By Marina Rojas
Every single person alive and breathing on this planet lives a life full of ups and downs. While some people are perceived to be happier than others, no one really knows what is going on in the deep down hidden away heart of someone else. No one really knows a person just by looking at them from the outside.
Many times in life we come to a point where we have such trials and turmoil, that we can’t believe we’ve gotten to that point of desperation and despair. Looking into a mirror is impossible because we don’t like the person we’ve become, and the first thing out of our mouth is, “How could anyone else understand what I’m going through?” And somehow we convince ourselves that we alone are suffering something new to man, and that we are doomed to suffer it alone. Some people have been taught that suffering in silence and suffering alone makes you stronger. Adversity brings wisdom, “they” say.
King Solomon, with all of his wisdom, told us in Ecclesiastes 1:9 that there “is nothing new under the sun”. God has made it pretty clear throughout the Bible that people were made for relationships with others. Yet as Christians, we walk through life trying to ‘tough it out’ hoping that others will not witness our deepest darkest sins while crying out to God for help.
Only one out of every three people attend Celebrate Recovery for alcohol or drug addiction. The rest come for anger, stress, gambling, overspending, codependency, enabling, food addictions, cutting, relationship and sexual addictions.
Everyone has been hurt by someone in their lifetime; some of us have been horribly hurt by the actions of strangers, or even the actions of those who were supposed to love us the most. Everyone has a habit they know does not honor God, yet we cling to that habit even to the point of allowing it to become an addiction. And everyone has a hang up that stunts their spiritual growth. What is yours today? Anger? Jealousy? Fear? What disconnects you from others in this lifetime?
Whatever you struggle with, you may have chosen to ‘go it alone’ along life’s highway. But you don’t have to be alone with any of those things that block your spiritual growth, and you can certainly begin to find hope and healing in a way that honors God and His plans for you to live in peace, come what may.
The place that you can find the beginning of a new life’s journey is called Celebrate Recovery (CR). Many people think of Celebrate Recovery as the place for people who are trying to recover from alcohol or drug addictions, and that certainly is true. But statistics show that only one out of every three people attend Celebrate Recovery for alcohol or drug addiction. So what do the rest of the people come there for?
Anger, stress, gambling, overspending, codependency, enabling, food addictions, cutting, relationship and sexual addictions are just a few of the issues people deal with in CR outside of drug and alcohol dependencies.
CR is a twelve step program much like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), but the elusive ‘Higher Power’ in the AA program is replaced by a clear cut acknowledgement of God the Father and the works of saving grace through Jesus Christ as holding the answer to the hope and healing for the person taking the CR twelve step journey.
“I had been a Christian for about 20 years before coming to Celebrate Recovery,” said Tom Segobia, California South Inland Empire Representative and CR Ministry Leader of Canyon Lake, “I had grown up in an abusive alcoholic home and really had a lot of self esteem issues. Since I was saved, I figured that this was just the way life was, and this would be it, as far as being happy in life. I hadn’t really dealt with any of my personal issues, and had a lot of walls built up around my heart. I was serving as a leader in my church, working as a deacon, an usher, and a Sunday School teacher. But sometimes my insecurities would come up, and I would deal with issues in inappropriate ways. I really felt there was no one, nowhere that I could go to and share my secrets. When I finally confessed to my wife about what was going on, Celebrate Recovery had just started but I didn’t really want to tell anyone about my struggles.
At the first meeting I attended, I was listening to a pastor share about his life, and I was floored at the honesty and transparency. I realized that he was working through some of the same struggles I was facing. Up until then, I had thought I was the only one with those kinds of troubles.
Soon, I joined a twelve step group, and began building up my accountability team and getting a sponsor. In the twelve step group, I began to understand why I did what I did, and I was able to forgive people who had hurt me. I was able to forgive people who had been negative role models in my life and I got a new set of tools that let me know who I am (a child of God, forgiven) and I learned that the past doesn’t hold me prisoner unless I let it. It was great to learn that life does get better as you let go of past hurts and mistakes, and when you life one day at a time, one moment at a time, you can really live happily.
Look, we are not here by mistake. God brought us to this moment in our life for a reason. I’ve learned to use all the hurts and pains from my life to mold me and shape me into what God would have me be. Through Celebrate Recovery you learn that God always walks alongside you.
Now my hurts and pains are used to help others heal. I am able to glorify God because of what happened in the past. Celebrate Recovery brings hope and healing, and gives you the support of a “forever” family that helps you and understands you.”
For anyone who thinks their secret sins are too big to share with others, consider checking out your nearest Celebrate Recovery group to get hope and healing from your hurts, habits and hang-ups. The Celebrate Recovery website has a list of the nearest group to you at http://crgroups.info/