Guest post by Greg Coplen (originally on Greg’s facebook). He issues a challenge:
I think that Jeff Harris did a series entitled something like “What’s your story” recently so I may be stealing the title from him.
People are inspired and moved by life-change. Seeing someone else rise from the ashes makes us want to do the same.
I’ve heard that any good testimony has three parts: What life was like, What happened, What life is like now. Many of you know my story, but I’m going to give another brief run-down for reasons that will become clear later.
What life was like:
My life was in shambles. It had started out well enough. I started in full-time ministry back when I was 24 years old as a Music Director at a local church. Through the years though my alcoholism, which I had been fighting since my late teens, began to overtake anything and everything that I deemed important until it finally overtook me. By the time I reached 30 years old I was jobless, homeless (in a physical and spiritual sense) and in horrible physical condition. I didn’t really eat or take care of myself other than just enough to get by for the day. Alcohol had become my meal of choice. I was no longer welcome in my family’s life. Everything in my life that I truly loved had been taken away.
Aug. 8th 2005: I was driven to University Hospital in San Antonio, TX and spent a few days there detoxing from alcohol. I was then driven to a treatment center in Fredericksburg, TX where I began a recovery program. I had no hope that it would work because nothing ever had before. But, what I did have was the knowledge that I could not go back to the way life was because I knew that I would kill myself.
So, I asked God to walk with me one step, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. I asked Him to take away the desire to drink. I asked Him to give me my family back and I asked that I would allow Him to guide each of my steps.
In short I began a process of exchanging my own life for a life that I hoped would not only exemplify Christ in me, but would truly be Christ in me. For some it happens overnight, for others it is a process. But, what I know is that God heard my prayers and saw my desire to be the person He had called me to be.
What life is like now:
In short: incredible! I’m on a journey that is so much more than just recovery. I’m on a journey that challenges me to love people I don’t want to love, to walk with those in whose steps I have already taken, and to be open and authentic about who I used to be and who I am now.
There is no place and no time for hiding my past. If my past and my mistakes can be a part of leading someone else to the Cross then what a blessing that is to me.
I’m on a journey to be the husband, the father and the friend that He has called me to be. I’m on a journey to love God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbor as myself.
Finally, I’m on a journey to let go of all that I hold dear and recognize that it’s all just a gift from God. I’ve been given the responsibility to take care of it while it’s in my possession.
Am I up for the challenge? Today I am!
I’ll worry about tomorrow tomorrow.
So, the question is, what’s your story? I would love to hear it and so would the rest of the world.
I’m going to put this on my profile for the FB world to see.
Are you willing to share your story?
Surf on over to Greg Coplen Facebook and leave your story. Thanks Greg. This is incredibly encouraging! God bless.