This picture was taken on August 1, 2008…it is impossible.
On March 14, 2009 I celebrated 3 years from the date I walked out of The Meadows, an addiction treatment center in Wickenburg AZ. Three years…
I look back to the man who walked in to that facility on February 7, 2006.
1. You see I agreed to go into this place at the request of my wife who said “I am finished, but you need to do this for your kids”.
2. I only had one question for The Meadows before I agreed to go, I simply asked “Are you a Christian organization” to which they replied “No”. You see I would not have gone if they had said yes…I had been away from church for over 9 years. My relationship with God was simple, I told God “I love you Lord, I just hate your people”. I had no relationship with God.
3. My daughter had not spoken to me in well over a year.
4. I was an alcoholic. I was a sex addict.
5. I had lost my company and I did not know what I was going to do to make money.
6. I had lost my relationship with my kids.
7. My father had just died. My only sibling, my sister, had just died and within 8 months my bother-in-law would die.
8. I did not have one male friend.
9. I was living in a vacant home, with no furniture.
10. Leaving The Meadows would be the beginning of 8 months of brutal divorce.
That was three years ago…
1. On February 26, 2006 while at The Meadows, I attend church for the first time in over 9 years, it was one of the few outside places The Meadows allowed you to go. On that day the sermon was about the very thing I had delt with for the past 9 years…shame, anger, regret and living in the past. The scriptures quoted that day were:
- 2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
- Col 3:5-17 “Put to death…sexual immorality, lust, evil desires…” “You used to walk in these ways…But now you must rid yourselves of all anger, rage, malice, slander…” “You have taken off your old self…and have put on the new self” “…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”
God had spoken…in a place who told me they were not a “Christian organization”, I had found God.
2. I came back to the Meadows that day and in my mail box from one of the counselors was a part of a book by Og Mandino called “The God Memo”. God spoke again.
3. October 9, 2006 was the final date of our divorce…it was done. Four days after our 21st wedding anniversary…we were done. But, the divorce could not be finalized…there was a problem with a lost document…not just any document. The court had lost the very document that had started the entire process and the entire process would have to start over…the soonest we could now be divorced would be February of 2007.
4. My wife and I could not communicate directly…but I sent her an email in November 2006 while the divorce was once again moving forward…I simply said “I am praying for you”.
5. On November 9th 2006, my wife and I decided to call off the divorce and work on our marriage.
6. On Memorial weekend of 2007 (May 2007) I moved back into our family home. This would not be easy…I had not been a dad to my three kids in a long time…
7. On October 5, 2008 (our 23rd wedding anniversary), I asked my wife if she would marry me again…and she said yes.
8. I sat at our dining room table this past Christmas (2008)…My daughter was home from college, my son home from the Florida Keys…there in front of me was my family, my wife and my three kids…all together, laughing, loving. It was a moment between just God and I..it was a miracle and I knew it…I just said “Thank you God…thank you that you still perform miracles here on this earth every day. Thank you for answering my prayers”
Three years….Three short years ago….I remember the first day in the Meadows when I was asked to stand up and say the words “I am a great husband and I am a great father”….I was not…I knew that, but God knew my heart and he held me there that day in His arms, with some of the finest people I will ever know…other fallen people on the scrap heap of life… I had one day of sobriety and I had no way to know if I would make it two days..then three…
Life in recovery is a string of single days…one day at a time…which when put together can change the past. You see each good day becomes a day I could look back and say “Hey, good job…your past is looking better!”.
God is Light. So God moves at the speed of light. I am just a man, but I want things fixed at the speed of light. When I walked back into my life on March 14, 2006…I wanted everything fixed, I wanted everyone to know I was changed…but this God of mine who moves at the speed of light told me…”Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
I prayed “Please God, give me back my family…please God”, but there were days it did not seem possible…but I kept asking and knowing He was the only hope I had. But I had to change and as much as I would like to say I was a different person on March 14, 2006…it is a process, one I still must work on today.
Maybe you are in a place where you are having doubts…maybe you are asking God for something today and wondering where He is….maybe you are angry with God asking “Why?!” I was there too.
God is there, He is holding you and He wants to have a relationship with you. God does not expect you to be perfect…He just needs you to believe He sent His Son to die for you and that through Him, all things are possible. Draw closer to Him…
James 4:8 “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.”
It seems it has been 10 years ago…but it has only been three years…just three years…
I told God “Help me to put my family back together and I will hunt this down in the lives of others and shine Your Light into that darkness”.
God did!!! Yea God!!! I hope I am doing my part here on this blog.
There is hope for your situation, no matter what it is. They said my marriage could not be saved…God said different, He had a plan.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Hope and a future…
Are you tired of fighting this on your own and all alone? God said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)…I did…He did…He will for you too. You never know God is all you got, until God is all you got.
God loves you so very much and so do I,