The Road to Recovery is Paved With Broken Lenten Fasts

Easter_lent_02_wk1_repentance_2015_0222_500x500-01.jpgWednesday marked the beginning of the Lenten season. Growing up here in New Orleans, a largely Catholic city, I’m used to the after Mardi Gras small-talk of  “What are you giving up for Lent?” The purpose of Lent is to prepare the believer’s heart for Easter Sunday. Traditionally, those who practice lent  practice prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial from Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday to help themselves remember the death of Jesus on Good Friday, and celebrate his resurrection on Easter Sunday. In more modern times, Lent has been modified to mostly participants choosing a vice to give up for a the forty days period. Believers often give up things like candy, excessive shopping, or cold drinks.

The religious tradition I am a part of does not usually observe Lent. However, as a young girl, ALL of my schoolmates were Catholic. And since my inner codependent has always had such a high need for approval… I observed it as well (at least during school hours). Over the years I have given things up cold drinks,  sugar, television, caffeine, fast food, carbohydrates, hot water (i.e. cold showers for 40 days),  Facebook and sweets.

Looking back now I realize now that I turned Lent, a time which is intended to draw us near to God, into being all about me. I chose to give up things for my own benefit, rather than out of my love for God. For example, my freshman year of college I gave up fast food. I would love to say that forty days brought me closer to God- but preparing my heart for Easter and remembering the sacrificial love of Jesus was never really my motivation. I was a poor college girl who wanted to save money and shed  some weight. My senior year of H.S. I gave up television. Again, not out of love for God, but to more time to do homework and fill out college applications. To make matters even worse, I participated in the charade that my self-sacrifice was all about how godly I was. As much as it pains me to admit it, I has a secret sense of pride in giving up something that I perceived to be more difficult than what my friends had chosen.

As a person in recovery, my approach to Lent is quite different now. I’m so grateful for the recovery principles and 12 steps. It can be very difficult for me to believe that I matter to God or that He will help me recover.Because my faith that God really loves me and will help me, I am resistant to turn my life and will over to His care and control. If I don’t believe that God really cares for me or will help me, then it makes total sense that I would be resistant to that. What ultimately ends up happening is that in trying to control things that I need to submit to the Lord.

This year, I am committed to making Lent about God, not about me. My prayer lately has  been from Ezekiel 36:26 Give me a new heart and put a new spirit in me; take away my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh. When I think about what Christ would really call me to give up, I have a funny feeling it wouldn’t be chocolate or television or fast food. It probably something more like pride. Or my eating disorder. Or my desperate need for approval from others. Or the fears that feed my anxiety. Or that gnawing feeling of unworthiness. Or everything. God doesn’t so much want my time or my money or my works – He wants me, all of me. And He wants you too.

No matter what step you are currently working, Lent can be a great season to give your recovery a booster shot. If you are looking for a way to give yourself a boost, Lent may be just the thing you’ve been searching for. Blessings to you on your season of Lent. May you find yourself overwhelmed by God’s great love for you, and the sacrifice of His son. I hope you find these ideas on how to incorporate the practice of Lent into your recovery this year:

