Guest Post – Celebrate Recovery!

Celebrate Recovery!

by Andrew

It was between 9 and 10 years ago that my son was in a recovery program through a hospital here in Illinois. I prayed for his success and for him to come out of it clean and sober. Along the way there were things that the counselor suggested that we as his parents attend and one of those was a meeting with other addicts that had gone through or were going through the program.

I have been in recovery since my late 30s and I have been a part of church programs through Harvest, Willow Creek, online programs, telephone programs with Jerry Leach, and even biblical counseling. It seemed I was always going to meetings at some program or another so I fully understood why the counselor wanted us all to attend this program. My wife couldn’t make it but I got off work and went downtown to meet with these addicts and be with my son as he went through this journey.

When I arrived, there was the typical large room with a small circle of chairs and when the meeting started, a man or a woman would get up and announce their name and how they were an addict and then tell their story to us parents, friends and spouses of the addicts in recovery. It is always amazing to me how God has worked in my life and though I had attended meeting after meeting in my own search for recovery, I guess I just never heard any of what was spoken. It was like that feeling of being on top of the mountain with a choir of angels singing the Hallelujah Chorus as I really heard what these common garden variety addicts were saying. It all hit me like a ton of bricks as inside my head I was yelling “I do that and that and oh yeah that is a part of my cycle as well.”  All I had to do was to replace their drug of choice with mine and voilà I had finally found what was missing – honesty and accountability with people having the same habits I had struggled with. SEX & LUST

So after that I had to figure out where I could go to get into a meeting and I found a program called Sexaholics Anonymous. I went to that program for over 2 years and did some of the work, I got sober, a sponsor and the peace that I wasn’t alone, wasn’t a bad person and that I had to rely more on God for my recovery.

I went back out there as we say for about 3 more years. It was what I call my dark period. I went back to the meetings at SA, confessed things and at about that same time a friend of mine from Church was telling me about this program that he was trying to start called Celebrate Recovery. I was fairly jaded at this point so I wasn’t really interested in another program and especially one that didn’t have my signature sin of lust as a recovery point. After all, isn’t that important to have each group of recovering addicts with their own group? At least that is what I thought!

You see in hindsight, one of the challenges that I faced was that I was safe at SA and not in a good way for me. I didn’t really know these guys, we weren’t close friends, we didn’t see each other except on the 1 or 2 days a week that I went to a meeting so I could cheat. Now I did try to stay sober and I did try and do the work but not with the right attitude or spirit. Because even after all I had been through and all the pain I had put my family through, I still wasn’t ready. Ready for what? The actual work of recovery!

I knew the 12 steps and I had all the books but there was still something that was missing and that was Jesus Christ. I was saved at 8 yrs. old and believed with all my heart that He was my savior but I don’t think I trusted Him to do what He said He would do. It was that same dis-trust that laid dormant in my heart against all men and Jesus was a man to me so I had to overcome that feeling of dis-trust and begin in small ways to begin to trust God with everything in my life. I had to check out this thing called Celebrate Recovery and I went to a meeting.

I have been a member of CR for about 4 yrs. now and I am also part of what we call a step-study where I meet with guys every other Monday to go deep into our lives and our hurts, habits and hang-ups and where we can share with each other what is going on in our lives, what struggles we have had and what victories God has blessed us with. On Thursday nights we have an open share meeting where we get together as a large group of males and females to fellowship, worship, pray and break into our individual smaller groups of men and women to share. The great thing about CR is that it is Christ centered and it is through our relationship with Him that we are healed. I do not have a problem with any 12 step group but I think that for a Christian trying to survive in this world with a biblical worldview, CR is the place for any recovery. The following is from the website – Celebrate Recovery.

Celebrate Recovery is a biblical and balanced program that helps us overcome our hurts, hang-ups, and habits.  It is based on the actual words of Jesus rather than psychological theory.  20 years ago, Saddleback Church launched Celebrate Recovery with 43 people. It was designed as a program to help those struggling with hurts, habits and hang-ups by showing them the loving power of Jesus Christ through a recovery process. Celebrate Recovery has helped more than 17,000 people at Saddleback, attracting over 70% of its members from outside the church. Eighty-five percent of the people who go through the program stay with the church and nearly half serve as church volunteers.

Celebrate Recovery is now in over 20,000 churches worldwide!

