Skip to content
Need some Easter Sermon inspiration? Check out our Easter Sermon Collection Learn more
Go back

Celebrate Recovery

Experiencing Joy through Freedom

Experiencing Joy through Freedom

By Laura

Hi, my name is Laura. I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, and for many years my struggle was with insecurity and low self-worth.

I was raised in a family where I felt as though I could never please anyone. My father was orphaned at 4 and raised in a Catholic orphanage during the Depression. My mother was an adult child of an alcoholic who had never dealt with any of her issues. This caused me to have a desperate need for approval and acceptance, setting up a pattern of bad behavior over the years. When I was 8 years old, I blindly went with a stranger in search of the acceptance and approval I so desperately wanted. Sadly, he stole my innocence from me.

For years I believed that what happened to me was my fault. I began a pattern of self-hatred, low self-worth, and insecurity.

I could not see the treasure God had created me to be. All I could see were shame and guilt. I was no longer pure and innocent. I felt tainted, ruined, and worthless.

I was angry with God and believed he could not love me since he allowed something like this to happen to me. It was not until many years later that Christ set me free from this destructive thinking.

As I sought a relationship with God, he began to speak truth into my life, truth that began to loosen my chains and set me free. This truth came from his Word through counseling and attending Celebrate Recovery® meetings. I quickly realized that Celebrate Recovery was a safe place where I could be open and honest with others and myself. Shortly after I began attending Celebrate Recovery, I joined the study called “The Journey Begins.” The four participant’s guides used in this 12-step study walked me through the process of searching for the truth.

During the weekly meetings, I examined the pain of my childhood and the lies I believed about myself. As I shared my deep dark secrets with the ladies in my group, the power those secrets had over me loosened and I began to be set free. I was able to forgive and receive forgiveness.

As Step #3 says, “I made a decision to turn my life and my will over to the care of God.” When I did this, things truly started to change for me. I began to see how God sees me—as his own special treasure, the apple of his eye. Because of this truth, I am now able to believe that he loves me with an everlasting love. This, along with many other truths, opened my eyes to who I really am in Christ. I am his precious possession. Christ has come to bind up my broken heart and set this captive free.

This freedom has brought an indescribable joy into my life. I no longer believe that I am tainted, shameful, and worthless. I am now able to see what God sees in me. I have begun to live out who God has created me to be. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, I am now “a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (NASB).

It is only because of my relationship with Jesus Christ and the tools I have learned at Celebrate Recovery that I have been able to experience true freedom and joy. I share my story in hopes that you will find this freedom, too.

Always remember: Don’t give up until the miracle happens!

Related Posts

Subscribe to Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox

Weekly Email for Pastors and Church Leaders

    We care about your data. Read our privacy policy.

    Pastor Rick Warren smiling