Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Uncomfortable Growth


I knew I was going to fall eventually. It was inevitable. The combination of tennis shoes, snow, and a steep upward slope just didn’t look promising.

My husband, Kevin, and I were on a belated honeymoon in Estes Park, Colorado for a week of hiking in the mountains. When planning the trip, I had envisioned perfect spring weather -- 65 degrees and clear skies for all the trails we wanted to explore in Rocky Mountain National Park. I couldn’t wait to get away from the hustle and bustle of life to reflect on God’s beautiful creation; after all, the mountains of Colorado had always held a special place in my heart as a place of spiritual retreat and healing.

But as we approached our first trail (comfortingly named “Glacier Gorge” -- what were we thinking?) two things became clear: snow still covers the Rocky Mountains in May, and Kevin had overestimated my hiking abilities. To him, the snowy 1000-foot elevation climb looked exciting. To me, it looked… not exciting.

“Umm, Kevin?” I said as he forged ahead towards the trailhead. “I’m not sure I can do this.”
“Oh yes you can,” he said. “You can’t be afraid. Gotta trust yourself. Just plant your feet in my footsteps. You’ll be fine. And if you fall, where are you going? I’m right here.”

I rolled my eyes. This may be the beginning of a newlywed spat, I thought. And the Colorado guidebook we got from Barnes and Noble definitely didn’t say anything about snow in May.

But my grumbling wasn’t going to get me anywhere, and there were hikers coming up behind us (with hiking boots, cleats, and hiking poles, I noted). I had to attempt the climb, unprepared as I was. “Okay, but I’m going to need help,” I told Kevin. Maybe these people behind me will help us if I fall and bust my head open and we have to call for emergency help and I have to be airlifted back to Arkansas, all because I was too stupid to bring hiking boots.
“You’re worrying too much,” Kevin said. “I’m right here.”

Taking the first step up, I knew I was in over my head. I could barely put my foot down without feeling shaky, unsteady, and generally as though I was going to fall and crash into a tree at any moment. We had climbed less than 100 feet before I gave in. “Kevin, it’s too much,” I said. “I want to turn around.”

We may still be newlyweds, but Kevin has learned enough after eight months of marriage to know not to argue with his wife when it comes to my fear of falling. We turned around and headed back down.

“Okay,” he sighed. “Plant your feet sideways, and use your heels to dig into the snow when you’re coming back down the slope. I’ll go ahead of you, but I can’t just hold your hand the entire way, or we’ll both fall.”

Great, I thought. Not exactly what I was picturing when we booked the resort. I took my first shaky step downwards. I was easily taking 30 or 40 seconds to make sure my foot was planted correctly for each step; I was determined to do it right. A slip would mean I failed. And after maybe five minutes of inching my way down the slope and making almost zero progress forwards, I had become “that hiker” who was testing all the other tourists’ patience. By the fifth step, I was on my rear end in the snow.

“You okay back there?” Kevin called. Nope, nope, not okay. Making sure I wasn’t hurt, he asked, “What happened? Katelin, just put your feet in my footsteps. You can get up. You’re okay.”

I was hurt, though perhaps it was just my pride. Unfortunately, I had no choice. I had to get up and keep going, unless I wanted to spend the rest of our honeymoon on Glacier Gorge, and I was pretty sick of snow at this point.

After plenty of more trembling steps downward, we found ourselves back at the start of the trailhead. “I’ll just remind you that I was the one that suggested Hawaii,” Kevin said on the seemingly-endless drive back to the resort.

Thinking back on the experience later that day, I saw that I was so terrified of slipping and falling that I almost couldn’t move. I was determined to do it perfectly. I may have found myself in an unexpected circumstance with the snow, but that fact alone didn’t have to prevent me from moving forward. It was my own fear that held me back.

The reality was that I had plenty of people around me. I was on a well-traveled path and I could follow in the footsteps of those who had gone before me. Most importantly, I had someone -- Kevin -- to guide me and help me up if I slipped. And when I did fall, he was there to help me back up and get me moving forward again until I felt more confident in my own abilities.

Have you ever felt like that in recovery? We find ourselves on a steep climb, not exactly sure how to take the next step. We know we don’t want to fall back into our old hurts, habits, and hang-ups, but the fear of moving forward -- whether it be starting or completing our inventories, offering forgiveness, or making amends -- can stall our progress. Fortunately for us, recovery is a well-traveled path. We are surrounded by those who have gone before us and can guide us as we take the next steps towards healing. Our sponsors and accountability teams can offer support and encouragement if we begin to feel fearful, and can be there to help us if we slip. Slips are not infrequent in the recovery process and can actually be a catalyst for change when they grant us a fresh perspective on how to move forward in following God’s will for our lives. It’s progress -- not perfection.

