If you could plug yourself into a formula and life would start to change, would you do it? If you could start a program and lose weight, stop an addiction, get free of walking on eggshells, or maybe stop being so angry, would you do it?
Dr. Henry Cloud, the author of many books including Boundaries, Changes That Heal, and How People Grow, comes back over and over again to what he calls the “pillars of change.” These pillars are essential ingredients to emotional and spiritual growth (a formula). The ingredients are the following: connection, experience, knowledge, and structure. If you examine any program that is effective for life change, whether it be losing weight, stopping an addiction, etc., it will have these four ingredients.
Celebrate Recovery (CR) is a ministry that includes all four of these essential ingredients. CR has:
- Connection: Bonding is essential from birth to the grave. We are created for intimate relationship with God and others, to know and to be known. We all get wounded in relationship and need to be healed in relationship. At CR we are accepted as we are and we get to know and trust each other and learn from each other. We have connections that are intimate and healthy.
- Experience: In order for the brain to change and new neural pathways to form, (and for us to behave, act and think differently), we have to have new experiences. After all, if we always do what we have always done, we will always get what we have always got. We have to take action and do something different. That might look like practicing new communication tools, sitting in a group and sharing about ourselves, asking for help, serving others, etc. CR offers unique opportunities for new experiences.
- Knowledge: We only know what we know, and what got us to this point won’t get us out. We need input and new truth to find out what we don’t know. Then we will know the truth and the truth will help us to move forward and change. Each week at CR, a lesson or testimony is presented. In either case, there is new knowledge and thought provoking material offered.
- Structure: There is wisdom in submitting ourselves to a program that is structured. When we show up week after week, staying plugged in with others on a regular basis, there is accountability and repetition that will begin to change us.
There you have it—a ministry for life change and healing—Celebrate Recovery! With all four ingredients for life change available every week; connection, experience, knowledge, and structure.
~ Contributed by Linda J. Reed, MA, LMHC, CAd., CPC