  1. Don’t jeopardize your recovery with Lent. Try to avoid choosing a Lent observance that is directly related to the hurt, habit, or hang-up you are in recovery for. If you have a slip up during Lent this can be a set up for relapse and it is not worth the risk. I have an eating disorder, so I’m pretty sensitive to this issue. My treatment team and sponsor feel its best for me not have Lent observances that deal with food or exercise because they can be triggering for my old behaviors. The common practice of fasting, along with themes of morality and purity, can be triggering, both for individuals in recovery and who are actively struggling. These practices can nurture an unhealthy relationship with food, drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, etc. rather than strengthening one’s spiritual relationship, and even act as an excuse to participate in acting out behaviors. Do what you can to avoid triggers to the best of your ability and then choose your own observance that honors where you are in your recovery.
  2. Resist the urge to compare yourself to others during Lent. My junior year of college I gave up shopping. I was having coffee with a study group and the subject came up. I explained the logistics to them. I literally didn’t purchase anything for 40 days  (only used my meal plan and I organized my life to live on one tank of gas by biking or walking). I thought I was really something, until this really annoying Worship Ministry major (who had dread locks and never wore any shoes on campus… ) announced that he was only going to eat bread and water during Lent. Everyone was so impressed with him and my bubble was burst.  Comparison is the thief of joy my friends. Don’t buy into the hype.There was a season when I didn’t participate in Lent. Then, once I did begin to participate, I tried to be mindful about how and when I talked about the Lenten season. I just couldn’t help myself from comparing myself to others, so I did my best not ask others what they were giving up and to stay quiet when those conversations came up in my presence. I had to really practice humility and stay away from others who might be giving up things that are triggering to me.
  3.  Consider how you can fit your 12 step work into your Lent observance. Many people choose to add something to their routine instead of fasting from something. Perhaps you could use this time to get back into daily step work, reach out to a fellow in recovery or new comers each day, or add an hour or two of service work for your recovery meeting each week.
  4. Use your Lent to practice mindfulness and interrupt negative self-talk. Giving up fried food would be great for your heart. Giving up negative self-talk would be even better. How healthy would your heart be if you practiced stopping yourself every time you spoke to yourself in a mean or demeaning way. I can be really, really mean to myself. I say things to myself that I would never say to another human being. Sometimes, if I am am able to  catch myself in the middle of a really hateful inner dialogue I take some deep breaths, put my hand on my heart and just talk back to the mean, hateful Shannon that was having a hissy fit.I tell her “I know you’re there. I know you feel like ________. It’s okay. I know you’re there.” I know it sounds a little wacky, (because it totally is…) but I would rather be a little nutty with my hand on my heart, being mindful of my feelings and trying to give myself a pep-talk than continuing to have all my really mean, negative thoughts.  Maybe my method seems a little weird to you. Try getting a rubber band and snapping it to interrupt those thoughts. Get an accountability partner or sponsor to help you be more positive. Journal about the thoughts to see if you can reduce them. Do some deep breathing. Make a funny face. Choose some habit that you can rely on to reset the negative thoughts.
  5. Keep it simple and take it one day at a time during Lent. Keeping it simple is imperative during your recovery and during Lent. If you have an overly ambitious observance plan it may be overwhelming to you. Your Lent practice can be as simple as spending a few minutes in prayer each day. Don’t feel like your observance has to be a big production. We live our recovery one day at a time and we live Lent one day at a time. If you slip up on your observance one day, just pick it back up the next day. Don’t sweat it, you are still fulfilling the purpose of the practice by making the effort the next day. All is not lost. Remember, in the kingdom of God everyone struggles and everyone is welcome… even those who slip up on their Lent observance.

 

Peace, Love, and Recovery,

Shannon, Encourager Coach

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.                                                                                                                        1 John 3:16

Recovery and the Holidays

As much as I wish it did, our recovery doesn’t get a day off. We never get to take a holiday  from the work we’re doing to get free from our hurts, habits and hang-ups.  For many of us, the holidays can actually mean that we have to ramp up our recovery game. The holidays generally mean time with relatives, year-end career stress, parties and social commitments, financial stress and gift buying, and through it all maintain our sanity can be tough. Just like a mountain climber packs his gear before a hike, we have to prepare for the mountain  that the holidays can sometimes be. Here are 12 tips to get you through the New Year.

