The first time I went to a Celebrate Recovery night, I didn’t know what to expect. The only thing I knew, was I needed help… DESPERATELY. My life was out of control and I was on the verge of losing EVERYTHING. I was stressed out at my job, nearly had a stroke in the ER, my marriage was on the verge of collapse and my position as a leader in the church was gone. All because of my secret sin of pornography.
I found this church online that was hosting CR, so I went. When I walked into the room, there was a huge circle of chairs, and before the night started we had a total of 43 men (3 of them leaders) in that circle. I know because I counted. Not sure why, just curious I guess.
As they went around the room they would introduce themselves….Hi my name is Bob and I struggle with Drugs and Alcohol… HI BOB, Hi my name is Steve and I suffer with Lust and Pride…. HI STEVE Around the circle it went and got to me… Hi my name is Keith and I struggle with Lust, Pornography, Anger and Pride… HI KEITH.
What struck me most that first night, besides the sheer size of the circle, was how many other men struggle with Pornography and Lust… nearly 3/4 of the room! What strikes me most today as I reflect on those days… is that by the end of our 12 Step Study, only 11 of us remained. Many times I have wondered what happened to those other 29 men, and where they are today. My prayer is that they found the help they were looking for.
What I want to really talk about in this article however, is the CIRCLE of Celebrate Recovery and why/how it works. To be honest I thought it was a bunch of nonsense at first… I mean here I am spilling my guts to a bunch of strangers about all my problems and no one EVER chimes in to give me advice or help me out! They keep saying “we are not here to fix you, we are only here to support you” BLAH BLAH BLAH! What I need is some friggin advice people! How do I fix my life???? HELLO?
But guess what? Sitting here right now, looking back on the last two years… those circles of trust are THE most important part of Celebrate Recovery… at least they were for MY recovery. To this day I can’t really explain HOW, but something about telling a bunch of men your deepest darkest secrets and NOT Being judged is incredibly therapeutic. In fact, not only are you NOT judged, but whenever I would share… I would glance around the circle as I shared the worst parts of me, and see nothing but nodding heads! These people understood me, because in many ways they WERE me.
Not to put down professional counseling, but recently I visited a “Professional” to get help with myself and marriage… and this guy was 32 years old… many years my junior. He wasn’t married and didn’t have a girlfriend!!! Yet HE was supposed to understand my issues? Needless to say I got very little from my time there.
If you have been around me much or even read some of my writings you might think I am a paid endorser of Celebrate Recovery. I am not. But I am someone who’s life was saved by Jesus Christ THROUGH Celebrate Recovery and for THAT REASON I will stand on every hillside and shout about how great this program really is.