be one God among many in our lives. And we can’t really hide it if we do in fact have other gods. So one day Jesus challenged Judas on his misguided values (which we read about…

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“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.”

Galatians 5:13 (NIV)

God wants you to live in freedom. Let that sink in for a bit.

In fact, the Bible says freedom is your calling. God doesn’t want you to live a buttoned-down, constrained life. He wants you to have an abundant life.

If you’re not living a full and satisfying life, it’s not because God doesn’t want you to have it.

God wants to set you free from the pain of your past. Regret and resentment keep you from being all that God wants you to be.

Jesus also frees you from the pressures of the present. The everyday complexities of life can lead to stress and exhaustion, which distract you from hearing God and following his plan for your life.

Finally, pessimism about tomorrow is a trap from which Jesus sets you free. You no longer need to worry about the future because God is in control, and he is good.

So plug into his power. The same power that God used to raise Jesus Christ from the dead is available to you today. And that lets you live in freedom. The…

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By Pat

I’m Pat, a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with codependency.

The day I was born, my mother suffered a mental breakdown. My dad left my sister and me with our grandparents, and then he left the state for the two years my mom was institutionalized. Fortunately, my grandparents loved us and took us to church, but God seemed distant like my parents.

When my mom was released, my dad came back, but our environment was depressing. No one talked about it, and I was confused. I knew my parents loved us, but I secretly attached everyone’s unhappiness to myself. I became a people-pleaser, stuffing my feelings. When I was 7 years old, my parents divorced, and my sister and I lived with our mom and saw our dad once a week.

At age 18, I fell in love with a charming young man. He drank and experimented with drugs. Because it was the ’60s, in my neediness, I overlooked it. I thought if I could just love him enough, he would change. I also experimented with drugs even though it scared me. But because of my low self-worth, I put this…

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How to Overcome Fear

By Rick Warren

“They threw me into a pit and dropped stones on me. The water rose over my head, and I cried out, ‘This is the end!’ But I called on your name, LORD, from deep within the pit. You heard me when I cried, ‘Listen to my pleading! Hear my cry for help!’ Yes, you came when I called; you told me, ‘Do not fear.’”

Lamentations 3:53-57 (NLT)

Fear is the number one problem most people face—fear that they’re not going to make it, fear of the future, or fear of what others think of them. The prophet Jeremiah had a lot of reasons to be afraid. His job was to deliver a very unpopular message to his nation. He knew he was putting his life at risk. But in his fear, Jeremiah turned to God. What did God say to him? “Do not fear!”

You might be dealing with a circumstance right now that has made you fearful. You might even be feeling hopeless. But there are several ways you can overcome fear.

Fill your life with the truth. The more you fill your mind with God’s Word, the more it…

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By Bob Newby, CR West Regional Director

Words are exceptionally powerful. Since I desire to find healing for myself and others, I want to give thought to my words so that I do not later regret what I’ve said.

Take a look at these Scriptures about our words:

  • “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1 ESV).
  • “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly” (Proverbs 15:2 ESV).
  • “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4 ESV).
  • “The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools” (Proverbs 15:7 ESV).
  • “Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good” (Proverbs 16:20 ESV).
  • “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Proverbs 16:24 ESV).

As I pondered these verses, I thought about three audiences for my words. The first audience for my words is myself. What is my self-talk? Are my words to myself soft or harsh? Do I speak life to myself, or do I break my spirit? Do I…

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Gaining Sight Through Christ

By Scott Kemp

My name is Scott, and I’m a believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with drugs, alcohol, and lust. My wife, Veronica, and I lead the Celebrate Recovery® ministry at First Assembly of God Church in Normal, Illinois. Celebrate Recovery (CR) is a faith-based, 12-step ministry designed to help people recover from their hurts, hang-ups, and ha6bits. It was founded in 1991 at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, and is now operated in over 35,000 churches globally.

I grew up in an average family and struggled with self-esteem issues as a young boy because I had to wear glasses for my lazy eye. I got teased and picked on regularly. My father introduced me to alcohol at a young age, letting me sip on his beer and mixed drinks. The feeling alcohol gave me led to my fascination with drugs: marijuana, cocaine, and hallucinogens. 

I was arrested for drug possession in high school and barely graduated. I landed a job in the corporate world, got married,…

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