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  • Charlene Stevens Jenkins

Every October, I look forward to participating in events to promote Breast Cancer Awareness. This year, I had so many wonderful experiences and as I reflect on everything, the one word that comes to mind is 'courage.' Courage is necessary at every age and season, for every challenge we face. Courage is vital.


At the beginning of the month, I was honored at the Paint Liberty Pink Proclamation at the Liberty County (GA) County Commissioner’s Office at the request of Mrs. Kathy McCalla Villafane (Thank you again!).


At the end of week two, I spoke to the Live Oak Church Warriors With Wisdom (ages 50 and above) group. The main theme was Resiliency: Body, Soul and Mind, and I shared about the mind from the perspective as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and also as a Ministry Leader of Celebrate Recovery (CR). I emphasized that when we are mentally healthy, we’re able to cope with the ups, downs, and stresses of life. It is so much easier to adapt to change and we are less likely to become overwhelmed. One of the Scriptures I shared was Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV}, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.” Whatever you are going through, find courage in God.


The following week, I joined other survivors on stage at Pink Out the Market, in Hinesville’s Bradwell Park. I felt so blessed as I stood with them and felt their courage too.


That weekend, I was one of eleven Celebrate Recovery leaders and volunteers attending Advanced Leadership Training in Tennessee. Our Global Executive Director, Pastor Johnny Baker, said “the two friends of leadership are curiosity and community, and the two foes of leadership are doubt and pride.” He truly deposited some powerful nuggets into us, reminding us that it takes courage to lead effectively. He also reminded us to take time off to take care of ourselves and remember that God will use the pain in our lives for His glory.


Last Saturday, I was the speaker at the Chi Pi Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.’s Walk for the Cause at James Brown Park, Hinesville (GA). My topic was Don’t Let Your Fears Paralyze You. The topic is personal for me because this time last year I needed a biopsy after my annual mammogram. I was almost paralyzed by fear. I am a breast cancer survivor, and the thought of reliving this horror was daunting. When I went in for the biopsy, I had people praying with me, but I needed to be medicated to prepare myself for the procedure. Why? When I had the very first biopsy, the numbing medication did NOT work, and I felt the stabbing pain of the needle. Honestly, I cringe every time I remember how painful the experience was. I made it through the biopsy in October 2022, continued to trust God, and it was benign. Praise God! I’m scheduled for a mammogram next week, and I’m not nervous at all. This year, I will not give in to fear.


At the end of my speech, Don't Let Your Fears Paralyze You, a young man asked how to overcome fears. I, along with several others, told him that it’s possible by depending on God, reading, and believing His Word, and communicating with positive, encouraging, and supportive people. I'm glad he had the courage to ask the question.


As I close, I see how the courage to overcome fears leads right into our current Celebrate Recovery (CR) Principle 7: Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will; and Step 10: We continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong, promptly admit it.


October was busy, and I wish I had time to share more details of every event I attended. I'm

grateful for the wonderful people I met and thankful for each person who left with a copy of my book!


Every time I have the opportunity to speak or take my books, I also have CR flyers. In my opinion, Celebrate Recovery is the best 12-step program because it’s not just about drugs or alcohol, but has 8 Principles from the Bible. Jesus is our Higher Power and He has the power to help us overcome our hurts, habits, hang-ups, shortcomings, and any sin imaginable. There’s absolutely NOTHING too hard for our God! Take courage.


As we say at CR, ‘Thank you for letting me share.’ Check out all my blogs at charlenestevensjenkins.com. Call or DM any questions, and let’s communicate. I’m here to encourage, inspire, and motivate. I’m praying for you.


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  • Charlene Stevens Jenkins

September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month.

It’s ok to start a conversation, to provide support, and to offer help to someone who needs it. Let me put this information upfront: Contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline if you are experiencing mental health-related distress or are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. You can call or text 988 and even Chat at 988lifeline.org. It’s free, available 24/7 and confidential.


I’m Charlene Stevens Jenkins, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the Veterans Health Administration and Ministry Leader of Celebrate Recovery (CR) at Live Oak Church in Hinesville.


If you know someone who is struggling, please let them know they are not alone. Here are a few things we all can do to help prevent suicides: 1. Reach out; 2. Listen and 3. Seek help. If you’re struggling, reach out to a sponsor, accountability partner or someone you trust. If you aren’t struggling, let someone know you care and that you’re willing to be there for them.


