A series for those of us that need the reminder that God is still in the business of changing lives.
Be sure to check out John’s story from last week.
This week : George
Hi, my name is George and I’m an alcoholic and addict.
It started when I was 12.
Booze, pot, pills, cocaine.
I missed so much of my life – my family, my marriage.
I quit hundreds of times over the course of 3 decades. I can’t believe I lost 30 years of my life.
I began to accept the fact that I would never be different. That’s just who I was, the guy on the couch with the beer who couldn’t wait until the next time he got high.
Then my little brother, The Preacher, moved to town. And I thought I had finally found the answer.
I had the perfect plan to get everyone off my back – I would fake salvation.
And so I joined the church and was baptized.
In a drunk and addict, out a drunk and addict. In a dirt-bag, out a wet one.
I thought my life would instantly get better – people would lay off me. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Now I had 100 people to lie to every week.
And so began the worst time in my life.
My drinking got worse. I’m treating my wife worse than ever. I’m warming a pew each week thinking, “Won’t the preacher SHUT UP, I need a BEER.”
My wife leaves to visit her dying father and ends up staying gone for 6 months. I lie to her every night and say I’m changing, that things will be different. I promise. I lie.
Then, ironies of ironies, I start a little program at my church called “Celebrate Recovery”. Ha!
I am miserable. I want to quit. My wife is going to leave me if I don’t. But sobering up sounds so boring, sounds like a prison of never relaxing or having fun. So I go to a meeting, go to work, and go home and get drunk.
The day my wife comes home I quit again. That was a Friday. By Sunday I’m dying. I’m busted. I’ve been faking it. Faking it at church, faking it at the meetings, faking it with my wife. I can’t do this on my own.
That Sunday night I go to church. I’m really struggling. My hands are clinging to the seat of the pew, trying to keep myself in place. I can’t control myself, I’m jerked up out of my seat almost against my will, and I tell this group of men I barely know that I’m a drunk and I’m out of control. I’m terrified. I’ve kept quiet for so long because my little brother is the preacher. The forces of darkness have whispered lies into my ear for months, convincing me that my brother will suffer if I come forward. Nothing could have been farther from the truth.
All of a sudden, love fills the sanctuary.
This group of men began to confess to me of their similar struggles and pasts. They offer me their compassion. I am accepted. I am understood. I am loved.
One man in particular offers me the accountability I so desperately need. For months he meets me in the parking lot after work every night to talk. Then I would drive home and immediately call him to let him know I hadn’t stopped for beer. And I never did stop.
I gave it all to God that night. And He let me know that my old ways were no longer an option.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
The new life I’ve experienced in Jesus is so far reaching that I’ve become a new person through Him. I am not perfect, but I am forgiven and striving to be more like my savior every day. Through the Holy Spirit we all have the power necessary for a completely transformed life. Nothing I say can witness to God’s ability to change me as powerfully as the evidence that can be seen in my actions as a new person.
Hi, my name is George and I am a grateful follower of Jesus Christ. By His Grace, I’ve been clean and sober for 2 years 11 months, and 15 days.
I was broken. But now I live.