Recovery Testimony

Kristie H. Gentry

EVAN 525 – D02

Recovery Testimony

Dr. David Wheeler

How Do We Define Normal?

In many ways, my life is not one people would identify as normal. I struggle with a hearing loss which divided me from peers during my school years, and then after the onset of Bipolar 1 Disorder, this gap expanded. Still, there are ways to which I can look back and identify the many ways in which Yeshua has helped me to overcome and face the challenges I have had to face. In 1999, when I was saved, even though I still would need to struggle with forgiving myself, I discovered strength and fortitude by continuously utilizing prayer as a catalyst to discuss many of the problems I struggled to hide from the world ready to cast me aside. The account of my life has not been “cherry pie” perfect, something which I discovered very early in life. When looking back, even in the darkest moments, when I could control the darkness of my mind, I would find the strength necessary to continue moving forward. Many times, I tease my middle name of “Hope” was chosen for two reasons: (1) to serve as a reminder of the importance of faith and (2) a guide in my darkest hours. In the clutches of a predominantly silent world and a dark madness few can ever imagine, I knew there had to be a reason and a purpose for the challenges. During the short span of time when I tried to cast my faith aside, I discovered there were even greater darkness and sorrow. When no faith existed, no purpose or drive could answer the questions for many of the difficulties I faced. Then, when I replied to the call to give my life to Yeshua, I once again discovered the missing piece of the puzzle within my heart.

Discovering Hope and Help

During the darkest hours, when I felt utterly alone, ashamed, and broken, hope and faith helped me to recognize the importance of prayer. In the darkness, pray allowed me to identify how my struggles may prove valuable for others. I asked for strength and guidance, as I continually allowed my faith to provide me the necessary “life boat” to recognize no matter the problem, as long as I depended on the Father, time would come that a solution would be revealed. The battle with drug and alcohol addiction would continue to create moments of great weakness, but in those moments, I would enter into prayer as a reminder to myself, I was not alone. I hear the claims of evil and darkness being so rampant, individuals believe there can be no forgiveness from the Father, but my life has proven there is forgiveness. Many times, when we feel our sin is too great, one who has been down a similar path can work to help us understand, forgiveness is available. Furthermore, I can speak from experience that while my sins were numerous and forgiveness seemed impossible, the greatest challenge was learning to forgive myself. In the end, as I gradually came to understand and appreciate the power and strength of YHWH’s forgiveness, it took much longer for me to identify the importance of forgiving myself. My greatest struggle was not apologizing to the ones I had hurt with my inconsiderate actions, but the guilt and discuss I felt within my heart for having been so far gone.

The shift to becoming a follower of Yeshua altered who I was inside and out. It helped me to discover how to forgive others of actions against me, not for them, but for myself. Many times, we struggle to understand how important forgiveness is in light of the healing power of our lives. As a result, we do not see how even the smallest choice not to forgive another makes it even harder for us to forgive ourselves, especially if our actions are even worse in context. Forgiveness does not always have to be spoken, sometimes, it is a personal choice to forgive within the heart. In these actions, we discover hope in many facets of life, and furthermore, we garner strength through the Holy Spirit to continue moving forward, without dwelling in the past.

The Growth of a Meaningful Personal Relationship with Yeshua

Entering into a life more centered around becoming the person YHWH intends us to be, we as a person begin to shift and change. His love, strength, and forgiveness begin to shine through into all areas of our lives. Many times, when entering into the darkness of our soul, it is the ability to turn to Scripture, or lift our struggles up into prayer, that allows the discovery of the “light at the end of the tunnel.” Unlike the times when lost in the past, times of challenge and peril become easier knowing through prayer, we always have one person to turn to and to ask for help. The progression and growth of this relationship determine the abilities we develop to not only move forward but to appreciate better James 1:2-3 – “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”[footnoteRef:1] It is important to recognize, trials and tribulations are vital to the growth and development of each individuals being molded into the person YHWH intends us to be. In Romans 5:3-4, Scriptures tell us “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” When facing challenges in life, the growth our relationship and faith allow us to persevere and grow into a stronger, better-equipped individual. It is within Scripture one discovers the importance of the personal relationship we strive to establish with the Father. He desires all humanity to enter into a relationship with Him; however, it is our choice if we pursue this relationship with all of our being, or merely allow it to present itself in times of troubles. [1: All Scripture taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.]

A relationship with Yeshua and YHWH must prove the foundation of our life, and the light which guides us in all things. Consider 1 Peter 5:10 – “In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” It is in the growth and development of this personal relationship one can better grow to understand 1 John 1:9 – “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” During one’s spiritual growth, the words of Ephesians 2:8-9 gain greater clarity – “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” In personal growth and development, it is possible to identify the gifts of the Father and rejoice in His love and mercy. We learn the necessary instructions revealed in Ephesians 4:32 – “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Most importantly, it is in this development, we discover the desire to help others into a relationship with the Father. We want others to know the joy and peace now residing in our hearts. Apply these understanding, one comes to recognize how the growth and purpose of my personal relationship with the Father provide me the strength to forgive and forge ahead, but it also helps to mold and shapes me into the person YHWH created me to become.

Recovery Testimony Instructions

Write your 2-page recovery testimony, detailing how Jesus helped you with a particular problem or life need. Structure each section according to the details given below. It would be wise to write out a first draft and practice sharing it. This will give you a gauge as to the need for more or less information.

Submit this assignment by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 2.

Recovery Story

Use the following outline to prepare your story of how Jesus helped you with a particular problem or need in your life. This is particularly helpful in bridging the gap to share the gospel with the unsaved:

1. “My life seemed normal until…”

2. “I discovered hope and help in Jesus when…”

3. “I am glad I have a personal relationship with Jesus today because…”

4. “May I share how something like this can happen to you?”

You will want to refer to many of the same concepts related to your conversion story. For instance, brevity is still required—try to stay around 2–3 minutes (roughly 2 pages of written text).

The heart of your recovery testimony is answering the first 3 questions above. Question number 4 is a transition question into a Gospel presentation. You are not required to write anything in reference to question four.

The difference in the recovery section is that you are looking for ways in which God has delivered you through challenging issues related to your life. For instance, maybe you have been divorced, have a problem with pride, are materialistic, are a former cancer patient, had an eating disorder, or any number of different addictions such as drugs, pornography, etc.

The point is that these difficult experiences can and will become effective bridges to sharing the gospel with an unsaved world. Someone may be bitter against God because of a certain struggle in life; if you have shared a similar struggle, this can easily become a connection point to share how Christ rescued you from hurt and pain. Remember, the key is not the story or the struggle . . . the goal is to always seek to share the gospel and point people to Christ! He is, afterall, the only one who can fully deliver us from the bondage of sin and shame!

Make no mistake, Satan likes to keep us in bondage to the struggles in our past life. He may even use these struggles to make us feel unworthy to share the gospel with someone else. We may think something like, “I cannot be an effective witness because I used to be an addict, etc.” The truth is, in Christ we can and do live in victory. As the scripture states, “Old things are passed away, behold all things are new!”

Your recovery story reveals to the unsaved world how Christ can navigate us through difficult challenges. The world is not seeking perfection or easy answers. The world really wants honesty and authentic expressions of how faith and life come together. This is the purpose of the recovery section of your testimony.

Use the outline. Keep it simple. Relax and recall the mighty ways in which Christ has delivered you. Then, write them down for future reference. You may never know how God can use a time of brokenness in your own life to mend someone else’s struggles!

For a good example of a recovery testimony go to: or

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