Asbury United Methodist Church
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Sexual / Physical / Emotional Abuse
Celebrate Recovery is a place for men and women in recovery from past physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse. Our common background is a history of abuse and our goal is to enter into or maintain recovery. Recovery for us is a two-fold issue. We need healing from the traumas done to us in our past; we also need healing from the influence these past experiences continue to have on our present lives.
For the "old-timers" who have already begun the road to recovery, this group can provide a place in which to continue their recovery process.
As with any other Christ-centered recovery group we believe that, by our participation through active listening, sharing and application of the Steps to our lives, the Holy Spirit will guide us to further understanding, healing and wholeness.
One of our objectives is to provide a supportive, yet safe environment. We are not here to lecture, preach, fix or provide therapy. We are here to tell our story. We come together to share in our weakness, for it is in our weakness that we gain strength. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" (NIV)
There are other advantages for coming together as a group. One is accountability. We can look to others to honestly let us know how we are doing in our recovery. Old-timers or sponsors can help us see where we may be stuck or provide us with a safe sounding board so that we can hear ourselves. Developing a support system is integral to this program.
Another advantage is the sharing of encouragement. The center of the word encouragement is courage. Sometimes we need others around us who have been there to give us courage to be where we are or to take action. We reflect Christ's grace and love as we move through recovery.
An important advantage is the prayer support that we find with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Also, when we come together we share spiritual gifts.
God never intended for us to heal alone. His plan has always been for us to heal in community. Celebrate Recovery is that community of healing for all of us.
Twelve Steps for Sexual/Physical/Emotional Abuse ::
We admit we are powerless over the past and as a result our lives have become unmanageable.
We believe God can restore us to wholeness, and realize this power can always be trusted to bring healing and wholeness in our lives.
We make a decision to turn our will and our lives to the care of God, realizing we have not always understood His unconditional love. Choose to believe He does love us, is worthy of trust, and will help us to understand Him as we seek His truth.
We make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, realizing all wrongs can be forgiven. Renounce the lie that the abuse was our fault.
We admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of the wrongs In our lives. This will include those acts perpetrated against me as well as those wrongs I perpetrated against others.
By accepting God's cleansing, we can renounce our shame. Now we are ready to have God remove all these character distortions and defects.
We humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings, including our guilt. We release our fear and submit to Him.
We make a list of all persons who have harmed us and become willing to seek God's help in forgiving our perpetrators, as well as forgiving ourselves. Realize we've also harmed others and become willing to make amends to them.
We extend forgiveness to ourselves and to others who have perpetrated against us, realizing this is an attitude of the heart, not always confrontation. Make direct amends, asking forgiveness from those people we have harmed, except when to do so would injure them or others.
We continue to take personal inventory as new memories and issues surface. We continue to renounce our shame and guilt, but when we are wrong promptly admit it.
We continue to seek God through prayer and meditation to improve our understanding of His character. Praying for knowledge of His truth in our lives, His will for us, and for the power to carry that out.
Having a spiritual awakening as we accept God's love and healing through these steps, we try to carry His message of hope to others. Practice these principles as new memories and issues surface claiming God's promise of restoration and wholeness.
Through my Celebrate Recovery Step Study, God made a way for me to, finally, lay to rest the shame that had motivated me from early own. I was able to admit publicly what had happened to me as a child and acknowledge that it was NOT my fault. Not only was it not my fault, but it in no way defined who I was. God did love me unconditionally and accepted me as I was. He did exactly as He had promised in Isaiah 54:4, 'Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. The shame of your youth will be remembered no more.' I can see it clearly now as a lie from my enemy and I do not accept it!! As I allow God to pull back the layers, through participating in my Share Group, Step Study, and being honest with my sponsor, I know that He will show me where I need to go from here.
--A Woman in CR
I have a choice; to look to God for help or to walk in my own strength. My habits and addictions are the result of my wrong choices, my hurts are the result of other's choices that have had an affect on my life, and my hang-ups are the result of learned behavior from my family and religion of origin. God is bigger than all of these and through him, my Higher Power, I find the courage to change the things that I can and accept the things that I cannot. As I surrender my life and will to him on a daily basis, I find happiness and joy and I know that I will spend eternity with him in Heaven.
--A CR Participant
What is over is over. I cannot change the past but I can learn from it and make a decision to go on with my life. Through Celebrate Recovery, God and I can break the cycle. I can stay in an attitude of faith and walk away from emotional bondage. No one can do it for me. I have forgiven myself and I'm working on forgiving those who have hurt me. I remind myself daily to base my value solely on the fact that I am a child of the Most High God. Through recovery, God has helped me transform and I am beginning to experience his restoration in my life. And as each day passes, I am feeling more and more like a butterfly, full of God's freedom and His grace.
--A Woman in CR