Program in Six Lakes helps to overcome habits and hang-ups in 2012

By Robin Miller • Last Updated 11:49 am on Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Julie Evans, left, and Misti Cordero will serve as group leaders for the Celebrate Recovery series at New Beginnings Church in Six Lakes. — Daily News/Robin Miller

SIX LAKES — The new year is upon us, thus it is time to begin anew.

Do you need to kick a bad habit or do a little psychological housekeeping? The Celebrate Recovery program at New Beginnings Church in Six Lakes has what it takes to overcome quirky habits and addictions that impede personal growth.

The first Celebrate Recovery workshop is from 7 to 8 p.m. Jan. 10.

Celebrate Recovery began 10 years ago at a church in California, where a pastor developed biblically-based lessons to help people overcome life’s issues. Churches and prisons throughout the world offer the series today.

Misti Cordero of Stanton coordinates the series at New Beginnings. She will direct topic selections and serve as a group leader while sharing the experience of her own personal recovery from an 18-year drug addiction.

As a victim of domestic violence, Cordero turned to drugs to cope with the pain. After she finished drug rehabilitation, her pastor suggested she attend Celebrate Recovery as a support system. He sponsored Cordero’s enrollment in the program, which she began last January.

“If I had not found Celebrate Recovery when I did, relapse would have been my future instead of where I am now,” Cordero said.

She has found a new direction in her life and has returned to college to pursue a career in counseling with an emphasis on substance abuse, addiction and controlled substances. She also will study domestic violence in hopes of being a recovery and preventive expert on domestic violence.

Cordero’s practical leadership will take participants through a 12-step, Christian-based plan to tackle a multitude of hang-ups, such as overeating, worrying, perfectionism, depression, anger, drugs and alcohol.
Celebrate Recovery material is generalized enough to be applicable to just about any undesirable behavior, according to Cordero. She said it offers advice relevant to most situations, regardless of religious conviction.

“Even if a person is not spiritual, the passages will still be helpful,” Cordero said. “The third step in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) is turning oneself over to a higher power. In CR, the higher power is God.”

Julie Evans, a registered nurse, will join Cordero as a group leader. Evans worked for the Michigan Department of Community Mental Health and Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services.

Evans said her job revealed the daily consequences of addictive behaviors.

As a state mental health worker at the former Riverside Correctional Facility in Ionia, Evans worked closely with psychiatrists, social workers and psychologists. She attended group therapy sessions, handled medicine management and helped with crisis stabilization and mental assessments.

“In general, a lot of inmates are there because of drug addictions,” Evans said. “In order to get money to buy drugs, they started selling or delivering drugs. I feel once we address the problem of addiction, we’ll see less crime and imprisonment.”

Evans and Cordero look forward to helping others achieve their new year’s goals through Celebrate Recovery.

Weekly program agendas will be determined by attendance and issues. The intent is to eventually divide participants into gender-specific sessions by topic.

“It will all depend on how many come,” Cordero said. “We may modify it on a smaller scale and adjust as we go along.”

The cost of the Celebrate Recovery materials is $20.

Call New Beginnings Church at (989) 365-9224 to inquire about the program, register or discuss payment assistance options. New Beginnings is located at 1154 W. Fleck Road in Six Lakes.

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