Six years ago I participated in a Celebrate Recovery Step-Study. A friend of mine had invited me to join with him. My motivation was to be an encouragement and support to my friend. But I soon realized that God wanted me in that Study for my own house cleaning!

Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-Centered 12-Step Program. John Baker and Rick Warren rewrote the traditional 12-Step program 20 years ago because they saw that Christ was no longer the focus of the traditional program.

There are lots of stereotypes about recovery and the people who participate in them. When I was in that first group I would look around and think, “I’m not like ‘those’ people.” Boy, did God have a lot to show me! And He did! God began to reveal to me that “Yes, you’re just like them. You have hurtful habits in your own life that don’t please me. Are you going to be honest about those hurtful habits?”

I soon realized that I needed to become honest about my own personal struggles. I did and God helped me to experience important elements of recovery.

In 2010, around the time of the release of his book, “Necessary Endings,” Henry Cloud was the guest speaker at Willow Creek Community Church. He explained that we need two things in order to create change in our lives: a proven pathway to follow and the power to stay on that pathway.

I have learned that Celebrate Recovery is a proven pathway for change. I have also come to experience that God, through the support of others and His Holy Spirit provides the power to stay on that pathway.

The pathway of Celebrate Recovery has three main categories: trust of God, cleaning house, and helping others.

Steps 1-3 direct a person to admit they need help, believe that God can help them, and take the step of yielding to God.

Steps 4-9 are the “cleaning house” steps. Starting with a truthful inventory of our lives, we are to identify the beginnings of hurtful experiences, patterns of coping, and character traits that became a part of our lives. It’s here that we make restoration with God and with others whenever possible. We also take steps to correct character flaws in our lives.

Steps 10-12 direct us maintain our daily walk with God and participate in helping restore others.

For more information about Celebrate Recovery, go to: