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A Believer Who Struggles with Depression, Anxiety, Alcoholism, Sexual Addiction and Codependency

Hi, I’m Sharon, a believer who struggles with depression, anxiety, alcoholism, sexual addiction, and codependency. It’s taken half a century, and five marriages and divorces, and a near-fatal car accident but here I am. I’m glad to be here to share my story with you . As Romans 8:38 & 39 proclaims:

...I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I believe this whole-heartedly because I’ve been in some situations I should NOT have survived. I spent years of my life trying to separate myself from God. But God, through Jesus, has walked with me every step.

I grew up in a small country town in New Mexico. We weren’t well off, but we weren’t dirt poor. My father worked hard as a welder to support the family and my mom stayed home with the kids. There were four of us. My older brother and sister were from my mom’s first husband and they were 9 and 11 years older than me. Because they were so much older, I really had no relationship with them. My sister married when I was in 2nd grade. My older brother was out of the house shortly after that and I don’t really have many memories of him growing up. My younger brother and I were from Mom’s second marriage to my dad.

New Year's Resolutions

written January 1st but applicable to any new beginning

Today is traditionally a day of resolutions: I will eat more healthy. I will exercise more. I will spend more time with my family. To be honest, I’m just horrible with resolutions. Even if I make just one, I can do that one thing regularly... for a while... and then life comes crashing in and I find that my resolution (and all my good intentions) go right out the window. I just can’t handle looking at life over a long period of time. Too many things happen that make demands upon me... demands on my time, on my emotions, on my energy, on my focus.

Choosing a Quality Christian Alcohol and Drug Rehab Facility

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Feel too far Gone to Claim His Promises?

Do as thou hast said. 2 Samuel 7:25

God's promises were never meant to be thrown aside as waste paper; he intended that they be used. God's gold is not miser's money, but is minted to be traded with. Nothing pleases our Lord better than to see his promises put in circulation; he loves to see his children bring them up to him, and say, "Lord, do as you have said. We glorify God when we plead his promises.

Do you think that God will be any poorer for giving you the riches he has promised? Do you dream that he will be any less holy for giving holiness to you? Do you imagine he will be any less pure for washing you from your sins? He has said

"Come now, and let us reason together,
saith the Lord:
though your sins be as scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they be red like crimson,
they shall be as wool."

Faith lays hold upon the promise of pardon, and it does not delay, saying, "This is a precious promise, I wonder if it is true?" but it goes straight to the throne with it, and pleads, "Lord, here is the promise, 'Do as you have said.'"

Our Lord replies, "Be it done to you as you desire."

When a Christian grasps a promise, if he does not take it to God, he dishonours him; but when he hastens to the throne of grace, and cries, "Lord, I have nothing to recommend me but this, 'Thou hast said it;'" then his desire shall be granted.

Help for Today's Pastor, Minister, or Priest Who Wants to Help the Alcoholic or AddictPremium Content

Help for Today's Pastor, Minister, or Priest Who...

Has experience with alcoholics and addicts in his church and elsewhere; wants to be of help; has heard strange things about or has concerns about A.A.; and doesn't want expensive or expansive alternative programs? In fact, that servant wants his church active in a knowledgeable, effective, Christian recovery effort. And, here's what he or she can do.

Start with the Facts
Here is the early Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program - as briefly summarized in A.A.'s own literature - which repeatedly evoked the comment, "Why this is First Century Christianity! What can we do to help?"

Actual Seven-Point Original Program

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Rebuilding Your Old Ruins in Christ JesusPremium Content

And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
Isaiah 61:4, NKJV

This Scripture really spoke to me this morning as I thought of how so many of us come from places of brokenness, of loss, of deep wounding. We can sometimes wonder if wholeness is a real possibility for us again, or is it just a pipe dream?

I do not believe Jesus is the Author of pipe dreams. Nor is He the author of confusion and the chaos that comes from our addictions and sin and life-controlling problems. But He is the Author of Life, the Author of the rich, eternal, abundant Life that flows forth from within His Spirit and up into our hearts and spirits as He pours His Love and Hope into our hearts:

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Moving from Being "in Recovery" to Having "Recovered"Premium Content

Would you like to recover from alcoholism and addiction? Do you believe that God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, can relieve you of those problems? According to the fourth edition of Alcoholics Anonymous--known affectionately within A.A. as the "Big Book"--an effective way to recover from alcoholism is to establish a relationship with God.

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Prayer for Those in Recovery from Substance Abuse

Dear God,
I pray for those who struggle with alcohol or other drugs. Please let them know how much you love and care for them.

Please don’t let them bury themselves in guilt and shame. You are a God who forgives. You are the God of the second chance and even of the third and fourth chance.

Help those in recovery find a job. Give them an employer who understands addiction and will make it possible for them to work and still be able to attend recovery meetings.

Give them real friends who will love and respect them and hold them to the standard of staying clean and sober.

Bless them with a sponsor who will both encourage and challenge them to do their step work.

Traumas and Addiction (Workshop Transcript)Premium Content

Obie-Host: "Welcome to our Workshop on Trauma and Addiction. We will be discussing trauma, abuse and as well as addiction. Would someone like to open us in prayer?"

"Yahweh, thank you so much for the freedom we have to gather together in fellowship with you and each other - Thank you that Yvonne is giving us her time to teach us -Holy Spirit open our eyes and ears - that we may see and hear what you would impart to us today - Have your way - may your will be done. Amen"

Obie-Host:"Welcome everyone to the Workshop on Trauma and Addiction - our leader today is Yvonne Ortega. She has credentials as long as my arm, as well as personal experiences in everything she talks about. Yvonne, please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself."

"Hi you all! Thank you for having me. It is a blessing to share with you all. Yes, I have credentials, but, I've also learned through the school of hard knocks.

Trauma refers to situations in which a person is rendered powerless and great danger is involved. The situations involve death and injury or the possibility of death and injury.
Those events evoke a state of extreme horror, helplessness, and fear. They are events of such intensity and magnitude they would overtax any human being’s ability to cope.

Such events can be childhood physical abuse or sexual abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault and rape, natural catastrophes such as hurricanes and tornadoes, car accidents, war and combat, and a life-threatening disease. Just as the body can be traumatized, so can the psyche.

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Humility in Recovery

In recovery, we need to stay focused on the path ahead. There are many obstacles that can effortlessly obstruct our growth process. One deadly sin that we should always steer clear of is pride. Anyone in recovery is extremely susceptible to external hindrances because we were once slaves to them during our addiction. Outside hindrances can include numerous things, such as shame, resentment, fear, self-centeredness, and pride, among other things. If we are to evade these hazardous obstacles, we should harbor and uphold a humble spirit. Once we are finally clean and sober, have gone to meetings, and have worked the program, we learn that God alone can cure us of our past sins. We must surrender our will and our lives over to the care of God. And this, my friends, requires an act of humility.

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