Today will always be a day of celebration. We will always be thankful.
January 30th will forever by the day that my life changed. The day that my marriage changed. The day that generations would be changed.
January 30th, 2008 is the day that I took my last drink of alcohol.
For 4,018 days, I have refused to give in to the silent drug that tried to destroy me and steal my marriage in the process.
Today WE celebrate 11 years of being sober.
For nearly 10 years, I battled it. For nearly 10 years I heard lie after lie.
Come on Bryan, one drink won’t hurt you.
Don’t worry, you can drive. You are not that drunk.
You can’t face today without it.
You don’t have an alcohol problem.
Someone reading this right now is in the middle of an addiction. You have heard the same voices. You are tired. You don’t want to go on being the person that you’ve been. You are overwhelmed. You are sad. You are angry. You are helpless. You feel defeated.
Today, I write this for you. The voices are lying to you.
One more drink will hurt you.
One more click on the website will destroy you. One more hit will kill you.
You are putting yourself at risk and others at risk every time you get behind the wheel while under the influence.
You can face today sober.
You do have a substance problem.
My story is this. I didn’t have to drink every day. However, when I did drink, I didn’t have control. The alcohol had control of me. I could never just have a glass of wine or a couple of beers.
I always needed more. I wanted more. I craved more.
I needed the buzz to get bigger. I needed to feel more invincible. I needed to bury the hurt and pain.
When Shayla would ask me to not drink, I would drink more. When she would ask me to slow down during a night out with friends, I would speed up. I had no respect for her. I had no respect for me.
The addiction controlled me.
Maybe this is your story. Maybe you are reading this, and you have wrestled for years with the reality that you are an addict. You refuse to believe it because you do not look the part. From the outside, you have it all together. You have the American dream. However, deep inside your soul, you are rotting from the inside out.
When we think of an addict, we think of the person standing on the corner or sitting under the bridge with tattered clothes and drinking out of a paper bag.
We do not think of the corporate executive with the corner office or the stay at home mom of 3.
We do not think of the college professor or the family doctor.
When we think of an addict, we do not think of the person next door or the person in the mirror.
Back to January 30th, 2008.
We were on the K-Love Cruise and had docked for the day in Cozumel. We had a day planned full of snorkeling and fun. The fun quickly turned into a nightmare as I became extremely intoxicated and had no regard for the boundaries that we had put up around drinking just 14 months prior.
In late November of 2006, Shayla moved back into our house. The same house that she left on October 2, 2006. The day that she found out about the affair that I was in. Through supernatural healing, forgiveness, and intense counseling, we made the decision to move back in together but with very strict boundaries around drinking alcohol.
The boundaries were simple. We would not drink without the other person. We would not get drunk.
For years, alcohol was the source of the majority of our marital issues.
The nights that I didn’t call home while on business trips became more frequent.
The nights of fighting because I would continue to come home drunk became the norm rather than the exception.
The relationship with the other woman began after an evening of drinking.
I stayed within the boundaries for 14 months until that picture-perfect day in Cozumel.
I spent the entire afternoon deceiving Shayla while she was right beside me. What she thought was a relaxing ride on the catamaran boat, was a return to our haunting past. The more she looked away, the more I was sneaking drinks. She was counting the drinks that I was consuming but what she didn’t know was that I was taking shots of tequila and downing a beer each time I would go to the bar to get us another drink.
The person that I thought I had buried was back. The pain and hurt from years past surfaced again. The lies once again consumed my thoughts.
I needed it. I wanted it. I had to have it.
The more buzzed I became, the louder the voices became.
Once we returned to the dock to board the cruise ship, the reality of what had happened over the past few hours began to sink in. Shayla’s emotions went from extremely angry to extremely hurt.
I have only seen this hurt in her eyes twice in the 20+ years of us being together. The first time was the day that she found out about the affair. The second time was in our cabin on the cruise once we made it to our room for the night.
The reason why people book the K-Love Cruise compared to a regular cruise is because Christian concerts are in evenings. On the night of January 30th, Jeremy Riddle was scheduled to play. We had been looking forward to his show the entire week.
However, I would be going alone.
Shayla was too hurt to go with me. She would stay in our room the entire evening while I would make my way to the venue where Jeremy was playing.
As I stumbled throughout the ship to my destination, I had no idea that my life would forever be changed that night. I had no idea that generations would be changed that night.
I found a pillar in the middle of the room to stand against. I remember Jeremy sitting on the low stage with just an acoustic guitar. I faintly remember others around me.
Jeremy began to sing Sweetly Broken.
At the cross you beckon me. You draw me gently to my knees. And I am lost for words, so lost in love. I’m sweetly broken. Wholly surrendered.
While in the midst of my drunkenness and brokenness, I heard God’s voice.
“Bryan, you gave your life to me over 15 months ago, but you didn’t give THIS to me. Leave your addiction at the foot of the cross and I will bear your addiction.”
Just a few short days after October 2, 2006 when Shayla found out about the affair, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I admitted my brokenness and my need for a Savior. On October 8, 2006, I was reborn. However, I didn’t wholly surrender.
I tried to control the alcohol. I put boundaries around it. I didn’t want to give it up. I had to have it. I still craved it. I was still addicted to it.
When I heard God’s voice, I quietly responded deep within my soul.
“God, I cannot do this on my own. Take this addiction from me. I surrender everything to you.”
I surrendered my addiction to Jesus.
Jesus says this in Luke 9:23.
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
For the past 4018 days, I have picked up my cross and surrendered the day to follow Jesus.
Jeremy Riddle, thank you. You will always be a part of our story. Sweetly Broken will always represent freedom for us.
One day at a time. One hour at a time. One minute at time.
To the person in the middle of an addiction, you can beat this. Whatever you are facing, healing is possible. I know this because I have been healed. I have been able to fight the temptation for 11 years.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
God will help you with your temptation. But you have to be willing to surrender.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
You have to hate the sin. You have to hate the alcohol. You have to hate the drug. You have to hate the pornography. You have to hate the prescription medication.
Whatever the addiction is, you have to hate it. You have to detest it. You have to hate the sin because it is destroying you and your relationship with those that love you.
Today can be the day that you overcome the temptation. Just as we celebrate 11 years today, you can celebrate a new beginning.
It can begin with THIS simple prayer.
Father, forgive me for my sin. I surrender my addiction to you today. I cannot do this on my own. You know that I have tried before but have failed. I need you to heal me from the pain that I feel inside. I need you to fill the void that I try to fill with my addiction. From this day forward, I will lean on you to get me through each day.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
You only have to worry about today. Do not worry about tomorrow until tomorrow gets here.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and will fight this with you.
Today is a day of celebration for what Jesus can do when you wholly surrender. This is not because of what I have done. This is because of what He has done. He can do the same for you or someone you know who is battling an addiction.
Reach out to me for help. You can contact me through social media or click here.
I believe in you. I am praying for you. You can do this.
Freedom is waiting.
About Bryan Moffitt
He is a speaker, writer, and hope giver. His passion is to see others experience the same freedom that he has through an authentic relationship with Jesus. He is a marathon runner and a father to Addyson and Cayson. Bryan is married to his best friend, Shayla, and together they are co-founders ANGUISHED HEARTS. You can follow them on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM.