New Creation, New Life

“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” — Ephesians 6:11

By Jeffrey Rolph
The Flame Volunteer Writer

Hello, my name is Jeffrey, and I am an alcoholic, and this is my story.

I started drinking at the early age of 11. Both my parents drank, and alcohol was an everyday part of life in our household. I started with a sip, then a drink, then sneaking bottles and eventually having other people buy alcohol for me. The older I got, the more I consumed and the more I wanted.

When I was 19, I left for basic training and my first duty station was my “hardship tour” in South Korea. I was legal age to drink there, and I dove face-first into the bottle. Within 2 weeks of being in the country of Korea, I received a call that my dad had passed away. With that one terrible event, I lost all control and did not care what repercussions I would face. From 2001, when I returned to the states, to late 2011, I continued to drink like a fish. My relationship with my wife and three children was nearly extinct. I was losing my family; my high school sweetheart and my 3 babies didn’t want to be around me any longer. My whole world, as I knew it, was lost and something had to change.

Sometime in November or December of 2011, I came home from work and got in a huge fight with my wife.  Unable to take more of the life I had created for us, she left. There I was, in my house all alone, and it was all my fault. I knew what needed to be done, but I also knew I couldn’t do it by myself. I fell to the floor in tears and prayed the hardest and longest prayer I had ever prayed. I told God everything (as if He didn’t know), and asked for His help. With His work, came a lot of hard work and patience from me.

After crying out to God as I did, my life did a 180-degree turn over the next few weeks. It was for the better, of course. I started to go back to the church where my wife and I were married, which is Christ United Methodist Church (Christ Church). Even though much had changed and things were turning around,  I was still living on the fence. I drank a lot less but still liked to party. I still needed something to fill the time that I had.

One day, as I was flipping through my Bible and digging into the Word, I came across a verse that stuck with me. To this day it is my favorite verse. I feel protected every time I have something hard come my way.  When I am facing a difficult time or struggling with a problem I turn to this one verse:

“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

As weeks passed, my relationship with my wife and my kids grew stronger, but I still felt empty and not being used in the right way for the glory of God. I felt that, with my past, how could or why would He use me?  My mom showed me a verse in the Bible that talks about your past life before Christ, and it opened my eyes even wider to God and His grace:

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Did you hear that? The old life is gone! How awesome is that to hear? I am a new creation in Jesus Christ. Now I know that God has given me a servant’s heart, and I could not be more pleased with what He has called me to do!  I have gone on six mission trips to serve in any way possible and to show God’s love and mercy. After being nearly on the brink of disaster, my marriage is now strong, and my wife and I are working with the youth and are the Assistant Campus Leaders at the Scott Christ Church Campus. God has given me sobriety and freedom from alcohol for 4 years, 3 ½ months and still counting!  Being a servant to the one true GOD is far beyond any thoughts I had 4 years ago. God is most definitely good, all the time!

 All scripture from Holy Bible, New Living Translation

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