According to batchgeo.com, there are over 2000 Celebrate Recovery (CR) groups in America. I have never had any exposure to any of them, except for the CR ministry of Tennessee Valley Community Church in my hometown of Paris, Tennessee. I don’t know if all CR groups are ministering in the same way, but I do know that the impact of our local CR group is profound!

About five years ago, I attended Celebrate Recovery for the first time. I had just been through our last miscarriage and the surgery that left me medically unable to have children. The reality that Rusty and I would never parent a biological child of our own was setting in, and I guess my dear friend had been sensitive enough to know I might need some encouragement. She invited me to CR to hear her testimony (not a mini one; but the full one). I attended the meal and the joint-group session that followed.

There was praise and worship. There was a “chip” service in which various members got sobriety chips to commemorate landmark anniversaries of recovery. And then my friend gave her powerful testimony. That night I became an advocate for Celebrate Recovery. There were so many facets of this Bible-based recovery ministry that I respected.

Celebrate Recovery is for everyone! The curriculum and support structure provide its members with tools for dealing with hurts, habits, and hangups. With a reliance upon Scripture and Jesus Christ as the Higher Power, people from all walks of life are finding recovery from a vast array of issues – ranging from abandonment, codependency, procrastination, substance abuse, anger, sex addiction, etc.

Since my initial visit to CR, I have learned more about this program that has the potential to restore lives. I’ve read literature about CR. I’ve conducted a two-hour radio interview with a CR sponsor. I’ve had many casual conversations with friends involved in the program. I’ve attending two CR Open Houses. And I’ve witnessed the life-changing effects of this ministry in many people.

With no hesitation, I would recommend Celebrate Recovery to anyone. You see, we all have issues. I have them. You have them. And our ability to cope with our hurts, habits, and hangups is strengthened as we seek help from the Word of God, the people of God, and the presence of God. That formula for recovery is the heartbeat of CR.

Back a couple of years ago, I was driving to Bells, Tennessee, to host the The DOVE’S Morning Praise radio show. With me, that day, was my interviewee, the coordinator for our local CR group. We were reviewing our planned topics of discussion, and I was getting more and more excited about our aired chat. I couldn’t wait to share the CR opportunity with Greater Jackson and much of West Tennessee. As we neared the station, Lila asked me why I had never joined CR while going through my season of loss with multiple miscarriages. I explained to her, that I, like so many other folks, had had an inaccurate understanding of the program. I had mistakenly thought CR was only for those with addiction issues. Her response was, “Well, I really think CR could have helped you cope with your losses and perhaps, shortened the amount of time you struggled with depression.” Reflecting on her comment, I nodded and said, “Maybe so.”

My friend, the insight from my radio show interviewee is correct. She knew it then, and I know it now. Celebrate Recovery is a powerful ministry that has the potential to liberate, restore, and equip many people.

Last Thursday I attended the annual Open House for our local Celebrate Recovery group. On the printed program for the evening was the phrase that explains how and why Celebrate Recovery is a life-changing ministry. The print-out read …

This recovery program is based on God’s Word, The Bible, with Jesus Christ as our Higher Power.”

This statement, my friend, is the key to our recovery from any hurt, habit, or hangup!

If you live in the Paris-area (or if you live anywhere close), Celebrate Recovery is here for you. The Tennessee Valley Community Church group meets each Thursday at 6PM. The address is 2500 East Wood Street, Paris. For more information, you may call 731.641.8822 or visit http://www.tvcc.us/celebrate-recovery.php