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This is what Newcomers hear their first time they attend: “If this is your first time to Celebrate Recovery, welcome to our forever family. It’s not so important why you’re here. What is important is that you’re here. Keep coming back!”

Mac and I have a 10-year-old grandson who is learning how to play the stand up bass. We were at his first concert. The conductor teaches at 3 schools. This concert was the first time for all 3 schools. 115 children were going to perform together. These students had never even seen each other before this concert.

It was amazing hearing students from different backgrounds with different personalities, who had never played together before, come together and make music.

The conductor said the common goal he first teaches them to focus on is to start together, stay together and finish together. That’s how they came to make beautiful music together!

Just like in learning an instrument and playing with others, this can work in our lives too!

Start together.
Are you struggling with a hurt, hang-up or habit? Are you tired of trying to fight your battles alone? If you want to experience victory in your life and witness others doing the same, seize the opportunity to start attending a Celebrate Recovery.

Stay together.
Just because you start attending a Celebrate Recovery, usually things don’t get better immediately. It’s a process. You’re going to have challenges along the way. The enemy will try to distract you and tempt you to give up. Do not listen to his lies. Trust the process and the people God will bring along your recovery journey in Celebrate Recovery.

Finish together.
By working hard and staying the course, we find healing while becoming a part of bringing beauty, God’s glory, to others. We get give out the hope of Jesus Christ that we have found.

I love thinking of how people from all over the planet come together in Celebrate Recovery with different backgrounds, different skin colors, different accents all joining together to make a difference in this world.

Then when Jesus returns, we will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter in the Kingdom of Heaven. Let’s celebrate together!”

That’s what we do in Celebrate Recovery Forever Family: Start together. Stay together. Finish together.

My name is Tyler and I am a believer who struggles with addictive behaviors. I grew up in a Christian family and we were church goers for all things church. Youth groups, Weds night dinners and teachings and of course Church retreats. I have no excuse for falling away as I did and spending 23 years in active addiction. I was and athlete and played all sports and lettered in 2 varsity sports in High School. I liked the attention it gave me. I also was an attention seeker. I still struggle with that. One of the things it led me to was following a crowd of people I thought was cool. They were also rebels and at that time called Hippies! Weed was the main thing they used to get high and I tried it. It led to other things to experiment with and I did. I eventually went to college and found a different and easier to obtain drug in alcohol. It led me to being arrested and nearly kicked out of school.

I did however graduate and then moved to a sales job where money was decent, and drugs were easier to get. I fell in to that crowd again. I was a successful salesman for many years. The drugs finally took over my life and it led me to losing everything I had. As I look back, losing everything is what I truly needed to become the man I am now...broken and pieced back together with the help of Jesus and recovery. Recovery led me to Christ, and worship, and a lifestyle that is so much more fulfilling than hiding from the law and living in the dark with no hope or money to turn on the lights.

Discovering Celebrate Recovery in 2004 gives me a gratitude for a program that has allowed me to find true freedom! I can do anything through Christ that strengthens me! I can and do walk with Him each day in freedom from addiction and many of the hurts and habits that kept me from knowing him and what love really is.”

Thanks for letting me share. Tyler

I had grown up in church and believed in Jesus, but it wasn’t until I put down alcohol and chose Jesus to lead my life at the age of 27 that I began a living relationship with my Lord. However, when I said “I do,” I gave up Jesus as my priority, and co-dependency took over my life.  In 2004, my marriage ended after 26 years. I had been living in codependency afraid of my husband’s anger. My relationship had been entirely based on pleasing someone else.  So when the marriage ended, I felt like a teenager trying to figure out who I was.

I had been sober for almost 30 years with the help of AA, so I sought out Christ-centered help that included this kind of gut level honesty.
A program out of Saddleback Church caught my attention as I had found Rick Warren’s book “Purpose Driven Life” very helpful in my recovery journey.  I ordered the Celebrate Recovery Starter kit with the intention of sharing it with my pastor and starting it in my church.

