Celebrate Recovery


Thursday, September 21, 2017


I'm a grateful believer in Jesus that has struggled with drugs and alcohol and the consequences of sexual abuse. My name is Zori. 

Because of my abuse, I was a shy, introverted kid who had no friends. I didn’t care to be close to anyone. I never told anyone about my abuse. I learned how to stuff down my feelings and emotions very well.

By the time I was in high school, I began using drugs as a way of escape. I just wanted to be numb all the time. I felt like I didn’t belong. My family life was dysfunctional and the expression of feelings was highly discouraged. I struggled with shame, guilt, and condemnation. I had very low self-esteem so I learned how to muscle through, avoiding any real emotions. I very was good at pretending.

Nine years ago my husband and I gave our lives to Christ and immediately we began a genuine walk with God. Soon we were having Connect Groups in our house, we volunteered at church, and our marriage began to slowly get restored. I began to feel like there was hope. The problem was, that when I was alone with myself I was angry, resentful and bitter. I hated to be alone with my thoughts, but just like I had done in the past, I pushed through, put my happy mask on and kept going.

One year after coming to Christ, Calvary introduced Celebrate Recovery on Monday nights. At first, I wasn't interested in it because after all, I had been attending Connect Groups, volunteering in several ministries and very involved in church life. What would people think if they saw me at Celebrate Recovery? Drugs and alcohol were no longer a part of my life, so I thought that CR was not for me. I had gone from isolation, never caring about people or their opinions, to a prideful, mask-wearing Christian. Although God had started a work in me and I had victory in some areas of my life, I still felt like a defeated Christian. I struggled with the belief that God’s promises were for me. I could believe them for others, but never for me.

As God would have it, I attended a meeting and knew that CR could help me. As I prayed, I knew God was prompting me to start the program. I signed up for my 12 steps and my life has never been the same.

To this day God continues to use Celebrate Recovery to help me see the things that I could never see before about my life, my childhood, and my marriage. He has been bringing me out of denial into His reality. CR has taught me to take responsibility for my actions and the way I respond to people and situations. I learned that CR is not just for drugs and alcohol. Those were just my symptoms. The real issues were co-dependency, anger, depression and other things that were keeping me from living that abundant life Jesus promised. I now have tools for those times when I am struggling. He is digging deep and uncovering all the garbage from my past and ridding me of it. I am no longer defined by my mistakes, but understand that my true identity is in Christ. I now have so much joy and freedom.

Working with the CR program hasn’t always been easy, but with perseverance, I am amazed at the transformation that took place in my life.

 

Author:

Zori Collazo

 

Celebrate Recovery meets every Monday at 7pm at our Kendall Campus.

 

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