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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Stevens Jenkins

Courage

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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