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Celebrate Recovery

Tending to My Emotions

By Sylvia Chesser, Celebration Place Director of Celebrate Recovery

I grow vegetables as a hobby. I get such joy watching how each variety develops in its own way. And I love being outside with God in the early morning, quietly pruning, weeding, praying, and harvesting the fruits he gives our family.

As much as I like being alone out there, I need help getting the garden started and cleaned up each year. I am so grateful that my husband always helps with the tilling and turning of the soil.

“The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it” (Genesis 2:15 NLT).

As I tend my garden, I must make sure that non-beneficial insects are removed before they destroy the plants.

A tomato hornworm starts out tiny but eats through the leaves quickly before moving on to the fruit, and it grows each day significantly.

If you don’t notice and pull it off, one worm can destroy a whole plant in a couple of days.

Similarly, this can happen in our lives if we don’t notice little things like pride, envy, and anger when they first appear in our hearts. If we don’t recognize these issues in our lives, they can begin to eat away at us and grow into huge emotions that can ruin our lives.

I recognized a few years ago that I struggle with pride in many forms, including worrying about how people see me, being acknowledged for my efforts in things, and feeling like I’m not included in certain situations.

I worked through a Celebrate Recovery Step Study to help me recognize when this was affecting me and why I respond in the ways I do.

Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that” (The Message).

I’m fortunate to have a few accountability partners who help me work through those negative feelings when they start eating at me and help me remember to turn to God for help in focusing on what’s truly important in my life. Things like the fruit that is produced when I am intentional in recognizing those harmful tendencies and replacing them with what God wants to reflect in my life. By working through my “whys,” I have been able to own my part in the situations that hurt me in the past and recognize that the people I felt had caused the harm honestly had no idea that their actions hurt my feelings.

I was letting things affect me and “eat me up.” Things that weren’t really done to me deliberately. If I take time daily to look for what God wants and does in my life, I will not let those negative emotions caused by human nature control me and will instead look for ways to share what I’ve learned with others.

Being intentional in recognizing and removing the “non-beneficial” things, whether it’s my reactions to circumstances or pesky garden critters, makes my environment healthier and something I want to share with others.


If you would like to learn how to start your own Celebrate Recovery ministry, to contact your Celebrate Recovery Rep, please visit: To get involved in an already existing Celebrate Recovery ministry near you, please visit:

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