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Celebrate Recovery And Your Secrets

Last week, we had some children at CR.  I normally don’t work with the kids, but I wanted to let the lovely woman who took them during Large Group get to enjoy Share Group.  Since this was a spur of the moment idea, I told the girls we were going to have Share Group just like the adults, and I let them know it was a serious thing. We were not doing kid stuff, we were doing grown-up stuff.

I explained to them the “rules”, and most importantly, that everyone would get their turn to talk, but no one could be interrupted.  It is very hard for elementary school aged girls NOT to talk out.  Although there were a few impromptu comments, the girls got the hang of it by the middle of group.

First time around, very few people really participated more than maybe a sentence or two. But one person really shared, and so I opened the group up for another round, saying that sometimes someone else will say something that reminds you of something you want to say about your own life.  And from thereon out, it was on.

These girls really shared about their lives and what was going on.  They shared things they normally wouldn’t tell others, and a lot of it broke my heart.  But they took it as seriously as I told them it was.  I was very, very proud of them.

When it was over, I asked these girls who had never shared in a Small Group how they felt about what had happened over the past hour.  They all agreed that it felt good to tell your secrets, and it felt good to know that others were feeling and thinking the same thing as they were. I was so thankful.

That is what Celebrate Recovery will do for you as well. No matter what your age, it will feel good to finally tell your secrets, and find that you are loved and accepted no matter what.  And when you hear others describe feelings that you experience, you don’t feel so alone, or ashamed, or whatever negative experience accompanies your emotions.

So if you are in a Small Share Group, make the most of it.  Don’t hold back and pass.  Tell your secret – let it out, and let it go.  It has held you captive for way too long.  There is freedom when you bring things out of the darkness and into the light – especially because the enemy doesn’t like it in the light, and wants to continue tormenting you in the darkness.  Remember:

1st John 1:7-9

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

See you at Celebrate Recovery!

Penny Haynes

What Celebrate Recovery Means To Me

When I started Celebrate Recovery in August of 2012, I was hopeful, but skeptical that anything could help me. I was still battling with depression, and couldn’t remember what emotions felt like.  My coping mechanism for the depression was to stuff all emotions until I couldn’t feel anything. Sure, I didn’t have to deal with the lows, but there no no highs either. It was like being a zombie of sorts.

I went to Large Group and heard the lessons. I listened to Tesimonies.  I sat in Share Groups. I went through Step Studies.  It was very slow going.  I thought maybe CR worked for other people, but just not me – kind of like I thought about God’s goodness and good things in life.  I believed in them – I just believed they were for other people.

Then, as I listened to others in Share Group, I starting seeing myself in some of the things they said.  In Step Studies, I would sometimes surprise myself by speaking something that I hadn’t realized about myself and my life before.  Being asked these questions and having someone to speak the answers to brought long forgotten things (and some ugly remembered things) to the surface, which allowed them to be healed.

I remember the lesson on forgiveness, and when I acknowledged that I was still harboring anger toward children who had bullied me horribly in elementary and high school.  It was sheer hatred that I felt – there was no denying it.  It didn’t matter how long I had been a Christian, either – I hoped bad things had happened to them along the way, to equal the pain and suffering they had heaped upon me without reason.

However, God showed me that I was an adult now, and that I was seeing those children as another child.  I needed to look at those children through the eyes of the adult I now was and see them for what they were – children. I really saw how inappropriately I was acting – an adult still afraid of the children who had verbally and physically attacked me, and still resentful of the adults who did nothing to protect me.

So I changed my perspective and in my mind dealt with each unruly child as if I were an adult present for the situation.  I corrected them and then let them go. Then I was able to forgive each one of them by name, and release them from my life, simultaneously releasing the bitterness, fear and hatred that had consumed me because of their actions 35+ years before.

That is just one of the things that God dealt with.  The ladies with whom I have shared Step Studies and Share Group have all agreed that each one of us is very different than the person who started CR in August 2012.  We don’t see things as we used to, and don’t react to things as we used to.  We are nowhere near perfect, but we are so much more emotionally and physically healthy than we were when we started.

So I hope my sharing will encourage you to come to Celebrate Recovery – if not with us on Tuesdays, with another group in your area. Tuesday nights are my favorite nights, because I get to meet up with people who know me and my darkest secrets and who still love me.  There is no better remedy for hurt than the love of good friends, which is what you will gain through CR.

If you want to know more about Celebrate Recovery, please feel free to contact me through our Contact Us form.   May God bless you as you journey to be free from your past and become the whole person God intended you to be through Jesus Christ.

Penny Haynes