 
Two days after that first attempt at Glacier Gorge, I found myself at the trailhead of Deer Mountain (it should be noted that Kevin let me pick the next trail out of our Colorado guidebook, which explicitly stated that the trail was one with “very little snow year-round”). Okay, Lord, I prayed. I’m getting up this mountain one way or another, but I can’t do it without Your help. Perhaps the Lord knew I needed a challenge mixed with His grace; there were still patches of snow on the trail, but only enough to present some mild difficulty. I’ve already slipped once; it’s not like I’m going to die if I fall on my rear again, I thought. Six miles later, my husband and I had completed our first summit hike together.

If you’ve found that your recovery has stalled, don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. Recovery is a process, and sometimes our Heavenly Father lets us slip and fall in the proverbial snow to learn how to navigate uncomfortable situations. You are surrounded by others who have gone before you and will help you get back on your feet. So keep going. The view from the top is beautiful.

 
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. --Habakkuk 3:19

 

 
Katelin

Friday, September 11, 2015

What a Coincidence

What a coincidence....
-When I went to CR the first time there was someone there who had walked through that same situation years earlier
-When I shared my deepest pain, no one judged me.
-When I shared my testimony, I saw in the crowd the leader that led my first newcomer meeting.
-When I came back to CR after missing a week, people missed me.
-When I stumbled and went back to God, He was still there.
-When I stopped trusting God, He never changed.
-When I was fearful and lashed out at God, He still showed compassion on me.
-When I blamed God, he taught me how to take responsibility for my action...and loved me all the way through it.
-When I shared my deepest secrets with an accountability partner, contrary to what I believed, I actually lived through it.
-When I called out to God for help, He was there holding tight to my hand.
Sometimes we can look at life and the things that happen and see them as coincidence. But, make no mistake about it, there are no coincidences with God.
His will is a beautiful expression of His unconditional love. Take a look around you today and see what He is doing. Even in the difficult & hard to explain situations, God's WILL, will shine through it and He will not allow that hurt to go wasted.
You are breathing today and have a body of CR believers that are here and ready to walk through any and all junk with His help. That is no coincidence.

God is still in the business of miracles.


Be blessed today!


Rodney Holmstrom

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Let It Go! Let It Go!


I remember hearing this song for the first time. I had not seen the Disney movie, Frozen, at that point. I had only heard that characters named Olaf, Sven, Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff had mesmerized a lot of the local college guys. They were known to see the movie again and again and had learned all of the songs. I admit I dismissed the whole thing as to too much time on their hands and not enough time with their noses in their books.Eventually, curiosity got the best of me. I admit to hoping on YouTube more than a time or two to listen to several of the songs from the movie. 
What do a hit pop song, a bunch of made up characters, and a story adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ice Princess have to do with real life and recovery? Well, from my perspective, here are some things that struck a chord with me. I never know when, where or how a life lesson may appear.
Let’s start with denial. No, it’s not just a river in Egypt. (Poor attempt at humor, I know.) Denial holds us back from embracing who we really are and from living freely. I can choose to pretend something has not happened or that I have not been made a certain way that I think I would prefer, ultimately resulting inliving in conflict or resentment. OR, I can choose to Let It Go! I can be honest with my hurts, habits, and hang-ups. I can admit that I am powerless to do the wrong thing. I can choose to move beyond unmet expectations, mine or someone else’s
How about acceptance? Once we step out of denial it doesn’t necessarily mean the next step is acceptance. Sometimes there is a suspended state in between called limbo. I admit what did or did not happen; yet I am not willing to fully accept or embrace an alternative idea or reality. Have I fully accepted the truth? Am I able to Let It Go and move on toward healing?
When we step out of denial and into acceptance, we have made a decision. Are you familiar with the idea that not making a decision is in and of itself, making a decision? Awareness does not equal a decision. I am aware of a lot of things that would make me healthier and my life “easier”. It doesn’t mean I do them. True decision means changing. Part of the Latin root of the words decide, decides, and decision is “caedree” meaning to cut off. A real decision eliminates other options. It is a real way to Let It Go.
Have you ever played a scenario in your mind over and over? Rehashed the story with family and friends again and again? The tighter we hold onto hurts, habits, and hang-ups, the harder it is to let go. If I have my fists clinched around something, fighting to hold onto what I know, whether I really want it or not; I am not open to receive something that might be better or at a minimum release the strain and stress of holding on by relaxing or releasing my grip.
When Anna stopped living in denial and anger over her reality and began to accept the facts, she had a decision to make. She could continue to struggle, mourn, and freeze out others OR she could release her expectations, her hurts, habits and hang-ups. It was up to her.  Just like it is up to us. What will you do today? Are you willing to Let It Go?
If so, throw your arms out wide, hold your head up high, decide and declare it! Let It Go!
Daphne- CR leader and volunteer, Fellowship Bible Church

