Category Archives: The Story So Far

Keep On – John 16:33

Keep On – John 16:33

Keep fighting
Keep on
Breaking through
In the darker times
Hard times
Wild times
Just keep on
Keeping on
A time will come
And remember this
Take heart
For He overcome
Overcome the world
For us
For you
For everyone
All I can ask
Is just keep on
Keeping on

John 16:33
John 16:33

And When The Dust Settles – Psalm 27:13

And When The Dust Settles – Psalm 27:13

And when the dust settles
On the stories of this life
When the time here is done
Assured I feel
That when the time comes
I shall see His glory
In the life that shall follow
In the land of the living
And the eternity to come

Psalm 27:13
Psalm 27:13

My Voice, His Story – Celebrating 225 Weeks Sober

This is my voice, but His story.

This video was recorded back in March, just a few weeks before my four year Sober anniversary.  For weeks leading up to the recording I would find myself going over and over the story in my head, it had be suggested some time before that I make a testimony video, so I bit the bullet and arranged with Phil to record one, this is the result.

It has been played at all of our Church campuses, but this is the first time it has been shared on-line, I choose to share it now, the 225th week of my sober journey.

I am so thankful for those few days, where darkness turned to light and I felt the touch of God upon my soul, when the bottle fell from my hands.

I have to thank Gareth and Leanne, the senior Pastors at Everyday Champions Church, for not only giving me the chance to make this video, but for being there when I needed a second chance at life, also a big thank you for everyone who has stood by me on the journey so far.

Please feel to share this testimony.

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree
Every broken weary soul
Find your rest and be made whole
Stripes of blood that stain its frame
Shed to wash away our shame
From the scars pure love released
Salvation by the mercy tree

In the spot between two thieves
Hung the blameless Prince of Peace
Beaten, battered, scarred, and scorned
Sacred head pierced by our thorns
It is finished was his cry
The perfect lamb was crucified
His sacrifice, our victory
Our Savior chose the mercy tree

Hope went dark that violent day
The whole earth quaked at love’s display
Three days silent in the ground
This body born for heaven’s crown
On that bright and glorious day
When heaven opened up the grave
He’s alive and risen indeed!
Praise him for the mercy tree!

Death has died, love has won
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome
He has risen from the dead

One day soon, we’ll see his face
And every tear, he’ll wipe away
No more pain or suffering
Praise him for the mercy tree

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree

My Defender (Exodus 15:2)

My Defender (Exodus 15:2)

Here I am stronger
In the presence of my Lord
My defender
My protector
The author of my salvation
I fight the darkest nights
And walk the brightest days
Singing my praise as I walk
Raising my voice to His love
My defender
My protector
I thank You for my all

Exodus 15:2

Exodus 15:2

Are You Alone (Matthew 11:28)

Are You Alone (Matthew 11:28)

Are you alone?
See His light

Is your heart cold?
Feel His warmth

Are you afraid?
Hold on to Him

Is it all too much?
Just don’t let go

Can you carry the weight?
He will take it

Are your skies falling?
In Him you’ll see heaven

Are you so weary?
Our saviour will be your peace

Can you feel Him now?
He’s always been beside you

Matthew 11:28

Matthew 11:28

The Story So Far – Chapter 25 – Surviving Christmas


With that ordeal out of the way I set my mind on Christmas again.  Once the Christmas meal was out off the way the panic attacks went away with it.  I still couldn’t sleep at night, but I was learning to deal with that, each night I felt like I could sleep a little longer.  The Doctor had said it would take until around Christmas before I was back to normal sleeping patterns and he was spot on.

One thing that I really find disappointing during this period was that I stopped journaling, through all the struggles I found I gave up on that time I would find each night to record my most internal feelings, I regret that now, it would take a good few months before I got back into that habit, but I regret letting it go.  I kept my blog up to date and posted about where I was with things.  I am always honest on my blog, but there are also things I chose not to disclose.  Some of my deepest struggles I have kept to myself, I didn’t share them on my blog, with anyone at Church or with my Connect Group.  I prayed over them, I never kept anything from God, at the end of the day I figured He knows my heart anyway, He knows the pain I have inside and He wants me to come to Him with it.  I did that daily, as I said before at times I prayed not wake, as I didn’t want to live the way I was.  There were times I prayed for strength, I prayed for peace, I prayed for me, I prayed for the kids, I prayed for Victoria, I prayed for us, I never stopped praying, I may not have been able to share it all with anyone else, but I certainly shared it all with God.

I also kept putting things into poem form, I guess in a way this became my most honest way of posting, things I couldn’t outright say to someone’s face or even write about in a post, I could certainly put into a poem, where I could disguise the content to a certain extent, I could let off steam without being direct about the problem that I didn’t want to disclose, that’s the beauty of poetry, you can be direct and ambiguous at the same time.   I wrote a number of poems during this period, but many didn’t actually get finished a posted until some months later.

For a while as Christmas approached and the tablets were doing what they were supposed to do, I left behind those feelings about wanting cut the words “I Will Never Be Enough” into my forearms, they were consigned to the desperate times when I felt so alone and out of touch with every one, when I couldn’t explain to anyone where my mind was or how I was thinking.  I couldn’t think how I was going to explain these feelings to anyone, they weren’t rational and I chose to just bury them, until they rose again, I would fight them, pray for peace and sleep it off.

