2018 Doesn't Define You

“We are letting you go.”

I’ll never forget when I heard those words in the fall of 2000. I remember driving out of the parking lot after just being fired from the radio station that brought me deep in the south to Tuscaloosa, AL. Yes, here I will pause to say, “Roll Tide!”

It was there that I was hired as the morning show host and program director for an adult contemporary/pop station. I’ll save a lot of details about the years that I was there and just say, things were great… until they weren’t.

Early in 2000, my alcohol and drug addiction reared its ugly head once again, and I went on a self-inflicted, nine month spiral downward. The addiction touched every area of my life, and I was in its grip.

Thankfully, God reached me November 30th, 2000. It was tough coming back, and life didn’t get good for a while. In fact, for the next 11 months, I remained unemployed. I couldn’t find any job, let alone a radio job.

I marked myself as a loser and defined not only that year, but my entire life, as one big failure. There were definitely defining moments in going from active addiction to sobriety. But now, I realize that all of that is what I did and what happened as a result of my actions… but it’s not me.

What loss are you facing right now? Is it the loss of a job, loss of purpose, loss of health, loss of a spouse, loss of self-worth?

Friend, I want to tell you that you are bigger than your past mistakes and the things that happened to you or because of you. If 2018 was one of the worst years for you, for whatever reason, know that it is part of your story, but not your whole story! Know also that God’s grace is bigger than all of it.

In the Bible, we are told specifically that God sees us more than our mistakes. In fact, Scripture is full of encouragement for us on the topic. We read in 1 Peter 5:6-7:
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

We see in 1 John 1:9:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I’ve been here at SHINE-FM for 9 years. My life now? It’s pretty good as long as I keep following God and try to live in today. It is so easy to go backwards in our mind and relive what was. But please remember, God is done with that. He wants you to be done with that also. My prayer for you (and for me) is for a newness in mind, body, and spirit to be all God wants for us. He can take us there if we keep looking through the windshield, not the rear-view mirror.

Host of Afternoons on The Jack Show on SHINE-FM.