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Airplane Mode


I was flying back from the first National One Day training in Sacramento, CA yesterday and the flight attendant got on the intercom to give the familiar message to all the passengers. She said, "At this time, please turn your phones to airplane mode so as to not create interference with flight communication."


I got to thinking about this as a practice in our daily walk. Do we make time in our daily time with God to put our life, daily planners, meeting agendas, to-do lists and busy life on airplane mode, so-to-speak? All those things create interference and daily flight with the Father's strength.  Do you realize that if we gave just 15 minutes of our day to God in "airplane mode" (non-interference to our communication to our Father) that would be just 1% of our day?  


Life can be so crazy and God wants to be a part of our whole day but having those times of uninterrupted, phone silenced, computer logged off time with our Father is so critical get us centered and flying in ministry the way He intended us to.  Principle 7: Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible readings and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.


A daily time of "airplane mode" time with the Father helps us know His will and gain power to follow His will. How is your "airplane mode" time these days?

What would happen if all our church leaders, ministry leaders and followers of Christ gave just 1% of our day to Him?  

Have a blessed week friend. God bless you.

Rodney Holmstrom


For more information about Celebrate Recovery or to find a group near you visit www.celebraterecovery.com

Friday, January 16, 2015

Miracles thru Celebrate Recovery

“Don’t quit before your miracle happens!”  That is something we say often around here at Celebrate Recovery and I love it.
It’s interesting how we can overlook the miracles in our life and recovery. The miracle for you tonight could be just getting here to CR.
Yes, our life is made up of many little miracles in this process that gives us our miracle we've been waiting for.
That miracle could be sobriety from some sort of substance, internet addictions of all sorts, relationship issues, maybe unhealthy and destructive anger, depression. Or maybe it’s just getting unstuck from our mess and learning the process of moving forward.
Whatever it is, don’t discount the biggest miracle, the miracle of learning how to apply God’s principles of CR to “ALL our affairs” and not just those that brought us into recovery.
Many people, in fact, an estimated 2 million plus people have gone through Celebrate Recovery worldwide.  Many miracles happening right before our eyes.
Maybe you could be the next. Maybe the one you invite into this process could be the next to experience their own miracle toward healthy living in all their affairs.
Come see us tonight and give that brother or sister a call that God has been putting on your heart lately.
A great testimony, great worship, small groups that strengthen us and wonderful fellowship.
6pm Celebrate Recovery @ Fellowship Bible


Rodney Holmstrom


For a group near you go to www.celebraterecovery.com

Friday, November 28, 2014

Are You Meeting Tonight CR? YES!!!!

The biggest question I get on the Friday after Thanksgiving….”Are you all open tonight?”
I love that, because of wonderful volunteers and their sacrifice they make 365 days of the year, that I can answer that question with a resounding YES!!!
Truth is, recovery doesn’t take a vacation does it? Lots of times the holidays can be the worst for our family.
Thank you CR Forever Family Volunteers for making this possible to say "yes we will most definitely be here."...
I am full of gratitude today!

I love the great quote by Henri Nouwen:
"Gratitude goes beyond the 'mine' and 'thine' and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy."
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:16-18
I love that! This is God’s will for you and I in Christ Jesus.
Thank you all the volunteers of CR who are a part of the army that says Yes to serve
Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Rodney Holmstrom


For a group near you go to www.celebraterecovery.com

Friday, October 31, 2014

What Are You Smiling At?

I remember as a kid hearing, "does your face hurt? Cause it's killing me" ouch! We can say some hurtful things sometimes can't we?