12days-wide

  1. GET PLENTY OF REST. Let’s face it… When you’re tired, you’re more apt to make snap judgements that may turn out to be wrong, say something you wish you hadn’t or find yourself entertaining thoughts of giving into the temptation to use a habit you’ve worked hard to break. While being well rested can’t guarantee that these situations won’t occur, simply being rested makes it easier to be patient and fight of cravings when needed.
  2. BE SELECTIVE. During the holiday season you can expect to receive numerous invitations to parties and get-togethers. Be choosy about which invitations you accept. There is no sense in putting your recovery in jeopardy by going places where you will be triggered to engage in unhealthy behaviors. If being in certain situations or around certain people is too triggering to you at this point in your recovery, it is totally okay to say no. Alternatively, you can plan your own celebrations. When you host, you call the shots. This might make it easier to set boundaries you are comfortable with. I know of several people who began hosting holiday gatherings after getting into recovery either to avoid excessive alcohol use (they simply didn’t serve any), family drama (they invited everyone instead of leaving folks out), or including recovery friends in addition to their family to make things safer.
  1. HAVE AN EXIT STRATEGY. If you do decide to go to a holiday gathering make sure you have an exit strategy, especially if there are people there who are sometimes hard for you to be around. Have a prepared response for when you will exit and why you need to leave. Don’t allow anyone to convince you to stay longer. Your time is your own and you don’t owe it to anyone else to stay. Make sure you have a way to leave if you need to, so make sure to arrange your own transportation. If there are safe supportive people there with you consider letting them know that you may need to leave and asking them to support you if you do. It may mean creating other plans afterward that give you an honorable way to exit. How you execute the strategy isn’t all that important, but it important that you have one before you go into the situation.
  2. BOYCOTT UNHEALTHY CONVERSATION. There may be folks at your holiday gatherings who are sharing stories glorifying bad behavior of how much they drank or partied at other occasions. Maybe there are people using vulgar or lewd language about the opposite sex. Maybe there are people who like to gossip. Maybe there will be a food pusher lurking. I don’t know what hurts, habits, and hang-ups will be lurking at your next holiday party, but when you encounter a conversation that is toxic to your recovery, excuse yourself. Go for a walk. Offer to help in the kitchen. Throw the football with the kids. If nothing else, excuse yourself to the restroom.
  3. ASK FOR SUPPORT. If you feel like you’re in trouble and may slip, reach out for support. Don’t delay. Don’t tough it out. Call your sponsor. Talk to your accountability partner. Make plans with friends in recovery. Schedule an extra session with your counselor or pastor. Try to bookend your events (check in with recovery people before and after an event). Identify people who can call before the holiday so you don’t talk yourself out of calling them because you’re worries about bothering them. We get better together.
  4. MAKE TIME FOR YOUR RECOVERY MEETING. Don’t let the stress of the holidays get in the way of your meeting. Now isn’t the time to cut corners on meetings. If holidays are particularly rough for you, you may need to add a meeting. If you are traveling, consider finding a meeting where you are going. On most holidays there are all-day phone meetings in other 12-step fellowships if you are in need of support. If a meeting is out of the question, utilize other recovery materials to try to center yourself each day during this busy season.
  5. MAKE A FORGIVENESS AND AMENDS LIST (AND CHECK IT TWICE). We spend a lot of time making lists of what gifts we are going to buy for who during the holiday season. We also need to make sure we have gone over our forgiveness and amends lists and checked over it with a sponsor. Chances are, you may be spending time with people who came up on your inventory. The opportunity may present itself to take care of an amends or forgiveness and you want to be ready to respond if needed.
  6. VOLUNTEER. Holidays are a great time of year to focus on being of service to God and others. Look for ways to serve in your church and in your neighborhood. Think about newcomers to recovery. How can you reach those who haven’t yet heard the good news about recovery and the new life we have through Jesus?
  7. STAY COOL. There’s something about the tight schedule of the holidays that seem to make us short-tempered. As best you can, be quick and generous with both your appreciation and apologies, whether dealing with family or strangers. When you feel yourself getting short with people, take a break. Try to keep your emotions in check so that you don’t say anything now that you later regret and have to make amends for later.
  8. ENRICH YOUR SPIRIT. Often we spend our time on material considerations getting ready for holidays. We worry about decorations, shopping, getting ready for the day and then cleaning up afterward. Try to focus on the spiritual aspect of the holiday and make room for things that enrich your spirit. If doing yoga is how you connect to God, make time for a yoga class or two, no matter what other holiday stuff you have on your plate. You deserve to feel that balance so make time for it without guilt.
  9. TURN YOURSELF IN. Sometimes we  get this notion that we’ll get ourselves together in the New Year. You do NOT need to wait until January 1st to surrender a hurt, habit or hang-up to God. Turn yourself in TODAY. Don’t wait another second to start your path to freedom. We’ll be here every Tuesday. There’s no need to wait.
  10. CELEBRATE YOUR RECOVERY. Recovery is hard work. Enjoy the new freedom you have. Be proud of how far God has brought you. Your struggle today isn’t the same as it was yesterday, 30 days ago, 90 days ago, a year ago… You might still be struggling but we are farther along. That’s a reason to celebrate!

Peace, Love, and Recovery,

Shannon, Encourager Coach

10 Truths About Forgiveness

Step 8 (from the Celebrate Recovery steps for abuse): We made a list of all persons who have harmed us and became willing to seek God’s help in forgiving our perpetrators, as well as forgiving ourselves. We realized we also harmed others and became willing to make amends to them.