But with Christmas days away they came back.  The previous year I was invited for Christmas Dinner at Victoria’s Mum’s and afterwards I spent the rest of the day alone, this year there was no invite.  Victoria asked if I wanted the kids with me, but as I didn’t really have any plans, I would see them in the morning and evening anyway, I thought that they would enjoy being around their cousins at Victoria’s Mum’s and Gran’s again.  So I chose to be with them whilst they opened their presents, I would then go to Church, when I return they would be gone, so I would make myself some dinner and watch TV until they came back.

But as this day approached I began to imagine myself coming home from Church, going upstairs into the bathroom and carving “I Am Not Enough” into my arms again.  I would do that and then just wait there until someone would find me, passed out from the loss of blood.

Even though my mindset was so much stronger than it was the previous month when I had these thoughts, I still couldn’t shake them and they got stronger and stronger.  Then came Christmas day, I spent the first few hours with the Kids as planned, at one point I left the room to cry, I didn’t want them to see, then later I set off for Church as planned.

The Christmas Day service was good as usual, I felt a little odd, everyone else had their families around them, but I enjoyed it anyway.

Then I left to walk home, that was when the imagine of cutting into my arms came on the strongest, because now I was entering the actual point where all this could happen.  I cried as I walked home, because this year I knew the house would be empty, there would be no life when I got home, just emptiness.

When I got in, it felt so bleak, so empty, I felt so lost, so alone.  I didn’t feel like eating, I didn’t feel like cooking either.  I made myself something to eat anyway, nothing like a Christmas dinner, it was the first Christmas Day ever that I hadn’t had a traditional Christmas dinner, but it was okay, I wasn’t that hungry anyway.

I had prayed on the way home, between all the tears, all I wanted was peace, I didn’t want to do what I imagined myself doing, I didn’t want them to find me like that on this day of all days, I had cried out in tears.

So now I was home, I had eaten, yet the house was still empty, there was no one here, I had felt so alone, I had felt so empty, but suddenly all of that had vanished, I just settled down, watched a bit of TV and fell asleep for a while.  Later when the kids and Victoria came home, I felt okay, all that despair and loneliness was gone, there was no blood, there were no tears, just a happier me.

I spent some of Boxing Day alone too, but that was fine.  I actually did get to have a Christmas dinner, albeit a day late, Victoria’s Mum had made a plate up for me and sent it home with Victoria, I warmed it up for Boxing Day dinner.

Between Christmas and New Year our merchant’s is open, usually just until lunchtime.  I actually don’t mind this, it’s not busy and it was good to get out the house and still actually be in a routine.  I prefer routine, I’m a much more together person when I have a routine, without that daily routine I can slip back into the lazy waste that eventually became an alcoholic, as I don’t want to go down that road again, I prefer to stay in a routine, I don’t mind the odd lazy day, but generally I thrive on routine.

For some reason over Christmas I had to go down into the cellar again.  Last time I was in there I pulled out twelve empty bottles of wine, I wrote out twelve bible verses, put one in each bottle and then placed them in the bottle banks.  This time I came across a number of other bags that had empty bottles in too, this time twenty five of them.  So on New Year’s Day I decided it would be the perfect day to take these out and do the same with these, one verse for each bottle and then dispose of them.

So I took the bottles out from the cellar, spent the moving searching for verse and writing them down on coloured paper, my daughter was inquisitive as to what I was doing, so she asked if I could help, mainly because I was using her coloured paper!  She found a couple of bible verse for me and wrote out a few on the paper, but then they all went out once again and left me alone once more.  So I finished writing out the verses, but this time I not only put them inside the bottle, but I stuck the verse on the outside of the bottle, over the label and then took them into town.  As I placed each one into the recycling bins, I felt an enormous sense of freedom, a release from all the fears and anguished I had subjected myself to over the last few months, all of that seemed to lift as I let each one go.

Verses & Bottles

Verses & Bottles

It was a new day, a new year and now a new start, I was determined not start 2014 the way 2013 had finished, I was determined that things were going to get better and I was going to start moving forward again, with the release of these bottles, I was hopefully finally letting go of the past and now could truly move forward.

I’ve heard it said a million times
That I should hold on tight to Jesus
But I took this road so far from home
And distance came between us

When I walked away, I knew one day
I’d need Your grace

So now You’ll find me on my knees
Cause I know that I’m really not so strong
And now, I’m done fighting for control
Oh, You can have this life
That I’ve been holding for so long
I’m learning to fall
Let my world crumble

You ran so fast to rescue me
While I was barely breathing
You picked me up, You touched my face
And I began to see more clearly

So now You’ll find me on my knees
Cause I know that I’m really not so strong
And now, I’m done fighting for control
Oh, You can have this life
That I’ve been holding for so long
I’m learning to fall
Let my world crumble

Though I’m such a disgrace, You still forgave
Your love remains

So now You’ll find me on my knees
Cause I know that I’m really not so strong
And now, I’m done fighting for control
Oh, You can have this life
That I’ve been holding for so long
I’m learning to fall
Let my world crumble

Take me as an offering
I surrender everything
No more living without You

So now You’ll find me on my knees
Cause I know that I’m really not so strong
And now, I’m done fighting for control
Oh, You can have this life
That I’ve been holding for so long
I’m learning to fall
Let my world crumble