What Does It Mean to Celebrate Recovery?
Have you been asking what happens at Celebrate Recovery? I think the best way to answer this question is to listen to a person who personally knows the answer. Christina Stolass wrote about her experience at CR at www.churchleaders.com. This is her story.
A spiritually mature friend recommended Celebrate Recovery to Christina. Christina's reaction was to ignore the suggestion because she told herself she was not an addict and did not need recovery. She went on with her life continuing the insanity cycle—doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. On the outside, people saw the polished Christina, a supermom, entrepreneur, godly wife, and leader. However, they did not see what she was hiding. They didn't see was that her marriage was falling apart, and the shame of past decisions that was crippling her spiritually and emotionally.
Christina considered church as a place to parade her spiritual resume, not a place to disclose her weaknesses. Still, her life was not working. So, even with all her doubts, Christina went to her first CR meeting. The meetings were not in her home church. She was glad about being a different church; she could attend the meetings in secret. Christina was stunned when she heard the leader boom out, "This is a safe place. You can take your masks off here. We're all messed up, every single one of us."
As a child, Christina attended all the activities at church. For Christina, her experiences taught her, the church was not a safe place. A Church was not a place to acknowledge much less talk about her struggles. Therefore, she found it strange to hear the leaders being transparent and unguarded, admitting they struggled with anger, pride, or lust—especially a pastor.
Christina continued to attend every weekly meeting. She stopped short of really sharing herself. When it was her turn, she only superficially shared about her week. Fear kept her from sharing. Fear that if people really knew her struggles, they would hate her. Her pride kept her locked in her prison of shame.
The recovery process of CR changed Christina. She began to address her issues, but she still could not let her friends know she attended CR meetings. That changed when her struggling marriage fell apart, and she separated from her husband. Trying to handle their problems on their own and in secret had failed.
However, her husband started attending CR. Christina described the restoration of their marriage as a process that didn't always move perfectly forward. Through tears, moments of doubt that their marriage could be saved, and questions about whether it was worth the struggle, they continued to attend the CR meetings. Christina states, "the principles of truth, confession, and forgiveness we learned at CR freed us."
Christina says Celebrate Recovery isn't just for addicts it's:
- for people who've been hurt
- for people who've hurt others
- for people who are crippled by depression, anxiety, sexual addictions, shame, eating disorders or other habits that are hard to kick
- for those who feel judged by the church
- for those who don't think they have problems
- for people who wear masks
- for those who crave authentic fellowship
- for those who feel isolated
- for people who realize they can't save themselves
- It's for people like me, and people like you!
Celebrate Recovery is where people are set free, and where, through Jesus, messages of hope are found, and people find restoration from their messes. There are locations across the US and most likely several in your area. You can find the sites at https://www.celebraterecovery.com/crgroups.