“I am a grateful daughter of the King.
I came to CR for divorce hurts. I struggle with an eating disorder, shame and self worth.
My name is Mandy.”
Introducing myself like this became the norm, even comforting for a big part of my life. I did it 2-4 times a week, for almost two years. Even know, when I hear someone state, “My name is ___ “ I will sometimes respond with “I’m so thankful you’re here.”
CR stands for Celebrate Recovery .
I know what you’re thinking, * GASP * OHMYGOSH MANDY ATTENDED A RECOVERY PROGRAM.
You bet your sweet booty I did! Judge away, but let me tell you something. You probably need it. CR is an outreach ministry for people with hurts, habits and hangups. That is pretty much…. EVERYYYONE. Don’t worry, if you’re thinking it’s a joke and not for you— I was there. If you are thinking you got your ISSH together and don’t need something like that—- Been there. If you’re thinking you are too far gone for God to heal you—- You guessed it, that was me.
CR not only changed my life but it also changed my relationships and helped guide me to set the foundation for my family.
MY Celebrate Recovery started with a dinner. This dinner was funded through donations but to be honest, most of the time Q & I ate for free. Sometimes I think that is what got my foot through the door, a hot meal. After dinner, I would drop Q off at childcare and head to large group that began with worship and prayer. Large group included a teaching or a testimony. Teaching went over one of the 12 Steps of Recovery or one of the CR Principles. Testimony night had people, couples or even groups sharing pieces of their journey. We would end large group with the Serenity Prayer then head to small groups. Small groups were separated by different types of hurts, habits or hangups. After small groups we would pray and part ways.
Another aspect of CR is the 12 Step Program. I completed this program. Nine months of commitment. Each week I would meet with my Step Study Sisters for 2 hours, attend CR, meet up with my Sisters and meet with my Sponsor.
Three years ago, I gave my mini testimony.
“I am a grateful daughter of the King. I came to CR for divorce hurts. I struggle with an eating disorder, shame and self worth. My name is Mandy. I came to CR kicking and screaming, on the inside. On the outside I kept the perfect smile with a gift of desperation to please others while striving for perfection and acceptance. I sat where you are sitting for 3 months, tears pouring down my cheeks while I shook my head. I heard the hope in their testimonies. I saw the the life change, gratitude and joy too. I kept hearing “keep coming back, don’t quit before the miracle happens.”
I would roll my eyes.
It would take more than a miracle for me, why would God even waste his time? I was in a constant fight with myself. I sat in small groups with my arms crossed. When it was my turn, I *politely* said “pass” or would say something close to “this is weird. i hate this. this whole thing is wack.”
Until I heard HER testimony, there were more similarities than differences.
I FELT the healing as she shared her brokenness and what led her to CR. I wanted to run and hide. I felt exposed, raw and torn open as if she was sharing parts of my journey. Step studies opened, I missed signing up TWICE because they filled so fast. God’s timing is perfect and the third step study was a charm. I cried the entire time as I shared my answers through the first 4 steps. When it came time to share our inventory, it revealed things I had never thought of or even processed. The accountability from my step sisters, consistency of the homework, with incredible love shown through my sponsor, I had NEW tools that would set me up for success to create new coping mechanisms and habits as I begin to truly accept the love, grace and forgiveness from my Heavenly Father.
I doubted my self worth pretty much every moment for 8 months until the lesson in book three on Grace.
2 Cor 12: 9 MY GRACE IS ENOUGH FOR YOU.
The miracle happened. His grace is a freely given gift, that cannot be bought. My pain has a purpose and He can use broken people. He used me, met me where I was at and loved me enough not to leave me there. I doubted myself my self worth, my step sisters never did. To the newcomer, this is some scary stuff and these people are super weird but I promise that God is so so good, always and the miracle of healing is for anyone willing to accept it. Thank you for letting me share. “
Three years later and I still use what I’ve learned through CR and the 12 Step Program. I still talk to my Step Sisters. To be honest, I still need to get my butt there and be serve. It isn’t something you just check off of your list and move on with life, it is something that helps me continue to grow closer to God, work on my character flaws and live out my faith.
This is a brief overview of the program and just a small snapchat of my walk.
If you have questions about my journey or about Celebrate Recovery, please reach out.
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Hey Sister! I’m Mandy. I live by my faith, love my husband & kiddos, will do anything for tacos and believe community is life changing.