Has someone ever done you wrong? If you’ve been alive for at least 30 seconds, the answer to that question is probably yes. Sometimes forgiveness comes easy. Sometimes we want to restore relationships even though mistakes were made and feelings were hurt.  But what about those times when forgiveness is hard?  What about those times we don’t want to put those broken relationships back together?

As much as I hate to admit it, I have withheld forgiveness from people who have hurt me. Even when they apologized I would come up with some lame response to avoid saying the words I know they wanted to hear.  I wanted them to live with the guilt a little longer. I wanted them to prove they were sorry with their actions instead of their words. I wanted them to be in my debt. I wanted to hold it over their heads for another hour/day/week/month/year/decade. I avoided saying “I forgive you” because I wanted them to suffer.

I swear I’m not nearly as hateful as that last paragraph makes me sound, but sometimes forgiveness is tough! So here are some truths about forgiveness I’ve come to know on my journey. I’m no expert, so take them with a grain of salt. Perhaps they can save you a little heartache on your path to healing.

1. The pain won’t end until you do the work forgiveness requires. I used to think that the pain of a hurt would go away when the person who hurt me was no longer in my life. Unfortunately distance just isn’t enough to dull the pain. Apologies aren’t magic fixes either. Even when the person dies, you will still live in resentment if you don’t do the work to forgive.  And forgiveness is SO MUCH work. But it is also incredibly rewarding.

2.  Forgiveness is a daily decision. When I first started recovery it seemed like forgiveness would be this one-time event. I quickly discovered that I can pick resentment right back up in the blink of an eye. New memories will arise. Challenges will present themselves and you will feel angry that you are being challenged. I have to decide to live in the mercy of forgiveness every single day.

3.    Forgiveness is not forgetting. We are taught from an early age to “forgive and forget.” Seriously, that might be the worst advice ever.  Forgetting the past is unrealistic and just not valuable. You can’t (and shouldn’t) forget the past. If you were abused as a child, I want you to experience forgiveness because I know how much freedom you can find in that (when you’re ready for it). I also want you to remember that abuse so you learn to trust your instincts about people. Remembering our pain and learning warning signs help protect us from future hurts. The ultimate goal should be to learn from the past and try to use it to help yourself and others both in the current moment and when future challenges arise.

4.  Forgiveness isn’t endorsement. Offering forgiveness to someone isn’t the same as telling them what they did was okay. For many of us, our resentments are totally justified.  Forgiveness, is releasing the judgment you have about that situation. If a friend has wronged you, forgiveness means you don’t get to decide what punishment they deserve. It doesn’t mean that you suddenly don’t think they’re wrong anymore. Forgiveness doesn’t suddenly make what they did okay.

5. Just because you forgive doesn’t mean you have to reconcile. When someone apologizes to you, while they want you to tell them that you forgive them, what they usually want is for you to reconcile and for things to go back to the way they were before the hurt. Sometimes it is possible to work towards this. Other times, you can let go of resentment and determine that you don’t want a person in your life. People can’t treat you poorly and use forgiveness as a license to continue. You should release the resentment, because it is toxic to you. Sometimes, you also have to release a relationship for your health and well-being. It’s okay if forgiveness doesn’t end up in reconciliation.

6.  You can forgive and still have a lot of feelings. Sometimes I still feel sad about things that have happened in my life. But some things that have happened in my life have been really sad. The fact that I’ve forgiven the people involved doesn’t take that sadness away. I always thought it would. It would be really cool if I suddenly looked at dark times in my life with a rosy glow, but dark times are still dark. Forgiveness just means that I get to be sad about it without having to fix it on top of everything else. I don’t have to worry about getting revenge, righting the wrong, handling the other person, or anything of the sort. Forgiveness frees me from having any responsibility to try to judge or resolve the conflict and instead allows me to feel my feelings.

7.   You’ve got to forgive yourself, too. When I was working the steps, I realized that I felt responsible for others hurting me. I was sure that I could have prevented the abuse of my past, that I deserved whatever mistreatment I got, that I allowed people to act up with no consequence. Before I could forgive anyone else, I had to let go of the anger and blame I had put on myself.  Once I realized that I wasn’t responsible for the actions of others and that God had forgiven me for my part of the hurts I experienced I was able to stop blaming myself I started to find freedom from the guilt and shame that I carried around.This is still a daily struggle for me but more and more I am convinced that the path to freedom is tied to forgiving myself.

