Who doesn’t love a good story? Whether it’s a story told in a riveting television show, a big screen movie, or a page-turning book, we all love a good story—especially one with a happy ending. What makes us want to read more or sit until the end of a movie? That’s a tough question to answer because it varies so much by individual.
However, when it comes to “testimony night” at Celebrate Recovery, when good stories are shared, the answer is simple. We attend because we want to learn how the speaker overcame his or her hurts, habits, or hang-ups. As a result, we glean more insight into our own journeys toward wholeness. In watching a testimony we can see places where our own life story corresponds with theirs, maybe identifying with their struggle. We may realize for the first time in our lives, we are not alone or we don’t have to be a secret! That can be a huge catalyst for newcomers to the program.
While most stories include a period of hopelessness, trauma, or addiction, they always have a ‘happy ending.’ By ‘happy ending’ I don’t mean that life becomes rosy or problem free. They become joyful because they have found the root of their hurt, habit, or hang-up and are on a path of freedom. It is about progress, not perfection. They are filled with Hope, not the kind of worldly hope that disappoints, but the Hope we have in our Higher Power, Jesus Christ.
I’ve given my testimony several times over the course of my recovery journey. Every time I update my testimony, I get new insights into my own journey. God reveals how He wove the people, places, and events together in my life. He reveals the significance of His timing. He reveals the purpose behind my struggles and His plans to use it for His glory. In essence, my sharing not only gives back and encourages others, it also provides more healing and freedom for me, and grows my faith.
It takes courage to share a Celebrate Recovery testimony. However, before you get up the nerve to share it live, you have to work through the tedious process to write it.
When is the best time to write your testimony? Optimally, you have completed a CR 12-step study group, or another 12-step recovery program, and demonstrated sobriety in an area of recovery. The natural time to write it is when one is working on Step 12: “Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
If you’ve never written your CR testimony before, it can be a very overwhelming process. You may think you have nothing important to share. Or you may not think you have the ability to write such a weighty document. Don’t worry; CR provides a worksheet for use in guiding you through the writing process with prompts and tips. And of course, we include prayer as a foundation for what we are led to share.
If you attend CR or not, God wants to use your story. It is a testimony of His faithfulness. So go ahead and share what God has done for you. If you feel God calling you to write or share your Celebrate Recovery testimony, contact a leader at a CR meeting near you, and start on your next adventure in serving Him.
Contributed by a leader at Celebrate Recovery on the Plateau.