When I was in the Marines in training as a Radio Operator, I was summoned to the Colonel's office. He told me that because of my diligence, IQ. etc. they were offering me a full scholarship to the Naval Academy. I asked him what the catch was, and he replied 1 year at preparatory school, four years at the Academy and four years active duty in the Navy or Marines, whichever I chose.
I thought for a minute adding up the time, and at the age of 19, nine years seemed like a lifetime commitment, especially since I joined to go to war in Viet Nam. I declined that opportunity then serving a tour in Nam, eventually doing my three years and went on a destructive path of addiction, divorce and desperation. Who knows how things would have turned out if my choice was different, but I can promise you I would not be where I am now.
It was an open door for me that I shut and God had other doors for me to enter into. I do not regret my decision for a minute, but I do regret it took me so long to find the right one to walk through. Maybe you have faced similar choices and possibly chosen well right from the beginning, but for me, I was a hard headed man and I needed to face the consequences of my choices before I came around to Gods way for me.
If you are staggering now as I was, my suggestion is to get to know God, listen through his spirit as to what he would have you do, then do it. And if you interpret what he is saying, heading down the wrong road, he will course correct you through a set of circumstances where you know only he could create.
His formula is ask, seek and knock. Instead of having to bang down the door, he will open it if you don't miss that middle part, to seek. Seeking means we are looking for something, and God will always provide a sign, either a green light to go or a stop sign to look elsewhere. My problem, I always chose the easiest path to take which led me to doors I had to not only knock on but ones had to knock down.
Turning down the Naval Academy was a good decision for me on the surface, but since I did not consult God on that one, the road to get to where I am now has been filled with obstacles. What am I trying to convey here?
What may look like an open door on the surface could very well be a trap door to destruction.
Greetings, friends of ATB! I am Allison, one of the newer team members, and I am excited to co-labor with the team at ATB.
After a life of destructive decisions, I began a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in 2007 that changed the trajectory of my entire life.
In 2008, I was led to become a certified Life Coach helping women thrive in life, relationships, and to reach their dreams. Between 2008 and 2014, I worked on healing and telling my story through printed word. In 2014, I released my book, Desperate for Love, with the hope of changing one life. Since its release, many have found a connection and a more authentic understanding of God's love for them. Some have been propelled to move into their greater purpose. During the following years, I worked as an independent contractor serving non-profit organizations in developing websites, organizing events, creating print and digital collateral, e-books, and digital marketing. I also helped Across The Bridge with digital needs on a volunteer basis. The Lord allowed me time to find my groove in living His way.
In 2020, after a season of serving on a prayer team for a women's ministry, I took a break, except for some volunteer work with ATB. It was during those three years that I gained a more profound understanding of my specific purpose.
It is woven into my heart to share how to be free from the wounding moments in our lives. I want people to know we can uncover the trauma and heal the wounds of that trauma in our hearts. Whether our injuries are from bullying, rejection, abandonment, abusive words, harmful actions, or the absence of a parent, there is a journey from the scars of trauma and brokenness to living in freedom and wholeness through the power of our Almighty God.
In late 2022, Glenn, a decades-long friend, invited me to work with the ATB team managing the website and creating collateral materials. Glenn has given me the honor of sharing my artistic creations, my book Desperate for Love, and messages of hope and healing to those crossing the bridge.
I look forward to meeting each of you. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside the other team members of Across The Bridge.
He works all things together for good to those who love Him! Romans 8:28
He is close to the broken hearted. And binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3
Praises to our Great God!
One of the things that I have learned working in a recovery atmosphere is that people can really relate to the Authenticity of the speaker in a meeting. When the finger is pointing at them instead of someone else for the reason for their situation, our crowd responds.
In the book of Philippians it describes the authenticity of Jesus: Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. It continues to say he "humbled himself" even though he knew he was God.
When we speak to people there is an aura we project, maybe as a leader, a teacher, or just a person telling a story. Jesus did all the above without ever really saying he was better than anyone else. He knew their sins, their weaknesses, their struggles but yet he related to them on a level they understood, rather than as someone who had it all together which of course he did.
Most of us in this addiction recovery world start off what we are saying by indicating the similar struggles we have faced. This humility, the willingness to lower the bar of where we are at to the the bar of the audience, then raise it to the level that we have attained as it relates to where they too can go is exactly the same way Jesus spoke as he spoke in those many parables.
Of course Jesus never sinned so the finger pointing at him was always to show the way to salvation, but if we follow his approach, we will always speak authentically with humility. Want to see a great example of this, come to Smooth Talk on Tuesday nights or go to the Smooth Talk page on Facebook at 7:30 and listen to a man who asks me every week to help keep him humble.
Here's the great thing, I never have to because he is always authentic!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.