Thursday, April 21, 2022

22 Years of Sober

I never thought I would write those words: "22 years of sobriety"

On April 20, 2000 was the last time I took a drink of alcohol. I could tell you all the details surrounding but I'll tell you a better story. 

When I was five I wanted to be a fireman so I could help save people, but that’s not the path I ended up choosing for my life. See that first time I smoked pot led me down a very dark road. A road that was filled with violence, drugs, horrible behavior, drinking and the back of police cars. 

My deep doubt in God and lack of trust for people in my teens took me places I never thought I’d end up going. When I was nineteen I got arrested for the third time in my life. I had way too much to drink, crashed my truck into the side of the mountain, totaled it, almost killed one of my friends and fled the scene. I was pulled out of a bush about a quarter mile down the road at gun point, taken to the hospital and then transported to jail. 

It was one of those, go straight to jail, don’t collect $200 and you can’t say goodbye to your friends. I was charged with two felonies and looking at doing 3-5 years in jail. Now check this out, my mom and her friends started praying and I got out with no felonies and serving a week in jail, a week in jail!

You would think I would have learned my lesson at this point right, that I’d start trusting God? Well four months later I was a drunk sitting in another jail cell. As I sat there I thought, “This isn’t the life I had imagined for myself.” 

On  February 14, 2000 I was looking at doing a year for violating my probation and the reality of who I had become sunk in. As I sat in jail I had a silent conversation with God in the dark of night. I don’t remember exactly how it went but I said something like: “God, if you’re real get me out and I’ll do whatever you want” It was my last ditch effort. Fourteen hours later I was released from Vista jail in San Diego County. I had no clue what I was going to do next but I left the jail that morning knowing God is real and He really cares about me. The focus of my life changed in an instant! 

I wish I could say that it's been an easy 22 years but it hasn't. There have been many moments that I wanted to use again. I wanted to use to forget the pain that I didn't know how to handle. I wanted to use to enjoy a time with my friends. 

But as I sit here, looking back, I'm so grateful for the grace of God in my life. I couldn't have done this without the help of God. 

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