5 Years

Today I celebrate 5 years of living clean. Wow. That’s crazy to even say. It still doesn’t’ even seem to be real. This sober life.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been asking myself this question a lot…”what do I want people to know about the past 5 years of my life.” It’s a tough question. It’s a loaded question. It’s got answers so long it could fill a book.

Each time I think about it tears begin to stream down my face. I’ve been so blessed. My life has not only been saved, but it’s been remade.

God has taken the most ugly aspects of my life and my choices and he’s turned them into an exquisite masterpiece of restoration.

I feel like the luckiest man alive. I’m marrying my best friend, my true partner, a woman I will never deserve. Someone who oozes care, compassion and creativity– things I lack desperately. She is my perfect match and I’m blown away she said yes.

I lead an organization that is so far out in front of my abilities it’s comical. God has taken my selfish little dream of living with other sober dudes and created a movement with unfathomable impact and potential.

I have two of the kindest, forgiving and understanding children on the planet. Kids who have put up with their daddy sharing his crazy story all over kingdom come. But not just put up with it, but supported it!

I have two parents who double as my biggest cheerleader and my agent. I’m nothing without them. They stood just as proudly with me on day 1 as I kicked and screamed my way into detox as they have each and every time I’ve stood to tell my redemption story. They haven’t ever said slow down, please don’t say that, don’t go there, why are you doing this? No, they’ve just encouraged and supported me with everything they have.

But back to that question….”what do I want people to know about the past 5 years of my life?”

I think this is it.

I want people to know these 3 things. HOPE is real, change is possible and God is love.

Hope is Real

The past five years almost everything I’ve hoped for has come true. The dreams and visions God planted inside of me, He watered and brought to life. What was only a small “hope” has now become a thriving organization helping hundreds of people every day. Hope, when birthed inside the will of God is the most powerful thing on this planet. It’s these hopes that God uses to pull us to more fulfilled and free lives. It’s these hopes that God uses to provide for the joys of our hearts.

Hope has pushed me to be a better man. It’s made it possible for me to live fully known, because I now believed I am fully alive. Hope does that.

Change is Possible

If you saw a movie trailer style overview of the last 5 years of my addiction you’d be sick to your stomach. I was thief. I was jerk. I hid out in my home, with no friends, no life, no plans other than intoxication on repeat. I was truly pathetic and sad. But today I have a purpose. I am making something of my life. I am changed in so many ways. I get up early. I take care of my responsibilities. I love life. I have friends. I have meaning. I care for others. I forgive. My words have meaning. I’m honest. I work hard. I am changed. It’s possible.

You can change. The one you love can change. Your son, your daughter, your spouse. They can change. If I could do it, anyone can.

God is Love

God so loved me that He gave me a way out. He loved me enough to let me hit the bottom. He loved me enough to watch me suffer, cry, scream in agony, fall deeply into depression and slip slowly into isolation. He loved me enough to put up with my baseless ego and pride. He loved me back to health in detox, softly whispering to my soul, subtly reminding me that He was there. He walked with me down the trails and to the cross that sat in the fields of Robs Ranch.  He heard me as I cried out for forgiveness and He promised to give me a hope and a future.

God loved me through the blackest of sin and the darkest of days. He didn’t leave, he didn’t judge, he loved. And when I got back on my feet, vowing to do better, but failed again, He loved me still.

Do you know God loves you? Really really loves you?

Hope is real, change is possible and God is love. This is what I’ve learned in the past five years.

A big thanks to everyone who came along for the journey.

Here’s to another 5..

4 Comments

  1. Pam Yates on April 27, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Such an inspiring story. I went to Jr. High and High School with your dad, known each other since we were about 12. A few years ago he did a bible study at the church I went to, the church he went to when he was teenager, Braden Park Baptist, formerly White City Baptist in Tulsa. He shared a small part of your story then. So glad that you have found peace and your path in life.
    My best wishes for you and your new life and marriage.

    Pam

  2. Mark Wright on April 27, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Lance, Congratulations. You are such an inspiration. It is so incredible to see how God has changed your life. I am rejoicing with you. This is the same hope we have for our son Josh. I just got through talking with him on the phone and he told me he is 3 weeks sober this week. He is living in Arlington and just got out of detox a few days ago. He has a sponsor now that has really been helping him work the steps and he sounds so different in his determination to stay clean. We are very thankful and encouraged. God bless you my friend. I will see you at the Creek this weekend.

  3. Lea Ann Qualls on April 28, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I too have walked through the darkness of addiction! I say through, because Jesus brought me through. I’m so glad your sister shared this! I will be praying for your ministry. Keep sharing! This truly touched and encouraged me!

  4. Jan on April 28, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Thank you for putting yourself out there for others to try and comprehend this disease of addiction and for answering the hard questions. Having watched my son in his relationships, you are blessed to have Allyson in your corner.
    One day at a time you can do another 5 years.

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