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Celebrate Recovery: A Real Life Recovery Story

Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered recovery program offered in over 3,500 churches nationwide and internationally. It is designed to bring hope and healing from all of life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups.

Many think that recovery is only for those with alcohol or drug problems. The truth is that only about one-third of those attending Celebrate Recovery are dealing with chemical dependencies.

Whether the struggle is emotional, financial, relational, or chemical, there is hope. Celebrate Recovery offers a way to move forward…beyond hurts, habits and hang-ups…by offering the tools needed to experience emotional health and peace in the midst of life’s stresses.

A few years ago, my daughter Anna, shared her Celebrate Recovery story with me. I shared it back then and thought it was a good time to reshare it. I hope you’re as blessed as I was when I read it.

A couple of days ago, I ran into someone on a Friday night. They asked me what I had done earlier that evening. I shared with them that I attended Celebrate Recovery. In shock and almost confusion, this person asked me “Why are YOU in recovery?”

I held back for a moment, but I shared “Well, one reason is I struggle with depression …”

People, you don’t just need recovery for drugs or alcohol addiction. There are all sorts of recovery programs for all sorts of people. If you ask me, EVERYONE has at least one reason they should be in recovery.

We all have our “issues.”

We all have our struggles that we deal with.

Most of us, if we are honest, have our “secret struggles” that we don’t like people to know about because it may ruin our perfect image we’ve created for ourselves on social media.

If we were more vulnerable about our struggles, more people would realize that they are NOT alone and that help is real and HOPE IS REAL.

Here is my recovery story:

I first attended Celebrate Recovery in August of 2015. I was quietly struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts and codependency. I told myself I was just going to Celebrate Recovery to “help out with the band.”

Over time I began realizing that I was powerless to change my own issues without fully surrendering them to God. I made a decision to give these things up to God.

Since then, I have had some very dark days, some days where I have wanted to give up, but because of the commitment I’ve made and the support system of loving, God-fearing people surrounding me, I have pulled through to see the brightest of days. God has shown up. When you get vulnerable with God, he will ALWAYS show up. Not for a moment has he forsaken me. Never once have I walked alone.

These days have been filled with making a LOT of amends, forgiving those who have harmed me and letting go of past mistakes.

My faith is stronger, my fears are weaker. I am closer to God than I have ever been and I am truly walking in freedom.

My story isn’t over; and neither is yours.

If someone you know is struggling, reach out and encourage them to take a step of faith and start their journey to FREEDOM.

Here’s a list of just a few things that Celebrate Recovery (and other recovery programs) can bring you healing from…


  • Drug and Alcohol
  • Shopping
  • Food
  • Cutting / Self Harm
  • Gambling
  • Sexual
  • Internet
  • Video Game



  • Verbal
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Emotional


Life Issues

  • Codependency
  • Perfectionism
  • Control
  • Overworking
  • Anger
  • Depression / Anxiety
  • Grief / Loss
  • Unforgiveness
  • Fear
  • Stress
  • Broken relationships
  • Guilt
  • Lying
  • Bitterness
  • Worry

So, when someone says, “Ooohhh, you’re one of those people.”

I give a resounding, “Why yes. Yes, I am!”

How about you?

Post originally published on August 12, 2017

  • Lisa Moss
    Posted at 16:15h, 12 August Reply

    I love you so much, Anna. You are an amazing individual. Thanks for sharing and this will help so many!

  • Peggy Stanford
    Posted at 16:29h, 12 August Reply

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  • Amber Lowe
    Posted at 18:09h, 12 August Reply

    Amen!!!! Thank you for sharing this! Anna you are an incredible woman and I’m blessed to know you!

  • Randi Andersen
    Posted at 18:11h, 12 August Reply

    Anna, thank you for your help with the band as well as your honesty and transparency, right here.
    Giving my testimony in church last month was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I am proud to be one of “those people”. Struggling with codependency, food issues and anxiety, I find healing and hope at celebrate recovery every Friday. 🙌🏼
    I love the list you made that encompasses so much more than the alcoholic or drug addict.
    Keep coming back, it works if you work it! 🙋🏻

  • Glenn Andersen
    Posted at 18:27h, 12 August Reply

    Hey Anna, thank you for your post. I am blessed to be “one if those people” that God uses to touch the lives of others who are struggling with many of the same issues that He has delivered me from. Romans 8:28 is always true even when we are going through the valley and can’t see it. You can’t have a testimony without a test. You can’t bring a message without a mess! You didn’t choose it but God can use it. And it is a gift that is meant to give away. You are a blessing to me and I praise God for you always. 😊

  • Liz Elliott
    Posted at 19:00h, 12 August Reply

    Love this! ❤️

  • Nancy Chapman
    Posted at 19:36h, 12 August Reply

    Anna, Thank you for being real and sharing your heart. You are a gentle reminder of how God’s love touches the most vulnerable in our culture. You are a treasure to all of us who are privileged to be part of ORBC.

  • Amy Jefferson
    Posted at 23:20h, 12 August Reply

    You are “One of those pepole”. One of those people who, spread light and love where ever they go, one of those people that stand firm in who they are and what they believe, one of those people that are a shinning star and Ray of sunshine to those that come in your path. One of those people that have a steadfast faith our almighty Father. One of those people that I wish the world was more full of. I have had the pleasure of watching you grow in person and since my move via the internet. You my young friend are One of those people that is an inspiration to young and old!!! Love you

  • Holly Collick
    Posted at 03:39h, 13 August Reply

    Anna I’ve always loved you. You have always been one of those people – one of those special people that leave a mark on your soul, leaving your life just a little different, just a little more blessed because you have been a part of it.

    Glad to be “one of those” along with you- some cool pastor I know summed it up by saying “I’m a hot mess- just wrapped up in grace.”

  • Trudi Kulynycz
    Posted at 16:06h, 14 August Reply

    Anna that is very encouraging. I have been struggling for awhile, maybe I should try CR never gave that a thought. Thanks for sharing🙏

  • Roger Martinson
    Posted at 11:31h, 24 September Reply

    Thank you for your story Anna. You are so awesome! I too am one of those people. God bless you.

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