In 1993 I was part of a 12-step recovery program called Emotions Anonymous which was started at our church to help members that were dealing with emotional issues. Disturbed with the reference to God as only a “higher power”, we modified the program and made our recovery program biblical-based and Christ-centered. Little did we realize at the time we began our group that another Christ-centered program existed across the continent at Saddleback Church in California. Pastors Rick Warren and John Baker had begun this program in 1990 to meet the needs of members in their church–never realizing how one day it would be alive and well in over 20,000 churches. From the very first moment of its inception, lives have been changed by the power of God. Now twenty-five years later, Celebrate Recovery still is used powerfully by God to bring healing to hurting lives.
For some reason many believe that Celebrate Recovery is a program that only helps people with drug or alcohol addictions. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is a program that offers recovery from the pain that life has inflicted. It is a program that attacks fear head on and defeats its power to control your life. It is a program that changes your perspective from that of victim to that of victor. Celebrate Recovery is for anyone with hurts, habits, or hang-ups. If we are willing to be honest, that includes most of us. Jesus Christ can change our lives when we learn that feelings are not meant to control us. We are meant to control them with the power of God. Celebrate Recovery is an opportunity to honestly face the failure of the past, deal with the pain of the present, and realize the hope and promise of healing for the future.
Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith in her book, “Set Free to Live Free”, lists some indicators that can reveal the presence of emotional issues.
- I tend to focus on the negative more than the positive.
- I feel sad more than 50% of the time.
- I sometimes feel guilty and worthless.
- I sometimes find myself going through the motions and not enjoying life.
- If I have a bad day, I feel tired and fatigued.
- I find it hard to cope with things that use to be manageable.
- I often wake at night with bad dreams.
- Since my loss (divorce, job, death, etc.), I no longer feel confident in that area of my life.
- I worry about what the future holds for me.
- I am restless and easily irritated by others.
- I have trouble falling asleep because I can't get my mind to slow down.
- I have lost interest in activities that I once enjoyed.
Do any of these sound familiar? The power to overcome emotions that control your life comes through the Holy Spirit and “the constant flow of His grace, mercy, love, peace, and joy”. Celebrate Recovery offers this constant flow of healing for your heart and mind.
Chandra Huguley, founder of Harmonizing Christian Way, has joined Edgewood Church and brought Celebrate Recovery into our fold. Edgewood Church is now an official sponsor of this program. Each Thursday night the program meets from from 5:00 to 7:30 PM. If you are dealing with a hurt or pain or a habit that is wrecking havoc, Jesus Christ has the the power to change your life. Come and discover that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is healing. Come and discover that His love perfected in you casts out all fear. You can find freedom from any issue that binds your heart and life. Hope is offered each Thursday. Lives are changed by the power of God. Your life can be changed too.