Celebrate your Recovery

Are you unhappy with how your life is going? Do you happen to have a hurt, habit, or hang up you can’t figure out how to deal with? I suggest finding a local Celebrate Recovery meeting near you. I have from time to time had either a hurt, habit, or hang up that I just felt like no one else could relate with me…like I was all alone. What I see now is that was all in my head. When a friend invited me to come one night…I had already heard another speaker come to my church and talk about how Celebrate Recovery helped her out. You can check out her blog here… Same Dress Different Day. It was like God was giving me a nudge both times towards His recommendation on how to get my life going in the right direction.

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So I went to a meeting. I found out that I am not alone. There were people there who just listen to me. I am not judged. I have support from people who have been where I was and are where I want to go on the road for my recovery. They can share with me ways they found to help them make the positive changes I hope to make in my life. I have great accountability partners and a great sponsor. Plus they say the safest place to be on a Tuesday night is at Celebrate Recovery. What is said in group stays in group. They mean it! So no worries about people gossiping or your darkest thoughts being shared. Totally confidential. Kind of like the phrase, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…”

The focus is totally faith based and we look to God for our strength. Prayer starts and ends the meetings. Bible verses are used in the step studies [where you work the 12 steps]. One of my favorites from the step study I am in now is this one:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

We also look at the serenity prayer. Sometimes recently when I am stressed or angry I will recite what I can remember from that prayer. While doing this it helps me calm down and put things into perspective. I have a copy of that below. I also hope that anyone who might be looking for a change in their lives or have a hurt, habit, or hang up they need help with see this blog. They realize they are not alone. I am here for you. So are the folks at your local celebrate recovery group.

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i FINALLY forgive you

Tonight I went to this women’s event where the speaker gave a talk on forgiveness. She forgave the two men who kidnapped her and her boyfriend. They did unspeakable & horrible things to her yet she forgave them. That is to say hearing her story inspired me that I still haven’t really truly forgiven certain individuals.

A quote she used that I really liked was from C. S. Lewis…”everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive.”

So I came home and started thinking…well even before that while I was still at the event. I haven’t forgiven my ex Jason. I have tried to forget him, I have tried dating other people, and other stuff but I haven’t tried this so just bear with me. I will attempt to explain as I continue what I am trying to accomplish. I am going to write a letter and put it on my blog not because he has asked for it, nor because he might see it, because maybe getting this all out will help me to completely forgive and move on…

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Dear Jason,
     When I first met you it was like how every relationship starts… how it ended well we went our separate ways. In the beginning we would fight and it felt we were both in it trying to make things work. It just shouldn’t ever be that hard to make something work. Our fights were far too often and just should have told us how wrong for each other, if we had been reading the signs. Lack of communication left me feeling lonely and unloved most of the time. You barely told me you loved me like twice in two and a half years. I wanted to spend time with you and remember being told that I did get to spend time with you when we slept in the same bed together! How is sleeping ever considered spending time with someone? You were always spending more time with your guy friends than with me. I cooked quite a bit and only cleaned when you nagged me too… I then gained weight because I have never really worked out, plus we ate really late dinners all the time, and I was somewhat depressed. Lastly to top it all off you then started making fun of me for weighing 5 pounds more than you AND you never wanted to have sex with me (maybe once a month) plus wouldn’t tell me why. I finally asked you why and you responded back with, “I had grown quite chubby, you wanted me to go back down to the weight I was when we first met, and you didn’t want me to end up like my mom.” Oh and I forgot to mention how you would joke at my expense saying hurtful things to me and then would always say you were “just joking”! When you hear things enough spoken even if you say that phrase I started to assume you weren’t just joking…there was some truth to it. I haven’t seen you since we broke up…not once. I was hurt and broken by the treatment I let myself go through at the time from you. I know you haven’t asked for this but I forgive you. Not for your sake but for mine. I figured out why I stayed so long in a relationship as bad as ours was and it reminded me of how my parents relationship was. It felt normal after seeing years of my parents always fighting and struggling. Because of that experience I was able to express things to my father and now we are very close. So for that I am thankful…as well as I don’t take crap from guys anymore like I did from you. Lesson learned. So please forgive me for cheating on you once but I had to make sure I didn’t come back to you. I already had come back once and we tried it again…but it was meant to end.

Sincerely,
Carolyn

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I sin every day. I am not perfect but I try to be a good person. I have values and morals I hold myself to follow. The Bible tells how we should forgive as Jesus forgave us…

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Colossians 3:12-14 MSG

Live. Love. Forgive.
Sometimes hard but that’s life!

