How to Break Your Addiction and Emotional Bondage

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Ann White, founder of Courage for Life, answered the call to minister in prisons where she preaches, teaches and encourages inmates to embrace God's Word and His peace that comes with it.

She shared her testimony with Charisma News as part of the "Addicted" series, sponsored by Courage for Life.

White's own story, one of alcohol addiction, gives her a relatable platform when she ministers.

"It breaks down walls," White says. "When you begin to share your testimony—and it's the same way in churches, support groups or any place we are seeking help, we're encouraging other people in their walk with the Lord with hope and healing—that transparency is critical. As I begin to share my story, and my ministry team shares their personal stories, these gals can relate to our walks with insecurity, our walks of shame and self-condemnation, walks with mistakes and codependency. ... Pain recognizes pain, and these gals begin to connect."

White depends on the acronym COURAGE to preach the truth about recovery from any addiction or emotional bondage.

"C" means to commit to change.

"We have to ask ourselves, 'What does God want me to change?'" White says. "I need to make a commitment that I'm going to do this. And it's not going to go out the window like our New Year's resolutions because we're going to follow it up with six more steps."

"O" is overcoming obstacles.

"When God is calling us to make a necessary change in our lives, we are going to look at what stands in our way: Is it other people? Our own issues? Codependency? Our attitude?" White says. "Satan is going to be attacking us at every turn, but we need to be prepared."

With the third step, "U," someone will uncover his or her real self.

"It's not who the world says we are, but who God says we are," White says. "He is with us at every step and every turn to give us everything we need. When He calls us to do something, He is going to equip us to do it."

The "R" step allows someone to replace worldly lies with scriptural truth.

"We need to be digesting God's Word," White says. "He says, 'Meditate on my word day and night.'

"We need to store it in our minds and hearts," she says.

This step has been instrumental in White's own life and ministry.

"Now when Satan tries to interject a lie into my life, I can say, 'I reject that lie in the name of Jesus because the truth is,' and then I can recite the Scripture related to that," White says. "When you practice it, when you put God's Word in, it's going to come right back out. When we put God's Word in, we begin to grow stronger and more courageous in a positive way."

"A" means to accept the things that we cannot change.

"I can't change someone else," White says. "I can't fix my husband or my kids, but the one person I can change is myself. And with God's help, I can see that He's trying to change me, but I need to put that other person in God's hands and pray for that person."

"G" is to grasp God's love for you.

"Satan wants to keep on perpetuating the lie that you aren't worthy," White says. "But no, we must grasp God's true love for us, how He died on the cross, He gave His life, He shed His blood because He knew we could not do it on our own. We must really get in touch with God's love."

And finally, "E" is to embrace a life of grace.

"We've got to have grace for others, so we receive God's grace for ourselves," White says. "This can be quite difficult and very challenging if you've been wounded. But if you begin to look at the other person as a flawed human, a sinner in need of a Savior ... it helps us to forgive other people when we understand what their background is."

White's faith-driven formula may be a difficult prescription to follow, but the results allow for addicts of any kind to find the freedom they crave delivered by the cross.

Listen to the podcast to hear more.

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