35 Years, Clean and Sober

Proverbs 15:33 — The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

This is the cross-over year. I’m 68 years old, and today I have 35 years clean and sober. I’ve lived more than half my life in the new way, and been gifted with so much more than I could imagine. Today I know the love of the Lord, I know the love of my wife, family and friends, and have work that sustains, challenges and uplifts me.

I’ve often received congratulations on these successive years of sobriety, and I appreciate them, but I’ll admit to feeling a little bit awkward. I came in early, still married, still in a home, still having a car, etc. I began in a club where folks had these wild tales of waking up in ditches, of losing everything. God took the desire away from me when I asked. It took me a long time to ask, but when I did He took it away. That’s not true for everyone.

I grew up in an alcoholic home. I saw what alcohol abuse can do to a family, and I didn’t want to live that out again with me being in the center. I think I deserve the same type of congratulations as a man deep underwater in fear of his life who finally surfaces. Should we congratulate him on deciding to breathe when he has been given the chance? Maybe so. At least he didn’t decide to take another underwater plunge right away.

The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and the “style of living which demands rigorous honesty” has been and continues to be a great gift, and without me being an alcoholic I might never have known. I’ve found more honesty in AA rooms, and in prisons, than in many places. The truly broken who know they are broken yearn to be healed.

I’m grateful to our Lord Jesus Christ, I’m grateful for my wife, family and friends, for my sponsors Jesse and Mike, and for all the folks along the way. I’m grateful for life, and for the gift of humility which makes a true life possible.

About Frank Richard Coats

Follower of Jesus, husband and family man, pastor, picker, writer, missioner with the Inspire Movement
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8 Responses to 35 Years, Clean and Sober

  1. Glen Wise says:

    That’s a ligament-making-it-real testimony, my good friend. Keep on keeping on with our Savior.

  2. Chips Fountain says:

    Super know you will continue on this same track. God bless you and yours🙏🏻🙏🏻

  3. jmfayle says:

    Well said, Frank.
    Thank God we have a Savior! Isn’t that the amazing part of our stories? That God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son – and that Jesus followed through all the way with his Father’s plan? Amazing. The honor goes to God and His Son – that’s our purpose and strength now.

  4. mitchteemley says:

    Congratulations, Frank! You have been, as the expression goes, blessed to be a blessing.

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