I will be in recovery for the rest of my days here on earth and I praise God for that because I am a recovering sinner! How about you?

Andrew

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2 comments on “Guest Post – Celebrate Recovery!

  1. robmilliken says:

    Hello guy’s I’m Rob Milliken and am already a member of this group. I wanted to share a huge victory in my life though to be honest it is only indirectly associated with my cd’ing. Please bear in mind that I had been cd’ing since age 5 and by 2010 had degenerated into a fairly popular slut within the online and offline cd dating scenes.

    Not to mention becoming a leading Capitol Hill LGBT rights supporter and activist. I was among the upper echelon of lobbiers that brought down “don’t ask, don’t tell”. Biblically speaking I was a modern day “Paul” indirectly persecuting God’s church.. A cheif among sinners, as Paul said of himself…..One year ago in late February our Father rescued me from the depths of substance abuse, and sexual deparvity calling on me to cease my cd’ing along with everything else.

    Like the good shepard Jesus is, He put me, His defiantly lost black sheep on his shoulders around the back of His neck and lovingly carried me from the canyon floor I was trapped in and brought me up to the rim of His eternal grace, mercy, and forgiveness!! However the past year of cd recovery has been no where near as easy to give up as God had made giving up a sinful lifestyle and mind altering substances.

    While my personal struggle with cd continued so did my trials with my wife Dolores who is a level 4 cervical cancer survivor since january 2006. But her treatment of weekly chemotherapy and daily radiation for months on end. Has left her with no desire for me or even less desire for me to touch her. In fact her refusal for intimacy is the main reason in a rage of hateful defiance I became a cd whore, that developed a serious grudge towards all women!

    But Jesus is Lord of all! And can take an impossibly negative situation and person, then turn them around for His glory and edification!! Case in point, months ago I accidently friended a woman on facebook that I thought was a member of my oldest stepsons wife’s family. Turned out she was a complete stranger, yet she had the most beautiful eyes that seemed to beckon me…

    Casually I sort of followed her around on FB commenting on every new post and complimenting her on every new pic that she shared. She even made kareoke video’s for me, she’s a great singer!. Eventually casual comments turned to lenghthy chats, which evolved into something way more dangerous, love! I had spent much time in the shark infested shallow waters of online cd dating but didn’t know falling in love internet style was possible? We learn somthing new each day I suppose?

    When you’re lonely enough however anything can happen, yet it felt so good, so natural to have manly feelings for a woman once again! Something that for me had not occured since ’06, yet I knew my sin of lust was wrong according to God’s word. I simply wanted to feel like a human again, a man again. To revisit the inner man, that I had buried years before in a swill of unatural liassons with my own gender…

    I refrained from FB and the “other woman” for 2 days just to fall back and regroup with God. But by Thursday 03/06 the other woman was so desperate to chat with me that she was posting SOS messages on my “wall” as it’s known on FB. Which shows up on any of your friends and families “walls”. My entire family is on FB, as is Dolores my wife! Guess I don’t have to tell you what happened next? Our night fight went well into the cold foggy light of Friday morn…

    So how did our Master turn this hurtful negatively charged disaster into a positive testimony to His ever lasting glory and honor!? Well my frustration, hurt, and hate from nearly 9 years worth of celibate living exploded into a demand that before Friday’s dawn Dolores had to choose between Christian marital counseling, or a Christian divorce lawyer! At that moment I couldn’t have cared less which she choose!

    Surprisingly she choose Chistian marriage counseling and wanted to talk privatley with Brother Rick asap, who is a counselor of some years at my church. To make a long story short Dolores invited Jesus into her heart and life as her personal Savior during her visit with Brother Rick!!! Amen! Praise The Lord!! Her name forever recorded in the lamb’s book of life!! So dear brothers if you too are a “King’s Kid” yet still a constant spike in The Son of God’s wrist as I am? Remember He loves you enough to mercifully continue to forgive a black sheep. And He will rearrange the heavens if necessary to change a sinful defeat into victory that magnifies, and glorifies His Holiness!!
    May God Richly Bless You All, Rob

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  2. Dramaking55 says:

    Rob, words cannot express how happy I am for the both of you. PRAISE THE LORD! I am sure that the angels were singing when Dolores made that choice to allow the Lord to come into her heart and to be her savior. Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus! Now you are equally yoked and what a joy that is for the 3 of you.

    Blessings my friend
    Andrew

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