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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Stevens Jenkins

Struggling but Growing

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 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 and select ‘Locator’ to find a group near you.

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Aug 05, 2023

Thank you for your encouragement, inspiration and prayers. You are truly a blessing.

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