One of the most important things for us to do is to stay connected with other people and not isolate if they’re not doing ok. If you ARE ok, check on someone else. We need each other.


My challenge to you TODAY…is to first determine where you are. Be completely honest. Stop acting like nothing is wrong. If you’ve been thinking about hurting yourself or if you just wish you weren’t alive anymore, tell someone. Call someone. Dial 988.


Maybe that’s not you. Maybe you’re just fine, but you may know someone who isn’t doing so well. I challenge to you to reach out to that person either by a phone call, text, visit, DM, or other creative ways. And if someone DOES reach out you for help, please stop what you’re doing and make the time to listen.


It’s a serious matter, and it takes courage to reach out for help. We want to be there for them. You don’t have to have all of the answers. You don’t have to be able to solve all of their problems. Be a listening ear. You will show them that you care and you can help point them in the right direction, if needed. Connect them with available resources like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.


At some point, you may go online to find support groups available in the area. Also, find a Celebrate Recovery near you at www.celebraterecovery.com. Click on Locator and enter your address. If you’re in the Liberty or Long County areas, we meet on Mondays from 7-9 at Live Oak Church, 296 Live Oak Church Rd, Hinesville GA 31313.


Thank you so much for your time. For all of my previous blogs, visit charlenestevensjenkins.com


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  • Charlene Stevens Jenkins

If this is your first time reading my blog, thank you! I am 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 started blogging in 2019 and I’d love it if you check out my other blogs at charlenestevensjenkins.com/blog Last month I talked about the importance of confessing as I elaborated on CR Lesson 12 Confess. Since over half the year is past, and we’ve covered the final lesson in Principle 4, Lesson 13 Admit, this lesson takes us to Step 5: We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs according to James 5:16, “ therefore confess your sins to each other, and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” As I have been reflecting on this, I felt the need to ask if you have struggled with anything lately? Have you kept it to yourself, or have you shared it with someone else?


Me? Yes, I have struggled and yes, I have discussed it with spiritual mentors and accountability partners. Can I tell you something? We ALL need them, and I mentioned a little about three levels of friends in my book WHEN I WAS 40. As a Ministry Leader, it can be tempting to just act like I have it all together as a means of trying to encourage other people, but that means I’m slipping back into denial (Lesson 1), and I refuse to go back there. My desire is to wake up early EVERY morning and spend time in the Word, prayer/praise/worship/intercession, reflection/quiet time, and journaling. I have been struggling to do these things because of sheer exhaustion, I may not wake up as early as I had planned. The exhaustion could be from a busy week and/or from spiritual attacks.

I admit, I’ve had days where I woke up before my alarm went off, as early as 3 am because I couldn’t wait to pray and spend time in God’s Word. I’ve also had days where I could hardly get out of bed and listened to the Bible app audio while lying there. Then I’d pray while I got ready and drove in to work. I am ashamed to admit the latter. However, even though I may struggle, I still have the desire to meet with God. So, I repent for not getting up sooner and don’t entertain thoughts like, “Look at you. You overslept again. You pressed snooze again.” If I feel condemnation, it’s not of God. Instead, after I ask for mercy - His mercies are new every morning - I make it a priority to meditate, to talk to Him and fill my day (as much as possible) with prayer, praise, and worship. I don’t let the enemy win! God’s Grace is sufficient and abundant towards us.


Those mornings when I found myself having to drag out of bed, and I wished I had gotten up sooner, God still meets me and then I wish I could stay longer! Even when I don’t press snooze, I still wish I could stay longer and not have to leave for work. Aren’t you glad He can be with us everywhere we go?

I encourage you that if you have struggled, just know that you’re not alone. Imagine this. God’s Son, Jesus, made time in prayer a priority. He was our perfect example. For us to grow spiritually, we must do the same. The enemy of our souls will ALWAYS attack us in those areas, and will try to accuse us of not being what God has said we are! Don’t give up. Pray right where you are. If you have to listen to the Bible and pray while you drive, walk, exercise, start there. Don’t stay there. It feels SO GOOD to wake up early and spend time in God’s presence unhurried, unrushed to talk to AND hear from Him. That’s still my goal and that’s what I will aim for. What is your goal? What will you aim for? If you have any questions, DM me. Let’s communicate. I’m here to encourage, inspire, and motivate. I’m praying for you. If you are looking for a support group to help you work through your issues, challenges and shortcomings, visit celebraterecovery.com and select ‘Locator’ to find a group near you.



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