Thursday, March 13, 2014

Using a Celebrate Recovery Step Study to heal

Last night was my Celebrate Recovery (CR) Women's Step Study group. This is my third time going through a CR step study and it certainly won't be the last in my lifetime.

Last night we finished up Lesson 6, which marks the end of the first book. Three more books to go. We're looking at probably a year to complete this study. Yep, I said a year.

Does it take a year because I'm so messed up? Because the study is laborious and boring? Not at all. This step study is . . . very deep. Personal. All about you and God. There are no wrong answers. There are no tests or quizzes.

This study is about learning what God thinks about me, what He wants for me, the TRUTH about His love for me, and how to deal with those lies and untruths that  I've either been told or have believed.

If you haven't heard of Celebrate Recovery, I urge you to check it out. A common misconception is that it is just for drug addicts and alcoholics. While it IS for them, it is ALSO for anyone with a "hurt, habit, or hang-up." That's me! I attend for my codependency, control issues, enabling behaviors, anger, unforgiveness, and an unhealthy relationship with food. The list could go on and on. Basically, if your name isn't Jesus of Nazareth, this program is for you. :)

I absolutely adore the women in my step study. On the surface, we're all different. Different ages, sizes, shapes, hair colors, marital statuses, family situations, occupations, favorite colors, you name it! But what we're learning is that at the core, we're far more alike than we're different. We all hurt, have believed lies, have hurt other people, have behaviors that we'd like to change, have people to forgive, have forgiveness that we need to seek, etc...

Our most important likeness is that we're all God's children. Loved. Cherished. Beautiful.

As women, we don't hear that about ourselves enough - at least, not in the right way. And we probably don't hear it from other women. There is something rare and beautiful about women supporting other women and not competing with each other. And women turning to Christ for guidance, healing, and growth.

Does this type of study sound appealing to you? Check out your local Celebrate Recovery meeting and ask if they have a women's step study coming up. Then show up! I promise that you won't be disappointed in the journey OR the result.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Content – to be or not to be?

While perusing a social networking site today, I saw the status, pictures, and videos heralding great 'success' for a childhood acquaintance. Everything I saw oozed glamour, success, riches, and fortune. This person looked very happy and certainly looked like they were enjoying life to the fullest.
Hooray for them, right?
Well, not exactly.
Viewing this 'success,' I immediately felt inferior, less than, and excluded. I began to question whether my life had been successful.  I began to compare, measure, and weigh the 'success' of my life compared to what I was seeing on my screen. The differences are vast, to say the least.
I turned from the screen, sickened by the thoughts and feelings. As I have learned through 12-step work in Celebrate Recovery, I had to find the root of these feelings, then resolve this sudden conflict in my mind.
It came as no surprise to trace my feelings back to my childhood.
I remember disliking this person when we were kids because their family was wealthy and I believed them to be arrogant and elitist, part of the 'beautiful people' group that I was not part of and would never be accepted in. I believed that they (the 'beautiful people') looked down on me for any number of reasons – clothes, weight, family occupations, grades, etc . . . you name it, I could feel inferior about it back then!
Ouch. These are not nice things to think about someone else, but that was the way my adolescent mind worked.
I sat back and closed my eyes, trying to make sense of all this. Just this morning, I had reached the end-of-year conclusion that I was “content” with my life. Truly satisfied with my whole life. It felt wonderful! 
So, what had changed in the last few minutes that I spent looking at this person’s life on my screen? 
Nothing had changed, not a single thing.
And then it hit me - there’s nothing wrong with my life!
And there’s nothing wrong with this other person’s life, either!
And the beautiful part is that I do not need to put the other person down, be judgmental of their success, or try to find fault with them in order to feel good about myself or my life. My life is great! I can be happy for them, wish them well in their life’s adventures, and yet embrace my life for everything it is and everything it isn’t.
 I truly enjoy my life - the successes, the failures, the lessons, the teaching, and the growth. I have a growing relationship with God and seek His guidance in everything. I have a wonderful husband who strives to be the spiritual leader of our home. I have a home. My bills are paid. We’re both employed. We have genuine friendships. Who can ask for more?
I am blessed far more than I deserve.
And I now I can say, "Hooray for them!"

Here we go!

Wow, it has been over a year since I posted here. Time flies!

At the end of 2010, I promised myself (and God) that I would be better about putting my thoughts here in 2011. Did I fail?  Well, that depends. It is December 30, 2011 and it is safe to say that I will post more in 2011 than I did in 2010. From a performance standpoint, that's at least a 100% improvement.

Well, here we go. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

In the beginning . . .

For over a year, I've felt a "tug" on my heart to write about my life and what God has done in and with my life.

I'm a technical writer for a large software company. Unlike the writing that I do for a living, this blog will share my creative side and give me a chance to venture into story telling. Let's hope it goes well!

I have a lot to share, a lot of topics that have been bursting into my head like mini fireworks. I hope to share them all with you (in a coherent manner!) in the coming weeks and months.

Trying to be faithful and obedient to Him,
Shannon :)