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Celebrate Recovery

Testimony: Don’t Quit Before Your Miracle Happens

By Rodney, Carol, Taylor, and Jason

I’m a grateful believer in Jesus and I struggle with drugs, alcohol, and food issues.

My name is Rodney.

I came from a dysfunctional home, one of four boys and a mom dealing with her own pain, addictions, and baggage. We lived in a home where verbal, emotional, and physical abuse ran rampant. At the young age of 10, I began smoking marijuana and when that wasn’t enough to mask the pain, I turned to alcohol and eventually, cocaine.

My mom moved away, and I stayed behind to live with my “friends” who were drug dealers. I was now homeless, a high school dropout with absolutely no hope for a future. I found myself wandering the streets with no sense of purpose. God certainly didn’t know I existed. He wasn’t present in my madness and certainly wasn’t strong enough to help me out of this mess, or so I thought…

I knew it was time to get out of there and so I moved to stay with my mom. I truly believed I was leaving my problems behind. Little did I know, running would not bring me the peace I so longed for.

I’d like to introduce you to my wife, Carol.

Carol:  Hi, I’m a believer in Christ who struggles with control issues, codependency, and depression. My name is Carol.

I grew up in what most would consider a normal Christian home. My parents were good people and worked hard to raise me and my siblings. Because of my parents’ involvement in our church, we were there all the time. At the age of 12, I walked the aisle to be “saved”, but at that time, it was just an action and I didn’t really even know what it meant. I was also very involved in the youth group, sang, and played the piano in church on a regular basis.

At an early age, I was exposed to some experiences that would forever shape the way I saw myself. I experienced a nasty breakup with a long-time boyfriend right after high school and felt my life spiraling out of control. I continued to attend church, and no one had a clue about the pain I was experiencing, not only from the breakup, but from the guilt and shame I had for my poor choices. Even though I did not really have a personal relationship with Jesus at the time, I did know that the life I had been living was wrong. I desperately wanted to change but felt stuck in my pain and low self-esteem and didn’t know how to get out.

I finally realized my need for a Savior at 19 and accepted Christ into my life while I was on a mission trip.

Rodney:  My mom ended up moving away again, and I lived in low-income housing alone and was going back to school while trying to find some normalcy in my life for the first time ever. Then, God sent me my angel, my Jesus in the flesh.

I was evicted from that house, which left me homeless. I didn’t want to go back to my mom’s because I knew it would probably mean I would end up dropping out of school again to work and support my family. So I went to my music teacher and told him that I had been living on my own and going to school but that I was now homeless. I asked him if I could live with him for a while until I figured things out. His initial response was “No” and was completely understandable. He was nearing retirement and was in a stage of life where he didn’t see that being an option. I went back to the house to get whatever I could fit in my backpack, not knowing where I would go or what I would do. I was completely hopeless. That’s when I saw my angel. I looked out the front window where Mr. Taylor was pulling into my driveway with his pick-up truck. I walked out the front door and there he was, with my moped in hand, placing it in the back of his truck. He said, “You’re coming home with me.”

It was because of him and his wife’s influence that I got into church and accepted Christ into my life at the age of 18 and my life began to change.

I finished high school and with my music teacher’s help, got a scholarship to attend a local college. It was there that Carol and I met, and 9 months after meeting, we got married. I thought I had left my problems behind, but quickly learned as I entered into our marriage, that I brought in so much baggage from my past. I had a dysfunctional view on what the family was supposed to look like, and I had so many character defects.

Carol:  I brought my own set of issues into the marriage. I had learned to hide my emotions quite well and had pretty big walls built up around me. I also felt a deep sense of guilt and shame from past decisions that haunted me. A big test came when I nearly miscarried with our son twice during my pregnancy. It would be a few years later that the strain of that time would play itself out in our marriage. But God had a plan, and even though we weren’t following him at the time, he worked through our dysfunction to bring us the first of the two best gifts we have ever been given. He truly worked a miracle and saved our son for his purposes.

Rodney:  When things got tough, more poor choices ensued. Instead of facing the pain of my past, I hid myself in my work. I had become a workaholic and spent ridiculous amounts of time at work, barely seeing my wife and my son. This caused an emotional separation between us. One day, I came home to an empty house. My wife had left me. She was beaten down emotionally and had nothing left in her tank to give to our relationship. Her leaving devastated me and I fell into a deep depression and contemplated suicide. I had hit my absolute rock bottom in life. My poor choices were to blame, as well as an unwillingness to deal with my past hurts. I could not bear the thought of being without my wife and my son.

Carol:  I would spend days crying and rarely got out of the house. I remember kneeling by my bedside and crying out to God, asking him to fix my husband and fix my circumstances. But I never remember asking him to fix me. I got involved in a church, hoping that would fix me and make me happy, but I was looking to the church for my happiness and not to Jesus. During our separation, Rodney tried to convince me to come back and that things would be different, but I always turned him down. But one day, he called and asked if I would go to lunch with him. Everything within me wanted to say no, but yes came out of my mouth. I didn’t know it at the time, but looking back on that lunch, I realize that God was giving me a choice. It was Choice 3, “Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.” I could either go back and fulfill the commitment I made to him and my husband or continue to run. As much as I wanted to reject him, I just couldn’t. I knew the choice I had to make.

As we tried to rebuild our marriage, we sought out counseling to mend the hurts and pain that were caused. It was a rough road for quite a while, but as we continued to seek Christ, the wounds started to heal. I knew all along that no matter how hard it would be, I had made the right choice.

But the issues that had been there all along were still there, and I had not dealt with them yet. When our second gift was born, a daughter, we decided to name her after the wonderful couple that took Rodney in off the streets as a young man. I’d like to introduce you to our daughter, Taylor.

