March 22, 2015 was the day I woke up hung over, prayerfully, for the last time. I had entered the Celebrate recovery program at Rock Solid Church in Hudson NY two weeks prior and had been excited at the prospect of cleaning up my life but circumstances had put me in an environment where I thought the pressure to not drink was too much, so I didn’t even try.
I wish I could say that the last time I went drinking was an epic party to end all parties but it wasn’t. Don’t misunderstand me. I didn’t say I didn’t have fun. There was live music, nice people, lots jokes, and laughs. There were also drugs, desperation, dysfunction, and the signs of 30 years of indulgence in the faces of those in attendance. The ravages of alcohol and drugs and the emptiness of trying to recreate moments of youthful exuberance were all around me. Even in the moment, I saw this wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing, or even wanted to do anymore, as a Christian. The morning after my hangover wasn’t that bad but my soul ached that I had broken my fellowship with Christ. I repented that morning, asking God to forgive me for walking back into the darkness and to help me not to go back ever again.
God is good to forgive us our sins if we ask (1 John 1:9) and even though I failed, I felt that God had answered my prayer. I went to the next Recovery meeting confessing my failure expecting criticism but finding acceptance. I left with a determination not to fall again and to surrender my life daily to God.
God has been faithful. I haven’t fallen. I had never conceived of the possibility of living without alcohol for a year. Some of you, who read this, may not either. However, if you trust in God, pray to Him to help you, and continually turn to Him to lead you; He will set you free.
I have completed the Celebrate Recovery program and now lead worship at our meetings (NOW with live mic and electric guitar! WHAT?!?!?) . I have begun teaching, on occasion, because I have been there, I get it, and I know what is possible if you put yourself into it. If you are in the Hudson area on Thursday nights, we meet at 6:30 pm at Rock Solid Church.
More importantly, I stand as a sign post pointing to the one that can save you, heal you, and free you: Jesus Christ. It’s great to get sober but He can do so much more. He has revealed to me that getting sober was only the beginning of a new life in partnership with him. With Christ, I have earned an Associate’s degree in Biblical studies, conquered the fear of public speaking, and gone on mission to Africa. In my journey, I have gained continuing revelation of truth and my purpose in life. He has revealed to me the errors in my thinking and changed my priorities to be a faithful follower, husband and father.
I don’t know what issues, problems, hang ups, or concerns you may have. But I know this: Christ cares about you. He loves you. And He can give you new life. This Sunday we celebrate His Resurrection: the proof that He is the Son of God and everything He said is the truth. This Sunday can be the day you can start a journey that ends in joy and eternal life. I invite you to celebrate His Resurrection this Sunday at Rock Solid Church; services are at 8:30 & 11 am. For information about our church go to: http://rocksolidchurch.net/.
I wish all who read this all the best and I pray that you let Christ be the one to lead you in this life and beyond in His eternal Kingdom. God Bless You!