#Peace within

God knew who I would become before my parents even thought of having me. God formed me in the womb. He choose me as a child of God before I was born. What a marvelous awe inspiring concept.

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Ecclesiastes 11:5

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.
So on this journey sometimes I have not really loved myself as the person who was specially formed and created by God as one of His own. It has been when I was running away and trying to do life my way. It left me empty, sad, lost, lonely, depressed, and so much more. I had to realize that the old me didn’t realize the sacrifice that Jesus made for me personally. If I had been the only lost sheep He still would have come down to this earth and died on the cross. FOR ME! How could I not love, trust, have faith, and care about one who went through so much so I could be forgiven for all of my sins (1 John 1:9) and become a child of God through His sacrifice? When I do not love all of my which includes my overweight body how does that show faith in God’s plan? Well it doesn’t really show trust or faith in His promises in the Bible.
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I don’t have to understand every thing God does but His peace which surpasses all understanding will guard my heart and my mind. When I struggle to be at #peace with my body or the storm raging around me I need to pray. I need to lean on bible promises like the one below which is a FAVORITE #bibleverse of mine…
Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 54:10
One person who might have had a problem with events that happened to him was Joseph. So many things happened to him and most of them were bad. 10 brothers who were jealous of his status as favorite son. Dreams that he told that made not only the jealous siblings more jealous but even his father thought something might be wrong with him. Mother who died giving birth to his little brother. Then when told to go check on the 10 jealous brothers by his father the same family members sell him to a traveling caravan. Drugged to Egypt and sold as a slave to Potiphar. Put over Potiphar’s whole house hold… Assaulted by Potiphar’s wife..then put in prison. Made overseer of the prison. Two prisoners come in and have dreams which are explained by Joseph (with God’s help). One is put to death in 3 days…just like the dream. One is brought back to his position but does he remember Joseph like he said he would? Um no not at all… Joseph stays in jail for another TWO YEARS. Then Pharaoh has dreams that no one can interpret for him. Then the ex-prisoner remembers Joseph. Pharaoh send for Joseph. Joseph tells Pharaoh what the dreams mean by telling him first it is not Joseph but God who will explain to Pharaoh what the dreams are about. Then Joseph goes ahead and tells Pharaoh that he should setup someone to make sure Egypt makes it through the years of famine.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble,

2 Peter 1:3-10

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I have read this story so many times… what I keep seeing that astounds me. No complaining from Joseph at all is mentioned. Joseph had serious FAITH in God. I also kept seeing the phrase, “the LORD was with Joseph”. What if I consciously kept saying that phrase to myself… when bad things happen or good ones… “the LORD was with Carolyn”. What a difference that would make in my life and my struggles. All of my stress, my weight issues, my anger problem, family drama, and so much more would benefit from repeating that phrase. It would also fit the phrase I picked to work on from 2 Peter 1:3-10… PERSEVERANCE. I want to work on the ability to follow through with the issues I need to deal with and work on… I need perseverance to continue on with the journey and not give up so easily. (Which I happen to do quite easily most of the time). You see it is easy to keep saying yes to things but the Imagefollow up and finishing the project is where I am lacking. Like loosing weight for instance because I have done it before. I lost 25 pounds easy. Why can’t I do that now? I lack motivation to start what I need to do and I lack perseverance to finish the race. Our Bible study tonight was very motivational for me. One of the activities was to write a new plan for action of a way to get up and move… I shared my plan with you on the left as you can see… We were also then to right our name in the verse to make it personal. It sounds true to me that my flesh and heart may fail me and truth be told they have a few times before…BUT the good news (the hope you might say) is that GOD is the strength I need to keep going. Isn’t that the truth for us all? If we have faith in God’s promises (like the one I personalized) then we have the hope and peace that comes from putting all of our mistakes, failures, and problems in God’s hands. We can truly, “Let go, and Let God“.
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I will call upon your name…
and keep my eyes above the waves
when oceans rise
my soul will rest
in your embrace
for I am yours
and you are mine.
your grace abounds
in deepest waters
your sovereign hand
will be my guide
where feet may fail
and fear surrounds me
you’ve never failed
and you won’t start now…
Words from the song Oceans (Where feet may fail) by Hillsong United that I shared at the first of this blog.
This song gives me #peace within.
May I continue to say, “the LORD was with Carolyn” all the days of my life…