You know what though, as I grow in Christ I find that my face hurts all the time. Why? Cause I'm smiling at what God has blessed us with, wonderful people, family, and life change moments of grace. 
I get to witness what He is doing thru CR in hundreds of lives starting with my own.
Today my face hurts from having the biggest grin on my face. 
I get to see forever family tonight at CR, personally lead worship with my wife Carol, daughter Taylor and the best CR band in the land.
Tonight I get to hear a life change story from one of our Celebration Place/Landing students and their mom at CR.
Lots to smile about. 
When is the last time you smiled? 
Come learn how to smile again as we celebrate our recovery together. 

Bring your kids dressed up for some fun treats and an exciting Celebration Place agenda.

6pm Celebrate Recovery @ Fellowship
Rodney Holmstrom
For info on finding a group near you got to www.celebraterecovery.com

Friday, September 26, 2014

Victim or VICTOR?

What will you choose to be today? Are you living as a victor or a victim? A better way may be to ask, are you living as a victor or slowly dying as a victim?
It has been said, "A victim believes the world happens to them. A victor believes they happen to the world."
We either spend our energy blaming others or learn the wonderful truth of taking responsibility for how we will allow our circumstances to affect us.

Think about this, You can make a choice right now to become something better. Whatever your heart, mind and soul believes, guess what, you will become that with Christ's help.
If I believe I am a victim, I will most likely stay as victim.
What will you choose to become?
Come "BE" with us and become what God has called you to be, a child of the King.

Your walk toward living as a VICTOR starts here. Hope to see you tonight. 6pm Celebrate Recovery @ Fellowship Bible
Rodney  Holmstrom
For a group near you go to www.celebraterecovery.com

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Testimony Sharing Jitters?



Wondering if you should share your story? Putting it off? Check out this great post testimony “testimony” of sharing a sharing a story and the gifts that came with it in their life.
On The Other Side
My Post Testimony Experience




I shared my testimony at Celebrate Recovery on August 8, 2014. I nearly asked to postpone it because I'd been depressed & in a very bad place for several months leading up to it. I felt like a hypocrite considering I knew how my testimony ended & that I sure wasn't living those words at the time. Two wonderful people told me that perhaps it was an attack from the enemy & that maybe I hadn't fallen off the path, but that God was taking me deeper. These words spurred me on & once I resolved to follow through I knew I had made the right decision & actually looked forward to it.

I was at peace & when friends asked me if I was nervous I was truthfully able to say, “not really”. None-the-less I used my essential oil called Peace & Calming just before I went up front!

I delivered my words. I looked up once, but other than that I looked at the pages. At the end I wanted to look up, but didn't. I wish I had. As usual all the people stood & applauded & I quickly sat down. The service ended.

Immediately I was surrounded by a throng (as described by my son) & even received a bouquet of flowers. I felt like I was in a receiving line at a wedding! I was surprised at some of the folks that came up to me afterward, some I hadn't expected to see. Many kind words came to me that night.

For the next two days I was high on the emotions that followed. It was as if I had transcended to another plane of spirituality & was walking on clouds.

I had a sense that when I made my resolution I would somehow turn a corner in my state of being, it was almost a subliminal awareness. I walked forward in faith keeping my eyes on the goal....the goal of winning the attack from the enemy & of completion, having finished what I had been called to do.

After the two days of “high” passed I knew I was back! I was my old self again. I had been right & it was wonderful!

People said to me things like:
That was a great testimony
You've really gone through a lot
I bawled
I cried all the way through it
I had no idea
You are so brave, honest, transparent

Some of them more than once. Even in the weeks that followed I still had people coming up & speaking to me. One woman hugged me without saying a word. Another woman came to me after & said it was her first time at CR & how much she appreciated my testimony, she could relate & was moved by what she heard. I was actually surprised at how many people said they cried. Their words were like balm to me.
Before sharing my testimony I knew I wanted to be better, whatever that meant, & that I had things to say. I wanted to please God & I wanted to follow the program, but I sure wasn't prepared for the reactions I got.

Another amazing thing that I've experienced since sharing is that I'm able to see my own life with a new perspective. I've likened it to standing on a precipice while looking out over some vast vista...seeing my life stretched out before me it was obvious where the Lord had spared me, protected me, divinely intervened...I'm not sure I'd seen my life like this until then. Of course I knew what I'd been thru & I believed God had done certain things on my behalf, but this was something else.
It was like a thread had woven together all the pieces of my life,  I could clearly see the whole picture. God's hand in everything I'd ever been through & ultimately how much He cared for me.

