Our weekly Celebrate Recovery service is a ministry for people of all ages and from all walks of life. Our service offers engaging live worship and biblical-based teaching relevant to your circumstances. It is a safe place to overcome your hurts, habits, and hang-ups and find freedom in Jesus Christ. It is our goal to allow you to share your burdens without interruption or advice, and allow healing to begin. What is discussed here stays here. A person can use God’s Word to overcome life’s hindering issues.
We have a place for wounded people. Jesus knows every wound, and He’s not going to waste our pain. Recovery takes time. It reaches and transforms the very roots of our being. When our recovery is centered on the Lord, His transforming power can turn our pain into gladness!
Celebrate Recovery meets every Saturday night at 6:00pm in the Family Ministries Building.
Optional Open Share groups follow service at 7:00pm in various locations.
WHAT DO YOU NEED FREEDOM FROM?
Perfectionism/The Need To Control
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Compulsive Sexual Behaviors/Sexual Addiction/Pornography
Phobias/Fears/Insecurities/Failures/Guilt & Shame
Alcoholism/Adult Child of Alcoholic/Minor Child of Alcoholic
Drug Abuse: Illegal, Prescription, and Over the Counter
The program incorporates fellowship, worship, sharing, accountability and step-study groups to help you allow yourself to be healed by God’s transforming power. Life can be hard, but you are NOT alone!
Hi, My name is Linda and I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ.
I’m certainly not the poster child for Celebrate Recovery, I thought. I’m not a drug addict, an alcoholic, sexually twisted, you name it, I’m not THAT. Or am I the poster child?
After a lifetime of relationship abandonment, either by death or rejection, I had become very good at denial. I kept telling myself that I was fine and kept moving along. Life was good, great 2nd husband, kids and grandkids were wonderful and productive, great job, great church HPN, loving family. All was well. And then the crash came. In 2009 my husband died suddenly and life became very different. But, again I picked up and moved on denying that I hurt. Two years into widowhood, I met a man who was very charming, swept me off my feet and I thought that God had brought him into my life to live out our golden years. In 2011 were were married. Life was good and I was in denial. I chose to overlook a bunch of red flags. In 2014, while on the trip of a lifetime to Europe, I discovered on the first day of a 12 day trip, through a text message I accidentally saw on his phone, that he had been wooing and pursuing an old high school sweetheart in Virginia. Again life crashed. He wanted a divorce. Those golden years turned into ashes. But this time I couldn’t pick up and move on. The pain was overwhelming. I tried to put on that happy face, say that God had pulled me from a dark place AND believe it, but I just couldn’t. I didn't want to live any longer. It was all my fault, the woulda, shoulda, coulda, lie that if I was prettier, younger, smarter, he would have stayed with me, haunted me. I was just not enough. Life was too painful. I didn’t understand it but oh how it hurt. I tried to put on a happy face for everyone AND tried to believe that lie myself, but I would find myself on my knees crying, begging to be released from this pain. Satan is so very clever and was hitting me at my weakest spots, pride, insecurity and self-worth.
But God was always there and was working on me. I ran from Him for a year when He told me to go to the church and volunteer. Volunteer, are you kidding me. I can hardly breathe. I have nothing to offer. Finally, I gave up and went to meet with one of our pastors to discuss where I could be of use. I can put church bulletins together, or answer phones, or some admin work because I had those skills all my life. During that meeting the pastor then asked where my heart was leading me. I told him that my heart was for broken women because I was certainly one. He introduced me to the pastor of Celebrate Recovery. What!!! I am not any of THAT. Oh, I was so good at denial. Well, guess what, I’m not any of that, but I discovered that I am very broken through life’s hurts. The CR pastor asked that I go through the program in order to serve in the ministry and understand the mission of Celebrate Recovery. And after that I’ve had to hold on because what an amazing ride this has been. I discovered that yes I was THAT. I needed the program as much as anyone with any other hurt, habit, hangup, denial, etc. I had to face it. I needed help and God steered me to the place where i could get that help. Satan is clever, but God is good, powerful and amazing. He clearly showed me Satan’s lies through Celebrate Recovery. And I thank Him every day for His amazing grace and goodness. He loves me and he loves you.
