And here we are, 3 years later, still working, still progressing, together as a group in each of our individual recoveries. We have seen firsthand our friends, our spiritual family members, living in freedom from meth, alcohol, heroin, food addiction, debilitating depression, unhealthy co-dependent behavior, anger, rage, the devastating and lasting effects of illnesses like cancer and the ongoing pain of surviving abuse, tragedy, trauma.
IN...JESUS...CHRIST we find hope, strength, peace, joy, courage, serenity and wisdom to face each day, each morning, each moment, day-by-day, morning-by-morning, moment-by-moment. In recovery, we face each day problems which have not all magically been resolved, hurts which have not all of a sudden suddenly disappeared, or the grief so deep within us. But in Christ, we wake every morning to God's steadfast, stubborn, always-pursuing-us love, His ever and for always never-ending fresh and renewed mercy, in which we find that serenity and courage to persevere through the worst, and when all is said and done, to still stand at the end of the day.
Sometimes we fall. It happens. But God's Word tells us when a righteous person (made righteous by God's love received in us by faith)...when a righteous person falls, they get up again. 7 times. Only 7 times? No. Always. If Jesus told Peter to forgive his neighbor's sins 70 x 7...how much more does our Father in heaven, who is perfect, forgive us our sins? Yeah...if you can imagine it...THAT much!
We walk by faith. Some of us at CR Cherokee Village have been in this program from the beginning - all 3 years! We walk by faith. We walk in fellowship with others who walk by faith. We find comfort and support from others just like us, regardless of our different addictions, compulsive behaviors, hurts, habits, hang-ups...we are comforted by those who have been comforted as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
In Christ alone, we work, we move forward, we grow, we get better! as we continue in the program. I've said before, will say again even when everyone is tired of hearing me say it: Celebrate Recovery works. I give personal witness to that. But it is not magic. It is not some secret, hidden, until only recently magical formula for recovery. It's not. It is a tool. It is a Biblical tool. It is a theologically sound, Christ-centered tool. It works because Jesus is the heart of our rescue, our redemption, our hope and sure foundation. The program works when we embrace by faith JESUS for who He is, even if we're just starting to get to know Him, He accepts us where we're at but loves us to much to just leave us where we're at.
I am excited about Celebrate Recovery, I again testify that IT WORKS, I have personally seen lives changed through this program but in the end it's all in and through Jesus, who has revealed to us the love of the Father and opens our hearts to receive all the power we need in the Holy Spirit to live one victory at a time (it doesn't all happen overnight), each day, no matter what happened yesterday, waking each morning another chance by God's grace, by God's love for us, by God's unwillingness to give up on us, even when we've given up on Him.
3 years! I pray we go on for another 3 years, another 10 years, another ??? until Jesus Christ Himself returns or we as individuals meet Him above when our time here comes to an end.
In Recovery in Christ,
Celebrate Recovery Cherokee Village Ministry Leader
Cherokee Village UMC Recovery Minister