8. Forgiveness doesn’t depend on anything or anyone but you. Forgiveness doesn’t depend on who hurt us, what they did, or whether or not they have apologized or have suffered consequences for their actions. Forgiveness happens when we no longer need anger to protect us. When we don’t need the resentment as a crutch anymore, forgiveness will come and the healing will begin. We will have difficulty making proper amends without forgiving because we will be tempted to bring up the other person’s actions and offenses. Lack of forgiveness can stall your recovery. Forgiveness is not meant for others. It is a gift you give yourself.

9.  Forgiveness is freedom. Resentment is like holding a burning coal to throw at someone else, but really, you just end up burning yourself. When we feel resentful, we feel the pain of the past again and again. Forgiveness holds the promise that we will find the peace that we really want. It promised the release from the hold that other’s attitudes and actions have over us. It  promises that we can be free from that emotional turmoil that has burdened our hearts for so long. Man oh man do I want to get free!

10.  Forgiveness is supernatural. Sometimes things will happen to you that are so bad you will think “How can I ever forgive that?” As much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, I have to tell you,  YOU can’t forgive that (whatever that is). Forgiveness goes against our human nature to keep score and protect ourselves.  We just can’t forgive on our own. Lucky for us, Jesus can! If you’re having trouble with forgiveness, know you’re in good company with the rest of the human race.  Ask the Lord to help you. When you do, you’ll find compassion that is endless, mercy that is new every morning, and love that never fails. You’ll find everything you need.

Peace, Love & Recovery,

Shannon, Encourager Coach

Hungry for Recovery

Never Hunger

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6

My freshmen year of college I had a big crush on this boy named Wes in my Chemistry class. One week when both our lab partners were out sick with the flu we got to work together. I charmed him with my titration skills and he asked me on a date! It was very exciting. He picked me up from my residence hall and took me to the nicest restaurant a freshmen boy goes to, a Japanese hibachi grill.

If you’ve been to one of these places you know how entertaining it can be. They make a volcano out of onions. They twirl these knives around and toss shrimp in your mouth. If there was a lull in conversation it was totally okay because there was a show going on at the table. And there is a ton of food! I mean so much food it’s almost impossible to finish it all. At the end of the meal we both packed up our leftovers. Wes brought me back to campus and when I went to my room that night to girl talk with my roommate about my date I went to put my leftovers in the fridge and a funny thing happened.

I was hungry again. Maybe it was because I was trying to be dainty on my date and didn’t quite eat enough or maybe it was because Japanese food is mostly carbohydrates that don’t hold you over for long. Either way,  I was definitely ready for seconds.

What a metaphor that moment was for something bigger happening in my life. Before I entered recovery, I ate at the table of the world and thought that it would fill me up. Sure I would have seasons of satisfaction, moments of pleasure, stints of short-lived happiness, but the truth is that just moments later I would feel empty again. I was on a constant pursuit of fullness and looked for satisfaction in all the wrong places.

Life is a lot like a Japanese hibachi grill. It is really cool when you’re at the table. It’s really cool when the chef is flipping food up in the air. It’s really cool when the fire comes up and you almost burn your eyebrows off. It’s really cool when you catch the shrimp on the first try. But just give it an hour or two and even the really cool things of this world will always leave you hungry again.

Thankfully, Jesus gives us another option. See, today I am hungry for a lot of things. I am hungry for Love. Beauty. Approval. Success. Comfort. God doesn’t necessarily ask me to give up my hunger for all those things, because they aren’t innately bad things for me to want. But God has taught me through working the 12 steps that the only thing that can satisfy my hungry heart is Jesus.  As it turns out, the only way for me to get full is to empty myself. To voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life. To humbly ask the Lord to remove my character defects and fill me with his grace instead. To stop running to the things of the world and start chasing after Jesus. Sweet friends, hear Jesus’s promise today: When you hunger for righteousness, you will be filled.

Peace, Love, & Recovery,

Shannon, Encourager Coach

Pain. What It’s Good For.

“Pain is unmasked, unmistakable evil; every man knows that something is wrong when he is being hurt.”

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Pain. Hurt. Discomfort. At the root of every addiction or compulsive behavior is a hurt. When we cling to denial, to a substance or a behavior, we are trying, with some success, to avoid something painful. It’s safe to say that these things offer some comfort or we wouldn’t continue to come back to them and that is the real danger of addiction and habit.  That they help, even if it’s only a little, gives us a false sense of having recovered some part of ourselves, of having patched up the hurt. We’ve slapped a dirty bandage over an open wound.  So the original wound remains and the dirt of our bandage only serves to worsen our condition while providing that false sense of recovery.