A Wrinkle in Time

Memories of things in my past are like pages of a well read book… I like to take down from the bookshelf every once in a while and reread over certain sections… I always think of Gatsby saying “Can’t re-live the past, why of course you can…” and that is what I allow myself to do. It took watching a kids movie today (went and watched Frozen with a friend) to realize that I don’t think I have ever known what true love is… But I think that this weekend I have seen true love from friends who care about me. I did something stupid. I was scared to come clean feeling that I might be judged for what I had let transpire. Instead I was given some great advice from people who are looking out for my best interests. Not one of them made me feel guilty but they helped lift me up. Helped me realize again that I deserve someone very special who loves God like I do and who will treat me with respect, with kindness, and someone who will love me for me. I actually do deserve that. I know one of the reasons why God led me back to church to give me such great friends in my life for such a time as this.

So I still take walks down memory lane. My memories and the people who came into my life have made me the person I am today. Sometimes I am not proud of the person who I was but here of late I have been okay with myself. I am changing a little each day. I know that with forgiveness (love the song by TobyMac) from God and giving myself forgiveness when I mess up… I am still traveling down the path I feel God has set out before me. I will take those wonderful friends who truly love me along with me on this journey. I know that this time of darkness is just a wrinkle in time… but I have such a support system in my life that I know I will make it through. I have faith. I have hope. I have love.

Turn to Jesus

So last night I was just watching a movie and felt blue out of no where. While I know that this is just all my emotions and hormones going whack it still sucks. Tears flooded not only my eyes but the shirt I wore… then I prayed to find a silver lining. See it’s hard to adjust to changes that are so major even if you have no other choice but now deal with the cold hard fact that no matter what you will never have a child of your own. I mean if I wanted to I could find a surrogate and have one…but that will probably never happen. You feel like no one might ever want to choose you verses another woman who can give them children of their own. So with all those thoughts and more flooding my mind I kept praying to Jesus to help give me a glimpse at hope. I started looking at different channels on my Roku player and found my Vimeo channel. I set it up quickly and then looked up some videos. I came across one by DeVon Franklin giving his testimony. Jesus answered my prayer and gave me back my hope. DeVon told this story of a friend who lost his job. Later on that same friend wrote a screenplay called Jumping the Broom which Devon’s studio made into a movie. It was the first time his friend had a movie produced. If he had simply given up there never would have been a movie. It did take 10 years after getting fired. It happened in Jesus’ timing which is perfect. It gave me hope. Don’t give up because what you think you are going through today is too difficult to handle… give it up to Jesus who may use what you find to be discouraging as a blessing to you instead. That is how I am looking at this situation that I find myself in. It is too big for my mind to handle or figure out so I am turning to Jesus… lead me to where I should go from here!

Amen

Isaiah 54 (The Message)

Spread Out! Think Big!

54 1-6 “Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby. Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth! You’re ending up with far more children than all those childbearing women.” God says so! “Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big! Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep. You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family. You’re going to take over whole nations; you’re going to resettle abandoned cities. Don’t be afraid—you’re not going to be embarrassed. Don’t hold back—you’re not going to come up short. You’ll forget all about the humiliations of your youth, and the indignities of being a widow will fade from memory. For your Maker is your bridegroom, his name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies! Your Redeemer is The Holy of Israel, known as God of the whole earth. You were like an abandoned wife, devastated with grief, and God welcomed you back, Like a woman married young and then left,” says your God.

7-8 Your Redeemer God says:

“I left you, but only for a moment. Now, with enormous compassion, I’m bringing you back. In an outburst of anger I turned my back on you—but only for a moment. It’s with lasting love that I’m tenderly caring for you.

9-10 “This exile is just like the days of Noah for me: I promised then that the waters of Noah would never again flood the earth. I’m promising now no more anger, no more dressing you down. For even if the mountains walk away and the hills fall to pieces, My love won’t walk away from you,     my covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart.” The God who has compassion on you says so.

11-17 “Afflicted city, storm-battered, unpitied: I’m about to rebuild you with stones of turquoise, Lay your foundations with  sapphires, construct your towers with rubies, Your gates with jewels, and all your walls with precious stones. All your children will have God for their teacher— what a mentor for your children! You’ll be built solid, grounded in righteousness, far from any trouble—nothing to fear! far from terror—it won’t even come close! If anyone attacks you, don’t for a moment suppose that I sent them, And if any should attack, nothing will come of it. I create the blacksmith who fires up his forge and makes a weapon designed to kill. I also create the destroyer— but no weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged. Any accuser who takes you to court will be dismissed as a liar. This is what God’s servants can expect. I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best.”

God’s Decree.