So...I'm still walking high & the other day I read, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me & heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, & set my feet upon a rock; making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth. A song of praise to our God. Many will see & fear, & put their trust in the Lord.  Psalm 40: 1-3.

I've read the Psalms before, but this time those particular verses leaped out at me. They meant something real! It had become experiential. The design of CR was in those verses & because I had obeyed others would be blessed. Just by little ole me & my sad little story.....that ends in victory.

So the two things I know now on this side of my testimony are 1) I see how consistently God has protected me & provided for me & 2) I have been used as a small cog in the grand cogwheel of God's plan. How wonderful is that!!

I can only continue to give God the glory & praises from my heart. He is beyond good & I love him all the more.

Time to share your story?

Rodney Holmstrom 
Go to www.celebraterecovery.com for more information on a group near you.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Putting Out All The Fires

"We should put out the fire while it's still small."
It’s easy to justify some small fires in our life at times isn’t it? “I can quit anytime I want to.” Or “I’ve got this under control”
Then BAM! The small fire spreads into a massive fire damaging everything and everyone in its path.

Remember, we don’t have to wait until we hit rock bottom to face our fires in life. We can make a choice to do something about it right now with the help of some great folks God puts in our path.
Some might say, “yeah but my fire is huge already!” Well, you can choose to do something about it today or wait and have an even bigger fire to deal with later. “God can restore the years the fire has eaten.” (Joel 2:25 Paraphrased)

Are you trying to contain your fire on your own? You don’t have to do that any longer. Come see us tonight. We will put the fire out together with the help of the Living Water.
See you tonight at 6:00pm at Celebrate Recovery @ Fellowship Bible

Rodney Holmstrom

Find a group near you at www.celebraterecovery.com

Friday, July 25, 2014

An invitation to a second chance

So you've messed up? Feeling like a failure, sold out to the wrong things?
Can I offer you a free gift? It's called an invitation to another chance, grace. No it's not from me but from the One who gives the same to me and many others.
Who is invited to this new hope? 

Have you been sexually promiscuous, divorced, struggle with drugs or alcohol, family struggles, abused, crippled with fear or ???? 
Guess what, you are all invited to this new chance to a new life.
All stains, all blemishes, all spots, & all broken are welcomed and embraced here.

Come enjoy a night that just might change your life.
A life change story, fellowship, love and lots of hope. Celebrate Recovery @ fellowship bible. 6pm tonight!

See you there!
Rodney Holmstrom

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dead Man Walking?!



Remember that movie, "Green Mile"? Anytime the inmate would walk down the hall, the guard would yell, "Dead man walking!"

I was thinking about this in the context of my former life apart from Christ. My choosing not to face my life's struggles was not only pulling me apart from Christ but also more and more into a life as a dead man walking. 
The thing is, I don't have to walk that green mile of death because Christ died for me so that I may have life.
It was when I came to the end of my comfort zone that real life began to happen in my life.

If there is something that is keeping you walking in despair, don't let the fear of the unknown keep you shackled any longer. With Christ's help you can turn that fear into a curiosity.
He has big plans for you but you have to be willing to let go and fully surrender to Him. Only He holds the key to unlock the shackles. Only He has the ability to put you and I on a new path.
It is then that the language moves from "Dead Man Walking!" to a new and hopeful, "Renewed Child Living!"

"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am you God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Rodney


To find a CR group near you go to www.celebraterecovery.com

Dead Man Walking?!


Remember that movie, "Green Mile"? Anytime the inmate would walk down the hall, the guard would yell, "Dead man walking!"

I was thinking about this in the context of my former life apart from Christ. My choosing not to face my life's struggles was not only pulling me apart from Christ but also more and more into a life as a dead man walking. 
The thing is, I don't have to walk that green mile of death because Christ died for me so that I may have life.
It was when I came to the end of my comfort zone that real life began to happen in my life.

If there is something that is keeping you walking in despair, don't let the fear of the unknown keep you shackled any longer. With Christ's help you can turn that fear into a curiosity.
He has big plans for you but you have to be willing to let go and fully surrender to Him. Only He holds the key to unlock the shackles. Only He has the ability to put you and I on a new path.
It is then that the language moves from "Dead Man Walking!" to a new and hopeful, "Renewed Child Living!"

"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am you God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Rodney

To search for a CR group near you go to www.celebraterecovery.com