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  • Charlene Stevens Jenkins

If you’re reading my blog for the first time, thank you and welcome! I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the Veterans Health Administration, and I’m the Celebrate Recovery (CR) Ministry Leader at Live Oak Church in Hinesville, GA. I’ve been blogging for several years to educate, inspire, and empower people. I’m really glad you’re here.

I’m passionate about helping people in my day-to-day work and through CR. Needless to say, I believe CR works because it is foundationally based on the fact that Jesus Christ won the victory at Calvary, and we who serve Him can also walk in victory.

Since we’re in the last few days of Mental Health Month, I’m sharing more about mental health and recovery by highlighting the freedom of personal honesty. I’m glad the stigmas associated with mental health are being stripped away with honest conversations about how real it is for many people.

As each day goes by, I’m praying that more and more people will realize it’s okay to talk about not being okay and seek help.

This reminds me of CR Principle #4: ‘Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.’

Mental health is now a broad topic of conversation, and many of us have suffered in silence without knowing there is help. The stigmas around needing help and seeking help made it incredibly difficult for many people to open up about it. Then there are times when we either try to will ourselves well, deny our needs, or we hide behind masks pretending to be okay. I used to pretend because I didn’t want people to know what I was going through.

Sometimes we can be judgmental if we don’t understand, if we’ve not experienced what another person is dealing with, or if we haven’t had a firsthand experience with mental health issues. It’s a battle and no one has to fight alone.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness website:

1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24 Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-14 I didn’t want people to know that a Christian, a church leader, and a social worker also had issues. I wrote about it in my book, WHEN I WAS 40: Overcame Some Challenges, Still Learning and Growing. I started taking off my masks in 2016 during our first Celebrate Recovery 12 Step Study. I stopped pretending. By the way, acting like you’re someone that you are not extremely hard work! My transparency allowed me to experience the most freedom I’ve ever had. I was able to openly confess my faults to myself, to God and to someone I trusted. I mentioned stigma earlier. I’m so happy for our motto at Live Oak Church: Real People. Real Issues. Real God. There is no shame in upping your game to wellness. But first, open up and honestly examine what’s happening. There is real help.

You are not alone. Please check out resources in your area, confide in a trusted person, and commit to getting the help you need. Remember, you are not alone. It may feel as if you are, but you are not. We’re in this together. I’m praying for you!

Visit Celebrate Recovery for in person and online resources.

Don't Give Up
Keep going, trust yourself, and trust someone else to help you

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  • Charlene Stevens Jenkins

Thank you for your time! I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the Veterans Health Administration, and I am the Ministry Leader of Celebrate Recovery (CR) at Live Oak Church in Hinesville GA. I’m inviting you to read all of my blogs and I believe you will find them encouraging.

In my last blog, I let you know that there is hope and it’s found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In this blog, I will cover Principle 3 of CR, which states 'Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.' Step 3: We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God. Turn is Lesson 5 in the CR program. Maybe you’re wondering how you can just turn your life over to Jesus. Let me explain it like this.

Have you ever driven down a street and suddenly realized you needed to go in the opposite direction? You could have made a U turn or somehow, you turned around and managed to change your direction. You were relieved when you you were now traveling the right way. Well, I need you to take a moment to reflect on where you are spiritually. How is your relationship with God? Are you going in the wrong direction? Do you feel like you need a change? Where would you go if you died today? Yes, these are some difficult questions. They must be answered at some point. The best time is now, while you still have breath in your body.

The same way you can make a U turn on the road, you can turn your life over to Jesus. It’s not complicated. All you have to do is trust Him. He has already done the work. The price for every one of our sins has been paid with His blood. In fact, that’s why we celebrate Easter. More specifically, Resurrection Day because Jesus is no longer in the grave. He arose with the power to help you overcome whatever has you feeling empty, lost, hurt, and searching for meaning. Why not allow Him to give you a new life?

This Easter season can be your turnaround. If no one has invited you to attend a church service on Resurrection Sunday, April 9, I’m inviting you to Live Oak Church, 296 Live Oak Church Rd, Hinesville GA at 9:00 am and 11:00 am. (The usual service time is at 10:30 am.) You don’t have to wait until then, though. You can repent right where you are and God will hear you. You can connect with a spiritual leader at a local church. Call, email or DM me. Let’s communicate. I’m still here to inspire, encourage and motivate. I’m praying for you.

I’m also praying for unsaved loved ones and for our nation to turn…as I leave you with 2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and I will heal their land. #turnaround #turn #resurrection #EasterSunday

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  • Charlene Stevens Jenkins

Maybe you’re reading my blog for the first time. Welcome! I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the Veterans Administration, and I volunteer as the Celebrate Recovery (CR) Ministry Leader at Live Oak Church in Hinesville, GA. I’ve been blogging each month for a few years, all to help and encourage you.

I’m so proud to be a social worker! March is National Social Work Month, and a perfect time to celebrate our work. The 2023 theme is Social Work Breaks Barriers, #SocialWorkMonth. Congratulations to my fellow social workers as we continue to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve and our colleagues.

In my most recent blog, I talked about denial. If we are honest, each of have had to work through denial at some point in our lives—maybe you’re working through denial right now. Whether a past struggle or more recent, there is hope. There is hope and you don’t have to struggle alone because there are solid principles and support to help.

Speaking of hope, I’ll continue with our CR principles as I did last month. Principle 2 of CR states: ‘Earnestly believe that God exists, and He has the power to help me recover.’ Matthew 5:4 reads, ‘Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.’ In Principle 1 (Denial), we admit we are powerless after we stepped out of denial. Now in the second principle, we come to believe that God exists, that we are important to Him, and that we are able to receive God’s power to help us recover. It’s in the second step that we find HOPE!

I can talk about why people sometimes feel hopeless and how it is a symptom of many behavioral and mental health issues, but for the sake of time I will focus on getting beyond the point of hopelessness. There are options available to us. Please stop pretending you’re ok, like I used to do. Take advantage of talking to a trusted spiritual leader, (a pastor, chaplain, friend, a mentor) go to therapy, join a support group, come to CR. Our group meets on Mondays from 7-9 pm, and you can locate a CR near you at Do something that will help you learn, grow, and get better physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I don’t know anything about your personal situation. It doesn’t matter what happened, what you did or failed to do, what someone did or said to you, it IS possible to receive healing, to move forward, and to

recover. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and Jesus is that light…the Light of the world. I first heard this statement during a Celebrate Recovery One Day Seminar or at a Summit, and it’s featured in Bill Bright Quotes, by Bill Bright: “With God life is an endless hope. Without God, life is a hopeless end.” Do you believe that? When we REALLY believe this, it will change the way we look at every one of our future issues and negative situations from now on. For the next few minutes, I want to encourage you to take your mind off the problem(s) and focus on the Problem Solver. I’ve learned that whenever I magnify the

problems, God looks so small in comparison, but whenever I magnify the God of the universe, my problems look so small! We all need a change of perspective at times.

Where are you? Is there anything you want me to focus on in my next blog? Would you like to talk more about how CR can help you or someone you care about? Do you need prayer?

Call me, email, or DM. I’m here to encourage, inspire and motivate. I’m praying for you!

Grab a copy of my book, WHEN I WAS 40: Overcame Some Challenges, Still Learning and Growing and read my other blogs at

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