My name is Liz Freeman and that is exactly what I have become at this church thru Celebrate Recovery and Jesus Christ. A free-woman! Back in 2005 I first attended Celebrate Recovery. After going thru numerous treatments, AA, and failed attempts at sobriety and marriage, I finally found what I needed. I struggled with drugs and alcohol along with unforgiveness, low self esteem, eating disorders… the list goes on. At Celebrate Recovery I was accepted and loved on, prayed for and encouraged. I gained long term sobriety, but not just that. After I was healed of the hard drug and alcohol addiction, there were other issues which were being covered up. I was able to be peeled like an onion at CR and church services. And because of the ministry and church which is you guys, the body, I felt a part of something. I felt like I belonged.
I really never thought I would be a joyful person. After my 15 month old daughter Emily was murdered in 2001, I thought I would always be a drug and alcohol user. It was the only way I knew how to cope with life. Especially life like it happened back then. I use to suffer with so much guilt, so much shame. I was so depressed and full of anxiety and panic. Psychiatric wards and treatment is where I spent most of my time.
Praise God I had more children! After having my first set of twins I wanted to live. I started to believe in God again and pray. I stopped being angry at God, and eventually accepted Christ into my heart. Still having Sam and Summer wasn’t enough. My life was still in so much turmoil. See I was waiting for the trial for my baby. And was full of fear about testifying against my ex boyfriend who killed her and talking in detail about her death. The idea of facing him was so hard. After my second OWI, which involved me hitting 2 other cars I was awakened to a new sense of gratefulness. Being alive for my children and not hurting the other drivers was a miracle. Soon after that accident I met my husband and he introduced me to the Vineyard and all it had to offer. And praise God He took me to CR because I wouldn’t have been able to get through the trial without God’s people showing me kindness, and support, praying for me and reaching out with their Jesus hands and feet.
I no longer have guilt or shame. Jesus has healed me of unforgiveness and I am free. No chains on me. I’m grateful for the life He’s given me. God’s taken my anxiety and showed me mercy. I’m so thankful for the tools he’s given me to go through life and change with, like Celebrate Recovery. I learned how to read and understand my bible here at CR, along with how to be a servant of the Lord. It’s been awesome way for me to help others while I continue to grow. For me and others it’s not just about the problems I had with drugs with alcohol but all my problems in life. All my hurts habits and hang-ups.