Testimony of Pastor Bonnie:
"As the Ministry Leader for Celebrate Recovery at Abundant Grace Assembly of God, I thought I was starting this program for others. Then I started into the process and began to uncover the hurts, habits and hangups in my own life. I had lost my mom at an early age and sought after attention in the guys around me. But I still desired to serve God with all my heart, yet emotionally I didn't reealize the hurt I was still dealing with from that loss. Subconsciously I thought having a guy would fix the hurt. But often times those relationships just ended in more hurt.
My father remarried a wonderful godly woman, but they soon decided to go on the mission field. I was excited for them, but also felt another loss through the process. Again I looked to relationships for emotional support, even though I knew God was with me. I loved God with all my heart, but looked to relationships to fill the emotional hurts I had subconstiously not dealt with. I have a wonderful family, but I had a hard time verbalizing the internal hurts. I buried my feelings and hurts, telling myself it was more spiritual to not feel bad for myself and just keep going. After finally hitting the bottom of my hurts in relationships I came back to the one man who had shared my love for God and ministry.
I married my husband after realizing that I was looking in directions that left me hollow. He wanted to serve God like I did, and we both knew we had a call to ministry. Our love was deeper than I had wanted to admit. I had previously struggled with feeling worthy of such a good man. We both also knew that having a call to ministry doesn't mean we have arrived, or that we have perfect lives. We love each other completely, but we understand we are both people. As we started our marriage, however, I tried to hide the past hurts, regret, and shame I felt.
I began to look to food for the comfort I desired emotionally. Through food I found an accepable "drug" that calmed and soothed. But after years of "using" I found myself at about 230lbs. a boarderline diabetic, and miserable. I knew there was a better way, but I would eat myself sick and then "toss" it later. God showed me my sin. He uncovered my shame and took it from me. He gave me freedom from this addiction, and He lifted me from my hurts, shame, regrets and pain.
James 5:16 says, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."
Here at Abundant Grace Celebrate Recovery I found people I could share and talk to openly about my pain and hurts and temptations. Here in a safe and supportive environment, I was able to take the step of talking to others about what I had been hiding for so long. Here I not only found a place to confess, but I also found a place to pray to my true "HIGHEST POWER" Jesus Christ with those in my group. These two things together brought real healing in my life.
It's been years now since I found the freedom I needed. Jesus has been with me all the way. I still find myself tempted. But now I have support in my sponsor, accountability partners and my husband.
I've lost some weight, but that wasn't my goal. My goal is to be free of the shame, regret and hurt, knowing God is helping me make the right choices for a life centered in Him and not a substance. I no longer just look at my weight as the important thing. I know the reason for any changes in my life need to be based on whether those changes will help me to be a more effective servant of God.
I see now that recovery is a lifelong journey.
No one is perfect. We all need help in some way. When we finally admit our need, God is there to help us, and the people here at Abundant Grace Celebrate Recovery are here to walk with you as we all take the journey of recovery. My prayer for you is that you too will find this freedom.
Hi, my name is Bonnie. I'm a follower of Jesus Christ who struggles with food addictions and codependency.