Recovery is what we want.  To be in pain is to want to be out of pain.  We do crazy things to relieve a hurt – from the physical to the spiritual.  In addition, think of the many lengths we will go to in order to hide how much pain we are in.  So we suffer and we suffer in silence and, instead of finding real relief, we console ourselves with habits that offer short term relief and long term damage. Why would we do this instead of actually seeking true recovery?

Because pain makes people do crazy things. Maybe we’re ashamed of having been hurt in the first place.  Maybe we’re ashamed of our addiction itself.  Maybe we’ve gone so far as to hide our pain even from ourselves.  Maybe we’re in so much pain that we can’t see past it. But pain, by its very nature, demands treatment, requires relief.

Pain is meant to be recovered from.  Pain shouldn’t be a permanent state – it is a warning that something, somewhere, has gone wrong.  Pain requires real recovery, true healing, not the temporary comfort of an addiction or compulsive habit. Sadly, to recover from pain often means more pain.  The wound has to be cleaned.  The dirty bandage has to be removed.  If you step on a rusty nail, part of recovery is a painful tetanus shot. But, in the long run, which is worse? Death by tetanus or life by tetanus shot? This is a decision we all have to make – will we live in pain? Or will we live facing our pain, our hurts, and seeking recovery?

Here’s the most important bit: recovery is possible.  We don’t have to live in a constant state of hurt.  Anger can be released.  Addictions can be overcome. Pain can be relieved instead of relived.  Whatever is hurting you doesn’t have to hurt any more.  

Are you ready? Are you ready to recover? Can you face what hurts so it can be healed? Perhaps the best bit, if also not the second most important part, is that you don’t have to go it alone.  No more suffering in silence! We can all be healed together.

Come and celebrate recovery – the possibility of recovery, the reality of recovery, the promise of recovery – with us.

Just Another “Inform Thyself” Post

Part of our mission here at the Celebrate Recovery: New Orleans website is the making available of various resources and information so that those of us in recovery can be better informed. In other words, there’s a lot of stuff out there in the world (wide web) and it can be difficult to sort through what’s hurtful and what’s helpful. Our hope is that whatever we include here will be as helpful to you as it is to us.

Last week, we all received the sad news that a beloved celebrity lost his battle with depression and addiction. Everyone from the news outlets to private bloggers have thrown in their opinion. Some of those opinions have been ill-informed and caused more harm than good. Amidst the dross, one interview stands out. Rachel Held Evans, author and blogger, took the time to interview Amy Simpson, who wrote a book called “Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission.” Here’s a quote from Amy:

“Churches should address the spiritual needs of people who are receiving help elsewhere, but that help should complement appropriate therapeutic intervention, not replace it.”

And the rest of the article is here.

You are not the only person with or who knows someone with mental illness. Join us Tuesday nights from 7pm until 9pm and share your hurts, habits and hang-ups. We share ours and while we aren’t “fixed,” we are supported.

Testimony Night

I really wanted to come back with a “bang!” You know? I spent a few months without internet at home and was unable to find the time (or, let’s be honest, the energy) to update regularly. But here I am, slinking back instead. No pretty pictures. No awesome quotes or insightful video links. Just me.

In fact, I had no idea what I was going to write until I sat down and started writing. And ain’t that the story of salvation? I mean: we don’t need to show up at Celebrate Recovery with a bang. We don’t have to have a great success story or even a horrible one. We just show up and God is there. Turns out, He was always there. Just waiting for us to come back. I believe that God wants us more than He wants what we can do for Him. Our presence, our collected attention, our willingness to hear Him out and then, individually and collectively, to respond to Him – that’s God’s goal. But, first, He just wants our attention, our presence.

So here I am. Join us tonight at Celebrate Recovery to hear a testimony from someone who showed up and kept showing up.

Keep on coming back. We’ll be here.

Lynne, Assimilation Coach

CR: NOLA Open House

Tonight is CR: NOLA’s Open House! We invite you to come and see what Celebrate Recovery is all about! Join us from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at 4540 S. Carrollton Avenue. Hope to see you there!

pressing to know Him

Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know Him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.
– Hosea 6:3, NLT

Come join us this spring every Tuesday from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm for Celebrate Recovery.  We hope to see you there!