In 2005, I attended my first Celebrate Recovery Summit at Saddleback Church, and was blessed beyond words. As I attended the workshops, and learned more about CR, I felt as if I had come home!! Everything I heard brought me healing. This Summit was also the first time a new outreach program of Celebrate Recovery was introduced: Celebrate Recovery Inside (jails and prisons).

As a Probation Officer for 22 years, my goal was to help people, and now as I saw how much CR was helping me, I knew it would help the defendants and inmates in prison. I brought the program back to my church and to the prisons and jails in my community where I seek to continue to bring the restorative impact of CR to our inmate participants and their families from incarceration through re- entry into the community where CR is a ministry of the local church. I continue to grow through CR into the child of God He created me to be and I seek to follow what He has called me to do.

Thanks for letting me share, Nancy

I was an only child to parents who divorced when I was 10. I lived with my alcoholic father from then until I was 16 that led to many unsupervised hours hanging with the wrong crowd. I always knew my father loved me, even though he couldn’t say it. The only way he knew how to show his love was through enablement, constantly bailing me out of jail.

I became addicted to heroin at 13 and later on to meth, and spent the next 40 years chained to a life of drugs, motorcycle gangs, crime, prison time and broken relationships.

At 52 I found myself staring down the end of my 44 magnum all alone, broken, and ready to end this life of hopelessness and misery when God stepped in and steered me to a Christian rehab center which ultimately introduced me to Celebrate Recovery. After rehab was completed I returned home, found a local Celebrate Recovery where I found a forever family that loved me just like I was with no condemnation about my past. It was here that I learned the tools I needed to live a successful recovery. On Dec 15, 2018 I took my 13 yr CR sobriety chip. CR has become my passion, not only for my own recovery but also because I’ve witnessed so many of God’s miracles in countless lives.

Last year I was diagnosed with liver cancer and stage 4 end of life liver disease as a result of my 40 yrs of self destruction. On Fathers Day 2018 I was given a new opportunity at life when I received the miracle of a liver transplant. I’ve seen God’s handiwork time and time again this past year, and while being called 5 times before the actual transplant was stressful, God gave me peace and calm to never doubt He was in control.

Today I’m living proof that God loves me and has a plan for my life. I get to serve locally in my CR and as a CR state rep for Georgia! I’m also the East Coast National Director for Broken Chains, the motorcycle arm of Celebrate Recovery. Only God could do that! My prayers are that many more will find healing and new life in Jesus Christ in 2019!

Thanks for letting me share Mike!

It’s Testimony Tuesday, and as this year’s SUMMIT OF HOPE approaches, we asked some of our incredible volunteer state representatives to share their stories of hope... Today’s comes from Brian who found hope in the midst of crushing grief. “The Psalmist wrote, “There is no hope except in God”. But I had to ask myself, on what is my hope based?

On Memorial Day of 2015 my daughter went to the hospital after becoming dehydrated. Later that day, my son called me to tell me that Heather had gone into cardiac arrest but that they were able to restart her heart. I was devastated. What went from being being dehydrated to a life-threatening event was incomprehensible. My son called again to tell me that Heather had coded a 2nd time. Finally the call came that I had been dreading. That morning my wife and I were like zombies as we drove to Maryland to say good bye and bury my daughter. As I walked away from the cemetery, I turned to look back to witness the backhoe tamping the ground down over my daughter’s grave. I’ve played that scene repeatedly in my mind for almost 4 years, beset by “what if’s” and “why”, being angry with God, and filled with guilt that I didn’t stay up that night in prayer. I felt like it was a joke to have hope.

But God showed up as I grieved and continue to grieve the loss of my daughter. He reminded me of the women who went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’s body; that they too must have lost hope. He reminded me that what they had been hoping for was in the natural, what they could see and feel, He reminded me that they weren’t looking to the “invisible spiritual realities”. But God also reminded me that they bore witness to the “resurrection power” of a holy and righteous God who raised Jesus from the grave. The same resurrection power was there when my daughter closed her eyes on this earth and opened them to see Jesus. And, it is that same resurrection power that lets me walk in victory in my daily recovery from my addiction to alcohol and struggle with co-dependency... and in my grief.

The Psalmist wrote,”There is no hope except in God”. This is where I find my Hope.

HopeThank you for letting me share.