On April 12th, 2017, I took my last drink of alcohol. Truth be told, it was one of several bottles that day. I was on a long flight back to Dallas, Texas from Wellington, New Zealand, and white wine was my poison of choice. I was classified as a highly functioning alcoholic where I would work during the day, and drink alcohol into oblivion every night. That was the mode of insanity I was living. My mind and body had determined decades ago that this constituted a “normal” life.
I spent 22 years trying to hide it from those who mattered most to me…my family, friends, and co-workers. I was constantly making excuses to my wife that this time would be different. I remember telling her “I will quit next week, but I need to drink tonight because of insert excuse here.” Bottom line, I was slowly killing myself.
Embarrassed and looking back, my kids knew something was wrong. Daddy’s hands shake in the morning, and my endless excuse of “having too much coffee,” was wearing thin...even in the eyes of two young children. Daddy’s speech is slurred, and we haven’t even sat down as a family for dinner yet.
I would constantly rationalize my trouble with irrational thinking…and even more excuses. However, as I sat on that flight from New Zealand to Dallas, I was out of excuses, I was defeated, and at my rock bottom. My marriage and family were falling apart, and I was on the brink of losing everything.
When I got home, my family found the Avenue Church in Waxahachie, TX and learned that they offered a program called Celebrate Recovery (CR). This Christ-centered recovery program has not only changed my life, but it has impacted millions of lives across the world. Let me share four key stats with you.
- 35,000: Over 35,000 churches have a CR program
- 7 million: Over 7 million Men and Women have found freedom and have graduated a CR Step Study
- 60: Today, there are 60 countries that have active CR programs
- 22: CR has been translated into 22 languages
To those who are struggling with hurts, hang ups, and habits, I want to encourage you to reach out. Admitting that you have a problem and surrendering it all to God doesn’t make you weak, it just means you’ve joined the winning team!
Rick Warren has stated that we are products of the past, but we are not prisoners of the past. For us that means we are no longer defined by our past battles with alcoholism, addiction, anger, co-dependency, grief, depression, fear, shame, abuse, pride, adultery, etc. Change and recovery are possible, and after four years of sobriety, I’m living proof.
To learn more about Celebrate Recovery, or to find a CR group near you, visit their website at: www.celebraterecovery.com.
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