Finding hope and forgiveness on the journey to sobriety

Panelists and Pastor Chuck sitting in semi-circle

Three guests from the congregation stepped forward during the church service on March 17 to share the stories of how they found freedom from addiction.

“Dad, I want you to stop drinking.”


Mark found freedom where he could finally hear it. He grew up in a family where there were problems whenever alcohol came into the house. As a child, he vowed not to repeat the pattern. Then a conversation with his daughter illuminated the darkness.

“The bottom comes when you stop digging.”


Shannon found freedom when she could find hope. For years, she denied help. Her excuses were up: anxiety, stress, depression. But when she found the courage to seek help at AA, she was surprised at how many other regular people, including familiar faces from her local community, were there with her. And they seemed happy!

“I had no idea… that I was going to destroy the relationships I had.”


Ed found freedom where he could find forgiveness. His four sisters tried to intervene but couldn’t reach him in the darkness–until one day one of them said she didn’t approve of his behavior but she loved him. That stuck with him, and as he began to seek forgiveness other people showed up in his life. Eventually he was able to forgive himself, which was the true path to healing.