February 5, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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At Calvary, everyone’s invited on a recovery journey to freedom from something. Recovery is a topic some people would like to avoid, while others are proud of all they’ve accomplished and want to share it with the world. Either way, when someone enters into their recovery journey, they’re actively allowing God to rewrite their future.
This is exactly what happened with Pam a few years ago when she chose to attend Celebrate Recovery for the first time after struggling with debilitating anxiety. Celebrate Recovery is a recovery program for all people in all walks of life who find themselves amidst a hurt, habit, or hangup. This can be anything from anxiety or co-dependency to dealing with an addiction.
For Pam, Celebrate Recovery wasn’t a new idea. In fact, she was able to watch her parents walk through Celebrate Recovery years before as it helped them completely restore and transform their marriage. After experiencing how life-changing it was for them when they saw their daughter struggling, they recommended she seek out the program.
“My parents were after me to go to Celebrate Recovery for probably fi ve years before I actually did it. I’m married, and it hasn’t always been easy. I remembered how Celebrate Recovery individually changed both of my parents and led them back to one another. My mom attended the program when she and my dad were going through a hard time. She heard about it from a local church. When she did the study, my dad saw a change in her and decided that maybe he’d go check it out. Through that their marriage was restored. Eventually, there came a point in my life where I just wasn’t okay, and God used my parents’ situation to speak to me. That’s when I decided to find a program that fi t in my schedule.”
One of the biggest things that put Pam off for so long was her perception of Celebrate Recovery and who could benefit from the program. “Celebrate Recovery is a place where people can come, be human, not feel judged, and be in a supportive Christ-centered environment so they can deal with any of their hurts, habits, or hangups. When I first heard about it, I thought it was only for people struggling with drugs and alcohol, but obviously after being in the program myself, I now know that anybody can benefit from it.”
A few years ago, Pam began struggling with major anxious episodes after a season where her marriage almost fell apart. “Life carried on around me, but I was barely hanging on. My anxiety was through the roof. My friends and family saw I was struggling and suggested I get some antidepressants. After a trip to the hospital during an anxiety attack, I was sent home with some Xanax, which became my crutch until it just wasn’t enough anymore.”
After realizing her Xanax prescription wasn’t helping anymore, Pam finally decided to attend Celebrate Recovery at Calvary. “I remember walking into Calvary for the first time so filled with anxiety. I didn’t even want to get in the elevator. Fortunately, there was a volunteer that personally walked me up the stairs—and he did that for a couple of weeks. I appreciated his care as the months went on and I began working on my program, my shortcomings, my resentments towards my husband, and my uncontrollable anxiety disorder.”
After a long road, Pam completed her 12-step program and eventually became a leader at the Calvary Celebrate Recovery group. “I’m happy to say that after working the 12 steps, it has truly changed me and, amazingly, even the people around me. My home is more peaceful; my children are happy and secure. While my marriage is a work in progress, I’m no longer looking outside of it for fulfillment. I continue to work on myself and try to take a daily inventory. I’m now free from sin and learning to trust God in all things, not just some of them. I’m so blessed to be able to share my hope and encouragement with others by serving at Celebrate Recovery. Today, I can honestly say that while I have a ways to go, I’m finally starting to become the woman God intended me to be.”
What an incredible work God has done in Pam’s life and the lives of her family through Celebrate Recovery! This program isn’t just for those facing hard addiction. It’s for anyone going through a hard time. Because Pam’s parents had the faith to step out and work their program, their marriage was changed, their daughter’s life was changed, and their family was changed.
Kristen Hollis has served in the Communications Team of Calvary since 2020 as a Senior Copywriter and Editor. She contributes and edits content for Calvary’s digital and promotional initiatives. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Kristen and her husband Zachary enjoy all things musical theatre, vinyl hunting, and having the opportunity to serve Calvary on staff while utilizing their talents.