Taylor:  I’m a grateful believer in Christ who struggles with pride and codependency, and my name is Taylor. I grew up in a Christian home, went to church all my life, and accepted Christ at the young age of 4. I knew all the “Sunday school” answers, and started developing pride at a young age. This pride caused me to be very self-conscious and I began craving the approval of others. That’s how I lived my day-to-day life. I based it off what my friends wanted to do and what made them happy. I would do anything I could to just “fit it”. Being rejected time and time again began my struggle with depression that I still struggle with. I didn’t know how to seek help with my deep sadness. I was a pastor’s kid, I was supposed to be perfect, right? I shut my parents out and began lying to them and hiding things behind their backs. I sought out guys whose ultimate goal was to take advantage of me, simply because I felt loved by them. I felt like there was no possible way of escaping the way that I was living. I was depressed, I was a liar, and I based my happiness on what others thought of me. I felt like I had nowhere to go.

Rodney:  Several years ago, we were approached about helping with worship at Celebrate Recovery. God had us right where he wanted us. Through this process I learned that I must turn my entire life and will over to Christ’s care as Principle 3 reads. Even though I had been sober for several years, I did not realize until going through the process of Celebrate Recovery that I was still carrying the junk that led me to use drugs and drinking as a coping mechanism in the first place.

Carol:  Through working these choices, I realized that those things that happened to me as an innocent child were not my fault. I realized I was God’s daughter, and that he loved me no matter what. I was able to forgive myself after years of carrying guilt and shame for my poor choices. I started to form relationships with women. That is something I never had before. None of my junk was too big or too small for God. He cares about them all.

Taylor:  As I started working through the choices, I began realizing that I am not perfect, pastors’ kid or not, and God began revealing things to me that I had never allowed myself to see before. Choice 3 was a huge step for me. I had to consciously choose to let Christ begin the healing process in me. Before, I was in such denial about the sin and brokenness in my life.

Romans 8:11 says, “Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you” (NET). I’d like to introduce you to my brother, Jason.

Jason:  I am a grateful believer in Jesus, and I struggle with people-pleasing. My name is Jason. I was 13 when my parents started attending Celebrate Recovery. We began a teen program, and it was there that I learned about Life’s Healing Choices. Once I finished high school, I decided to turn to my own ways. Early on in college, I started drinking and going to parties. I met a girl and we started dating. One night when I was drunk, I lashed out at her in anger. It scared me to think that I could be capable of hurting this person that I loved. I realized I was not remembering anything I was taught about these choices. I was reminded I needed help and needed to come out of denial and choose to follow Christ’s will for my life. I turned back to God and he began working on me.

Carol:  For the past several years, I have had the incredible privilege to help lead Celebrate Recovery for pastor’s wives’ groups at my church and groups for church staff women who want to work through Celebrate Recovery. I have seen God move in big ways in these groups. Because of the work God has done in me through these groups, I have been able to truly enjoy watching our children grow into young adults without trying to control them. I love the way God chooses to use Celebrate Recovery to strengthen ALL of my relationships. My marriage has never been healthier. I’m in awe on a daily basis that God would bless me with such an incredible, godly man and spiritual leader in our family. I tell people all the time that God used Celebrate Recovery to save our marriage and our family, and I believe that wholeheartedly.

Taylor:  Thank God that I don’t have to do it on my own. The Spirit is daily revealing things to me, correcting me in areas of my life, and then sending me to share this Good News with others. My parents have broken the cycle of dysfunction in their families and now my brother and I get to keep that cycle from repeating itself because of the tools Celebrate Recovery has given us.

Rodney:  A few years ago, my mom went home to be with the Lord. Through these choices, I was able to deal with her sickness and her passing in a healthy way. I find hope and peace in knowing that she is no longer hurting or struggling the way she had for so long. I continue to grow in peace that God is in control. In the final years of her life, I was able to lead my mom to the Lord and had some of the most incredible talks with her. I was able to make amends to her for some wrong things I did in my life to hurt her and forgive her for mistakes she made in her life as well. What a gift to be able to get all that off our chest and make peace before we said goodbye.

I am learning to forgive myself for things I have done in my past. I still struggle in my life and still have to guard my heart from time to time from falling into isolation when things go wrong. The difference now though is I know how to identify the early signs of this and call on my network of people and especially Christ, to keep me from running to that cave.

Carol:  I still struggle, but what is different now is I see those behaviors and can go to God for help in working through those issues. I have been able to release control over certain things in my life that were causing me to not fully experience God in the way he intended. It’s a daily process. I can count it all joy that I have walked the path that I have because the Father uses my hurts to teach me and grow me in my faith.

Jason:  The Celebrate Recovery principles are helping me today with my new wife as I continue to grow and be the best husband I can be to her. I know that in this life there will be many struggles and obstacles. But because of the tools I have learned through this process, I can face them head on and fight them well. I am grateful that the changes that I have seen in my parents through this program have trickled down to me and I can now use these tools with my new wife and future family. They will have a lasting effect on my legacy. I know that God has to be the center in the relationship in order for it to work.

Rodney:  Celebrate Recovery has taught me that one person’s choices can affect the whole family, and because one person has issues, the whole family has issues. Christ used Celebrate Recovery to change my and my family’s lives, and he will change yours too. He can help you achieve your dream for a new and clean life. I am grateful that this ministry is a family ministry and that cycles can be broken starting with this generation and continue to be broken in the generations to come. Today is a new day. It’s time to break those cycles and create a new legacy with Christ’s help.

Don’t quit before your miracle happens. Thanks for letting us share.


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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