I’m not a fluke, I’m an ordinary person broken by life as everyone is. And now I know, I AM the poster child for Celebrate Recovery. If we step back and take a look, everyone one of us is on that poster. Young/old, black/white/red/tan/purple, man/woman, married/single/divorced, fat/ skinny, gay/straight, and on and on. It all hurts and we all have different ways to mask the pain. I believe that Celebrate Recovery is God’s way to lead us to healing and helping. Won’t you join the ride. You’ll never look back.
Everyone looking at my life from the outside would have thought there was nothing wrong. I went to church, sang on the worship team, preached sermons at times, had a house, a wife, and a child. No one would have every guessed that a pornography addiction was eating away at my family, my life, and my very soul…
I don’t really know when it became an addition. All I knew was that it threatened to destroy everything I loved…and still I couldn’t stop. I prayed hundreds of times that God would take it away. He did not. I think it was more of my not wanting Him to take it away that was the biggest barrier. Being sexually molested and exposed to hard core pornography at the age of 11 had a lot to do with it, but I do not blame that experience for the continued addiction. For most of my life I felt something was wrong with me. Everyone else seemed to think I was fairly normal. I did lots of fun and interesting things. If I would have seen somebody doing all of the neat things I did, I would have been envious of them. But weaved in all of that was a struggle that I chose to fight alone. It was a struggle I did not want anyone knowing about.
I did not want to purchase the magazine…but there I went into the store and purchased it. I did not want to spend thousands of hours downloading image after image, but there I was at the computer until 5:00 am looking. I was angry, frustrated, scared, defeated, and had no idea what a real relationship was…what love was.
I had gone to a couple of counselors. I got some relief when I started letting the secret out. But it never stayed away. My wife knew about it and went through a lot of pain. I did not know how long she would put up with this. One would think that the threat of a dissolving marriage would stop me. It didn’t.
One night after acting out, again, I knew I needed something I had not tried before. I came across a 12 step group for sex addicts. I did not think I was one of those, but I thought I would give it a try. Little did I know that God was beginning to answer my hundreds of prayers.
I met a guy who was willing to be my sponsor. He had a lot of conditions I had to meet in order for him to continue to be my sponsor. It was a lot of work and a lot of time. I went through the steps and something happened that had never happened before. Someone knew everything about me. Not just the addiction, but all of the selfish things I had done to others and all the pain I had caused to others. Furthermore he knew all the pain that I felt, the anger, the frustration, the feelings of inadequacy. When I had shared everything with him he said, “Welcome to the human race.” We prayed for God’s forgiveness and power.
Everything changed after that. There was a connection with others and ultimately with God that I had never had before. I continued to go to meetings. I continued to connect with this man and others. I found power in prayer that I had never experienced before. And I had no desire to go back. I had everything that my addiction never gave me…a real connection with Jesus and with others.
I moved to Lakeland and found Celebrate Recovery here at Highland Park. I continue to go to the men’s Sexual addiction group. Nothing in my life gives me more satisfaction then sharing with others what was shared with me. I love seeing people find freedom. I love seeing relationships restored (though it often is a long and rocky road). I love sharing God’s story in my life. I love connecting with others in a real and loving way.
1 John 1:20 says, “for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.”
I was incapable of loving others, and therefore incapable of loving God. I hid who I was. When I finally let that out, and continue to let that out in my Celebrate Recovery open share group, I find a powerful relationship with others that I never knew possible before. Then, in turn, I find my relationship with God is beyond anything I could have imagined. I don’t need fake love anymore, I found the real thing. It has been 6 years since acting out my addiction sexually and I can not be grateful enough to the program, the fellowship, and the love of my God, Jesus.
CR SMALL GROUPS
Our small groups on Saturday nights offer you a safe place to overcome your hurts, habits, and hang-ups with others who are on a mission to do the same!
Celebrate Recovery at Highland Park Church also hosts Celebration Place which is a 52-week complementary children’s resource. While adults explore topics that bring healing and wholeness, kids discover the same truths in age-appropriate ways!
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