As a second generation military man, I know the sacrifice our service men, women, and their families make to secure the freedom we enjoy. The long hours, the stress and strain of military maneuvers, the constant moving around from duty station to duty station, and the deployments that last months or years at a time are just some of the examples of our military paying for our freedom.

When people thank us for our service, most veterans will reply with a simple and humble, "It's been my honor to serve." The bond between brothers and sisters in arms is forged with blood, sweat, and tears. One of the common mottos in the armed forces is "leave no man behind". It's not uncommon for soldiers to risk their own life to save the life of a comrade. The potential loss of their own life is worth the risk to save the life of their battle buddy. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

This July 4th, while we honor those who gave their service and those who gave their life for our freedom, let us not forget the One who gave it all for us - for our freedom from the chains of sin, shame, and guilt.

At Eastside, we honor Christ's sacrifice… His blood, sweat, and tears by continuing His work to seek and save those who are lost. Those still in chains by life's hurts, habits, and hang-ups by offering Care & Recovery groups at all of our campuses. We know one out of every three people in our community find themselves in a difficult season of life. These Care & Recovery groups are a safe and welcoming place where people can find help, discover hope, and experience healing.

A place where you can belong and be part of a community of overcomers.

A place where you can believe what God says about you, and not what the world says.

A place where you can become all that God has designed you to be.

A place where you can find and experience the true freedom that only comes from surrendering the care and control of your life to Jesus Christ. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  John 8:36.

It wasn't that long ago that I found myself there - in a very dark place far from God. My 23-year marriage abruptly and unexpectedly ended and I had lost everything. In my darkest moment, I cried out to God. I asked Him to show Himself to me. And He did through my in-laws who invited me to come to Eastside.

I got connected to a Care & Recovery group on a Friday night, and have been coming here ever since. It didn't happen overnight, but I did heal over time. I began to surrender my all to Him. The more I allowed Him to work in me, the more He began to work through me.

If you had told me when I began my journey in 2010 that this is where God would lead me, I would've told you that you're crazy. God doesn't use people like me. What I've come to find out is that He indeed does. Our God uses the improbable to do the impossible.

If you or someone you know is in a difficult season, we invite you to check out the Care & Recovery groups at Eastside.

Written By: Greg Arbues