I was an only child to parents who divorced when I was 10. I lived with my alcoholic father from then until I was 16 that led to many unsupervised hours hanging with the wrong crowd. I always knew my father loved me, even though he couldn’t say it. The only way he knew how to show his love was through enablement, constantly bailing me out of jail.

I became addicted to heroin at 13 and later on to meth, and spent the next 40 years chained to a life of drugs, motorcycle gangs, crime, prison time and broken relationships.

At 52 I found myself staring down the end of my 44 magnum all alone, broken, and ready to end this life of hopelessness and misery when God stepped in and steered me to a Christian rehab center which ultimately introduced me to Celebrate Recovery. After rehab was completed I returned home, found a local Celebrate Recovery where I found a forever family that loved me just like I was with no condemnation about my past. It was here that I learned the tools I needed to live a successful recovery. On Dec 15, 2018 I took my 13 yr CR sobriety chip. CR has become my passion, not only for my own recovery but also because I’ve witnessed so many of God’s miracles in countless lives.

Last year I was diagnosed with liver cancer and stage 4 end of life liver disease as a result of my 40 yrs of self destruction. On Fathers Day 2018 I was given a new opportunity at life when I received the miracle of a liver transplant. I’ve seen God’s handiwork time and time again this past year, and while being called 5 times before the actual transplant was stressful, God gave me peace and calm to never doubt He was in control.

Today I’m living proof that God loves me and has a plan for my life. I get to serve locally in my CR and as a CR state rep for Georgia! I’m also the East Coast National Director for Broken Chains, the motorcycle arm of Celebrate Recovery. Only God could do that! My prayers are that many more will find healing and new life in Jesus Christ in 2019!

Thanks for letting me share Mike!

It’s Testimony Tuesday, and as this year’s SUMMIT OF HOPE approaches, we asked some of our incredible volunteer state representatives to share their stories of hope... Today’s comes from Brian who found hope in the midst of crushing grief. “The Psalmist wrote, “There is no hope except in God”. But I had to ask myself, on what is my hope based?

On Memorial Day of 2015 my daughter went to the hospital after becoming dehydrated. Later that day, my son called me to tell me that Heather had gone into cardiac arrest but that they were able to restart her heart. I was devastated. What went from being being dehydrated to a life-threatening event was incomprehensible. My son called again to tell me that Heather had coded a 2nd time. Finally the call came that I had been dreading. That morning my wife and I were like zombies as we drove to Maryland to say good bye and bury my daughter. As I walked away from the cemetery, I turned to look back to witness the backhoe tamping the ground down over my daughter’s grave. I’ve played that scene repeatedly in my mind for almost 4 years, beset by “what if’s” and “why”, being angry with God, and filled with guilt that I didn’t stay up that night in prayer. I felt like it was a joke to have hope.

But God showed up as I grieved and continue to grieve the loss of my daughter. He reminded me of the women who went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’s body; that they too must have lost hope. He reminded me that what they had been hoping for was in the natural, what they could see and feel, He reminded me that they weren’t looking to the “invisible spiritual realities”. But God also reminded me that they bore witness to the “resurrection power” of a holy and righteous God who raised Jesus from the grave. The same resurrection power was there when my daughter closed her eyes on this earth and opened them to see Jesus. And, it is that same resurrection power that lets me walk in victory in my daily recovery from my addiction to alcohol and struggle with co-dependency... and in my grief.

The Psalmist wrote,”There is no hope except in God”. This is where I find my Hope.

HopeThank you for letting me share.