Step 11, month 11 in the path to recovery

Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Sharon Sater, co-ministry leader of Celebrate Recovery, cut the anniversary cake to celebrate the 11th year of Celebrate Recovery in Cassville in August 2020. Jordan Troutman/jtroutman@cassville democrat.com

Sater: ‘Let the word of God dwell in you richly’

The serenity prayer is a key focus in Celebrate Recovery, because after all, God is involved in every step of the journey to recovery.

Sharon Sater, co-ministry leader of Cassville Celebrate Recovery (CR), has been involved since the very beginning, 12 years ago.

Step 11 in the path to recovery is to seek out prayer and meditation to improve one’s conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of his will for and the power to carry that out. Its biblical comparison can be found in Colossians 3:16.

“Let the word of God dwell in you richly,” Sater said. “When I first got into Celebrate Recovery, I was very ignorant about addiction, but I was so drawn into it by what God had done in Mark Barton’s life — and soon my own.

“I always knew what God could do, but to see him work on people right before my eyes and in the flesh was amazing.”

Although Sater doesn’t have a background in addiction, she said she is no different than anyone else who attends.

“I was blessed in the fact I came from a heritage of faith,” she said. “Many people don’t know what that is like. I honestly care about their journeys, and I want to help them be better. I can help direct them to a God that loves them just the way they are, and who they become as they walk the steps.”

Celebrate Recovery is a non-judgment zone.

“My issues include pride, control and being a perfectionist,” Sater said. “I can see those things inside of myself, and CR is a place where the mask comes off and we can all see you.”

Sater said CR is a place to learn about yourself.

“There is no one who doesn’t have an issue, whether it is physical or in your mind or heart,” she said.

Sater said it is freeing when you can walk up those steps to your first meeting.

“I grew up in Purdy,” she said. “I grew up singing gospel music in church. With faith, I understand there is a God who loves us. I grew up listening to my mother pray and have an unashamed faith.”

Sater said prayer is the vehicle God gave us to reach him.

“That is why this step 11 is so important,” she said. “It is a maintenance step, but if people can get to this step, I feel very strongly they can overcome their struggle.”

It all started with Barton 12 years ago.

“He said he needed me, and I asked, ‘Why?,’” she said. “It has been interesting, and God has always provided. Sometimes I leave for a while because I think, ‘Why am I here?,’” she said. “But, I feel God wants me there, and it has become a passion.

“A lot of my past singing in church has helped me with CR. I don’t have stagefright. I wanted my daughter to grow up in church and give the glory to God.”

Sater said her husband and children have all been very supportive of her journey with CR.

“I am a perfectionist, so I have to tell myself to let things go,” she said. “God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, so why do we?

“I expect too much from myself and I hate to disappoint people, but God doesn’t expect all of that from me.”

In November, Sater was sick and in the emergency room, and her first thought was that she wouldn’t be able to make it to CR that night.

“You can’t fix everyone, and CR has helped me see that,” she said. “I had tried and it took a lot of my mind space. I want my end days to be good, and I hope that I will know when to step aside and let someone else come in who can do more. Like the serenity prayer to have the wisdom to know what I can change and what I can’t.”

Sater said she loves CR and the passion Barton has for it.

“I am thankful for the church and the missions director that help to support us,” she said. “There are a lot of people with a passion for CR and the people in it.

“We encourage anyone with an issue, or even an issue with a loved one to come and see if we can help you,” she said. “We have a group for you.

“Amenity is important to us, and the first time in small group, you don’t even have to talk, just listen and get comfortable.”

God puts the past in a sea of forgetfulness.

“He doesn’t go fishing there,” Sater said. “So, why do we? We haver to look forward and not behind at what once was. We all want peace in our minds — God is that place of peace.”

Sater said she wants people to know that through faith is power.

“But, we have to work the steps, and we have to be honest with ourselves,” she said. “You have to apply everything you learn. Be a doer of the Word, not just a hearer.”

Background

This article is part of a monthly, 12-part series giving an inside look into the testimonies and lives of a dozen individuals who have met their recovery goal. Each month will focus on the corresponding step in the 12-step process, as well as its biblical comparison.

While the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, it also deals with the pandemic of addiction. For a time, due to social restrictions, Celebrate Recovery and other meetings were postponed. Those in recovery understand the struggle when they are unable to reach out for help.

With these testimonies, they aim to reach those who need help, but are unable to get it. They want to reach people in their communities and offer them a hand, a resource and a safe space.

In 2019, there were 304 felony and misdemeanor drug-related charges in Cassville, and as of the first week of December, there were 293 for 2020.

Places people can turn to include:

• Celebrate Recovery Cassville — Tuesdays at the First Baptist Church’s Family Life Center in the loft. Meal is served at 5:45 p.m. and large group is at 6:30 p.m. Child care is provided. People may contact Mark Barton at 417-766-5449.

• Celebrate Recovery Seligman — Wednesdays at Mozark Fellowship in Seligman. Meal is served at 6 p.m. and large group is at 7 p.m. Child care is provided. People may contact Mike Avers at 417-342-8659.

• Celebrate Recovery Monett — Thursdays at New Site Baptist Church in Monett. Large group goes from 6-7:30 p.m. Child care provided birth to fifth grade, and The Landing group is available for youth grades 6-12. Meals to go at the end of every evening. People may contact 417-235-6135 for more information.

In addition, the local Clark Center office number is 417-476-1000. The 24-hour Crisis Line is 1-800-801-4405, and the National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

Those involved with this 12-month, 12-step series hope to reach as many people as possible in their communities.

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