Scott Neal's Story of Spiritual Healing Through Jesus
Spiritual healing can be a long process. The good news however is that if one believes in the salvation of Christ, they are not alone in their healing. Cottonwood Creek's Scott Neal is a thankful believer in Jesus who is still in the process of healing from the struggles of alcoholism, pornography addiction, and co-dependency. For many years, Scott has lived with these hardships. However, by the grace of God and by attending Celebrate Recovery at Cottonwood Creek, he has learned how to put God above his addictions.
Scott grew up on a lake with a loving family. However, with lake life, came party culture. Scott's father was an alcoholic and his mother struggled with co-dependency. Scott had a boat at his disposal at all times, 60 feet away from his bedroom window. "I would boat anywhere and meet up with anyone," Scott said. "The parents would throw parties and the kids were to just be seen, not heard. We soon picked up on that behavior and by the time we were teenagers, we were doing the same thing, alcohol-wise."
Scott began to abuse alcohol, as well as drinking and driving. By the time he was an adult, he was a very highly functioning alcoholic, just like his father.
"The pornography piece came into play through access to elicit printed material," Scott said. "They were not hard to find in my household." During his college years was the beginning of the internet. "I discovered that and it all went from there," Scott said. "I eventually got married and thought that would fix it. After I accepted Christ, I thought I'd make improvement, but instead, the battle within me increased as the Spirit within me cared about my behavior."
While Scott was struggling with his addictions, his wife's friend had invited her to a Bible study at Chase Oaks. The Bible study turned out to be Celebrate Recovery. "Celebrate Recovery is a safe place for us to work on our hurts, hang ups, and habits," Scott said. Scott's wife suggested that Scott give the class a try. "I started Celebrate Recovery at Chase Oaks around the same time that Ryan Koesel introduced the class at Cottonwood," Scott said. "The Chase Oaks one eventually shut down so I started coming to the one at Cottonwood." Scott made sure all of the materials from Chase Oaks were transferred over to Cottonwood Creek.
During this time, Scott had been nominated at Cottonwood Creek to be a deacon. After joining Celebrate Recovery however, he knew he needed to get right with the Lord, put his spiritual healing first, and step down from the position. "I went to the leadership team and confessed to them," Scott said. "I told them that if they were looking for me, come to Celebrate Recovery."
Throughout Celebrate Recovery, Scott has learned how to give his addictions to God. "It's easy to play church," Scott said. "It's easy to sit there and be in leadership and still live a compartmentalized life where you haven't given all of your behavior and your life to Christ. It's about where you place your moment by moment, thought by thought faith in. I'll be doing this the remainder of my life as the addictions brought on by the sinful nature will always be there with me." Scott places his moment by moment and thought by thought faith in Christ by utilizing the tools he's learned in Celebrate Recovery.
"Everyone has baggage, as we all have a sinful nature," Scott said. "Celebrate Recovery is a great way to come and learn how to let go of your baggage." When Scott accepted Christ, he did not expect the spiritual battle that began. "It was through Celebrate Recovery that I finally began to give my addictions over to God. I still have to daily, even more so, on a moment by moment and thought by thought basis."
Scott believes that it is never too late to find serenity from hardships and addictions. "Take every thought and make it obedient to Christ," Scott said. "If I let even one thought dwindle, then suddenly I'm dwelling on that. When an image comes, I bounce my eyes off of it." Scott also recites scripture when he is faced with temptation. One verse that always encourages him is 2 Corinthians 10:4-5:
"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
Scott knows that he is able to defeat his addictions by using the spiritual gifts that God has given him through his faith in Jesus Christ. By the grace of God and the support he receives at Celebrate Recovery, Scott is undoubtedly on the path to spiritual healing from his addictions.
Celebrate Recovery, Mondays at 7p
Worship/Lesson or Testimony: 7p
Men and Women Open Share Groups: 7:30p
Solid Rock Cafe: 8:30p
For more information, please contact Ron Schrock.