Addiction, cigarettes, identity, alcohol, marijuana, rebellion

“I grew up in a pretty ideal home where we were in the church every time the doors opened. I am able to peg the exact moment that life changed for me. An unfortunate situation came about with the pastor of our church and we quit attending. I went from being a good student, focused on academics and Christ to a lost and vulnerable young adult on the search for his new identity. This search lead me to cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana and, ultimately, rebellion.

I clung to these vices as I faced my parent’s divorce, my cousin’s suicide, and failed relationships, one of which gave me my first child. Addiction had its hold on me and I couldn’t shake it loose. I eventually met my wife and we have three children together.

Though I was holding down a job that took care of my family, allowing my wife to stay at home and take care of our children, looking back I realize that I was a functioning alcoholic, functioning just enough to tell myself I didn’t have a problem. I wasn’t the husband, or father that God wanted me to be.

As my family began to fall apart, my Christian roots called me home, back to church. God was moving, helping keep my family together, and then our church started a CR. My wife and kids began attending, and as I noticed the positive changes in them, it prompted me to think this may work for me too. The control I thought I had on this addiction showed its ugly face when, after gaining 2 months of sobriety, I woke up in a jail cell, unaware of how or why I was there. In that moment I knew I had to surrender, that God had to be the one to deliver me from my addiction. I got home and became as involved as possible at CR, starting a step study and serving. Through the power of God along with CR I have been able to overcome my addictions, my relationships are restored and I am a new creation. Satan had me thinking he had stolen everything from me, but God has redeemed it all!”

Jesse

“Our story is one of love at first sight. A single mother marries a military man and moves from state to state, finally settling in NC. David: The marriage was great for the first few years, but things began to change. I began neglecting my wife and was very moody and angry at times for no apparent reason, to her. She was already dealing with being far away from her family, and my family was less than welcoming. The real issue however, was that I had become helplessly addicted to pornography. I lied and hid this from her for several years. My addiction was tearing our marriage apart. We were on the verge of divorce and didn’t know how to fix it. When Celebrate Recovery began at our Church, we both jumped in head first hoping we could find a solution to our trouble. CR led me, through the power of Christ, to confess my addiction.

Pam: I was very hurt by this, but God was working on me too, and I confessed of overspending to cope with my unhappiness which had created financial strain in out marriage. Through serving in our CR, and attending several step studies, God has given us many victories in our marriage. We still struggle at times, but continue to work our steps, and serve In CR all we can.

We can truly say, Celebrate Recovery and the love of Christ, saved our marriage.”
Thanks Pam & David!

I was born in 1969, in Pittsburgh, Pa. My childhood was as perfect as any child could ask for. From the outside looking in we were the perfect, suburban family. Although everything looked good from the outside, I began to have feelings of insecurity, that I wasn’t good enough, and I didn't know how to cope. Around my sophomore year in high school my sister left for college, and I bounced around from friends houses to my Aunt and Uncles house with no direction. My father passed away from Pancreatic cancer in the summer before my freshman year of college, which left me feeling more lost than ever.

I ended up moving to West Palm Beach, Florida to go to college, but soon found myself spiraling out of control trapped in an addiction that almost took my life. Eventually, I was arrested on felony drug possession charges. I can still remember the look on the police officers face when I thanked him for arresting me. I was so tired, and just wanted the run to come to an end. I was 42 years old, broke, homeless, with a wife, who quite honestly I felt was done with me, and two small kids that I couldn't bear to see the disappointment in their faces.

When I got out I began to attend church, and one morning, when the Pastor asked if anyone wanted to surrender their life and ask Jesus to be their Lord and Savior I stood straight up and ran to the cross. A couple years after turning my life over to God, I attended the Celebrate Recovery East Coast Summit and came back knowing I was supposed to launch a CR in our church. Today, as a CR leader, I am forever in awe when I get to witness God use me with the very thing that kept me away from Him. That is exactly why I tell anyone who will listen, that anything is possible with God!” Lee

“I’m a great believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and pride with a huge victory over suicidal tendencies. I had a pretty rough childhood which drove me to wanting to join the military. So at 18 years old I decided to join the Army as an Infantryman. I completed basic training, and 3 and a half months later I was being shipped overseas to Iraq. My unit was QRF( quick reaction force) which meant we assisted in any situation outside the wire. I had to do some things that no one should have to do.

About 8 months into my deployment my convoy was struck by an IED. I had shrapnel throughout the body and a bad heart. So here I am at 19 years old with a purple heart and a bad heart. Within the year I was honorably discharged, but my life began spiraling downhill with the help of alcohol. It didn’t take long before I became so depressed that I wanted to take my life. I attempted suicide, but through miraculous circumstances, I survived. Thank God! A week later I ended up in church where a man named Troy came up to me and started talking about Celebrate Recovery. That Friday I went to CR and attended the Welcome Home group for the first time. That is where I found my family and brotherhood again. The comradeship and closeness that I had in the military returned that night and has never left.

My favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 because God does have a plan for me!

Thank you for letting me share!”

Rob

 

“After spending many years in a vicious cycle of drug addiction, domestic violence and self harm, in which I thought I could never be free from, I was introduced to Celebrate Recovery and my life was changed forever!! I turned my life over to the Lord and began the most amazing process of healing and forgiveness, to myself and others. Through Celebrate Recovery and Jesus Christ I have been set free! I am being lead into a life of ministry to share my journey with others and encourage people that there is a way out of those vicious cycles!!! The Chains of my past have been broken and yours can be too!! I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who celebrates recovery over drug addiction, domestic violence and I struggle with codependency and anxiety, My name is Christina.

Thanks for letting me share how the amazing power of Jesus Christ and Celebrate Recovery saved a wretch like me!!