Where do you get your courage to face the battles of everyday life? Seemed so easy when I was a kid, Mom would tell me a story and encourage me to follow my dreams. And then when I would come home broken hearted, tail between my legs in another failure, she would make me one of her amazing Italian dishes, encourage me and send me back out to try again.
Then along came teenage dating and falling in love, sports injuries, grades failing, lack of money - it all added up to finding courage elsewhere. First a gang, stealing cars then underage drinking, then too early sex and on and on until the battlefields in the jungles of Viet Nam as a Marine.
Courage came from multiple sources of patriotism, alcohol and drug induced, and from the desire to overcome being not enough. That last one, not enough, propelled me into a performance driven life that required the fuel of addiction to keep it going, long after the patriotism wore off from disappointment in a very foolish war.
When it got really bad, when I hit rock bottom, I began to read the Bible for the very first time in my early 30s. First Proverbs, then the Psalms where I saw a man share his feelings in public, wrote Psalm after Psalm about his struggles. I found where he found his courage, and it wasn't in that bottle I was now in.
Lots of I's in this blog, but it was I that was preventing me from have the courage to face the battles that I was now running from. Not an upbringing fault, not a government fault, not another person fault; it was an I fault, but the man who wrote those Psalms used many I's as well, because his failures led him to surround that lone letter with two more, an H and an M - HiM!
And when he found HiM, he found that courage to be the man he was intended to be; he found the Courage to be In Battle, Not In The Bottle of fear and insecurity he was loathing in.
No mystery in my mind anymore; I may be not enough, but He is more than enough!
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.