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  • Joan Lopez

Celebrate Recovery

Growing up in a home with non-stop domestic violence, emotional manipulation, and fear took its toll on my soul and spirit man. Growing up in a house or environment whereas a child you must use adult survival skills to get through each day gives you a constant “dust it off and keep moving” mentality. You know kind of like in the action films where the main good guy character gets beat up, shot up, brought so close to death and yet somehow, he gets back up continuing to go after being victorious over the bad guy. As a result of living a lot like John Wick (love me some Keanu Reeves), you never really tend to the wounds caused by life. We have a mentality that if we keep moving it will heal with time. This is a myth we have created in our distance from God Almighty. It is in the lies little girls end up believing about themselves because of the hurt we endured at the hands of the very people who were supposed to love us the most, that our minds hide or tuck away the deepest of hurts. Recently with a deepening of my relationship with My Creator, He has been able to uncover wounds that I had simply bandaged tightly. During a personal outing that I attended, He revealed to me through sharing part of my story (based on the tears shed) that past hurts were still very present in my heart. Since then, I have had several amazing encounters with God during prayer where I have been able to flush out one of the bigger wounds.

I began to look at old picture albums with new eyes. I began to not focus on the bad I remembered or the good I could not remember, instead I began to focus on the people in the pictures and the emotions I felt for them. I began to feel the connections, the love I had/have for my siblings –Yes, each one of them. I remembered loving moments between myself and my parents. Just in acknowledging that there was a true, unconditional feeling for each of them helped me; not to erase the trauma of our lives, but it helped me to be more aware of God’s presence in those moments when prior I could not remember Him being with me. I felt differently, more at peace looking at those pictures. I felt more confident in who I am in Christ today versus the wounded child who always tags along in my mind.

Yesterday I had another meeting with the Holy Spirit which happens daily in prayer, but yesterday I was shown just how much I loved my mother. How much I truly miss her. I was shown just how much she loved me in the only way she had been shown love. I felt great sorrow for her in all that she had endured as a child, and at the hands of my father. I cried what I believe, was the cry I should have had at her passing. It was deep, it was heavy and yet it was healing.

That’s a tough thing to understand, accept and then speak….my earthly parents caused our family great pain and suffering and yet I still love them. Wow, think about that statement. It literally just hit me as I was typing it.

I love my earthly parents the way my Heavenly Father loves us.



Even when we cause him great sorrow in our actions or inactions, He still has unending love for us and offers us eternal life.


As I was thinking about the healing or recovery that I am allowing Jesus to do in me through His Word, it reminded me of the 12-step program I completed some 20+ years ago to heal from these very wounds as not to pass them on to my own children. It was called, Celebrate Recovery. God is so good in that he lets us think we are healing ourselves only to use familiar things to give us true understanding of healing. I thought I was healing myself through Celebrate Recovery, make no mistake it was an amazing program and there were generational chains broken because of it, however; it is only now through my relationship with Jesus that I truly understand what it feels like to celebrate recovery.

Now anyone who has any knowledge of wound care knows, the process by which non-healing wounds are taken care of requires lots of washings, antibiotics and changing of dressings. So let it be said, my wounds are


not done healing, but I now have a better treatment plan (His Word) than I did before.


He sent His word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions. Psalm 107:20



If you need prayer, a small group, or biblically based counseling resources email us at joan@lightheartedlife.com

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