Testimony of restoration
We serve a God of restoration and redemption, and in 2011 that became more real to our family than ever. After four months in jail and missing the birth of our first son together, I knew I’d hit rock bottom and I finally decided to put down the shovel. The day after being released from jail in January 2011, I made the decision to get help with my life and the destruction I had caused.
Through my time at Eagles Nest, God first and most importantly restored me back into right relationship with Him. He began breaking down my walls of feeling like a failure as a husband and a father. God has taught me so much through the relationship I have been able to establish with my newest son. Stratton has taught me how to truly be a father and has ultimately shown me how to be a son.
Another major part of my program consisted of me being reestablished in my home as the spiritual covering and Godly husband that He has called me to be. Through participating in Family Recovery classes and counsel I have been restored back to my wife. Through this process her relationship with Lord has significantly grown as well and we have learned to communicate with each other on a level that we never had before. Where she once was hopeless and felt completely abandoned, she is now able to freely walk in the joy and hope that is in Him.
As I graduated in November, Maranda and I knew that we were called to stay at Eagles Nest and commit to the next step God has for us. We have prayerfully stepped into Servant Leadership Training and are so excited for what the future holds. We hope that we can give back to the Lord and sow back into Eagles Nest the love and support we have so graciously been given. Eagles Nest is such a beautiful opportunity for a man to reclaim his life and purpose in Christ Jesus and we could never thank them enough for what they’ve done for our family.
Testimony of regeneration
My dad abandoned my family when I was 12 years old, leaving me feeling rejected and tremendously inadequate. I had my first beer when I was 13. I was sent to my first program at 14, but I still drank and used drugs socially through high school. I tried cocaine for the first time when I was 19, and it quickly consumed my life. Within five months, I had isolated myself from everyone who cared about me. I had stolen money from my family and my workplace. I was in and out of relationships. One night around Christmas, I found myself alone at the end of a five-day binge. I had overdosed, and I thought I was going to die. I cried out to the Lord and begged him to save my life. He did, and I had a few months of sobriety before one drink put me right back where I left off in my addiction. Life became pretty hopeless. I settled for a white trash, redneck, drug addict existence. I was merely surviving life… until I visited an old friend in Virginia who loved me enough to confront me about my lifestyle. Finally, I decided I didn’t want that anymore, and moved to Virginia. Shortly after moving, I started my program, and allowed the Lord to walk me through the hurt and pain that I had tried to numb for so long. The areas of hopelessness and despair in my heart were filled with hope for a future and love for others. I stayed at Eagles Nest for SLT, finally surrendering my own plans and ambitions to the Lord. Since I’ve been here, God has restored my relationships with my family, and He has given me my own family – Lindsey and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary in July, 2012. I’m now staff at Eagles Nest, teaching inner healing and praying with guys as they work through their own hurts. I had no idea what God had in store for me when I gave up my old life, but what He’s given me is better than anything I ever would have dreamed of. I’m so grateful to Eagles Nest for the opportunity they gave me, and to the Lord for the redemption He’s brought to my life. He has answered the longing in my heart to be a son, and to have a father. I am not who I was; who I am is new. I haven’t been rehabilitated – I’ve been regenerated.
Testimony of redemption
I grew up in a good Christian home with two wonderful parents, was loved, believed in the Lord, and had many friends. To the naked eye I lived an “American Dream,” but there was always a void in my life I could not explain. From about the age of eight I began to find my place in the world through sports. The constant pats on the back from those around made me feel important and accepted. It also rapidly led me down a road of performance. The harder I worked and better I played, the more worth I found in myself. I earned a scholarship at Marshall University and was realizing the dream I had so long worked to attain.
That was, until the wreck. I was hit on my motorcycle by an SUV during my sophomore year, and life as I knew it ended. I was given the news I would never play again. In seconds my identity was gone. WHO AM I? Hopeless and lost, I struggled on for years the only way I knew how. I performed my way back into life and held an ever growing grudge against God, who I felt had taken it all from me. I became addicted to the pain medication I was given for my leg – truth be told, it helped me escape reality for just a little while. I was in and out of rehabilitation centers for years, destroyed every relationship I had, and performed my way into regional jail.
I was sentenced to five years in prison for drunk driving but was released after two years. It was April 2009. Three months later, my mother tragically passed. Within 13 days I was incarcerated again. From a cell block bunk I cried out to the Lord for the first time. He met me there, comforted me, and led me to the Eagles Nest. During my 10 months I found what I had longed for my entire life – a personal relationship with the Lord. No longer did I only believe in Him… I knew Him. God has restored so much in my life. He transformed me into a man who can be counted on, taught me integrity, shown me I don’t have to perform because He loves me for who I am.
I never have to earn His love or approval. Through the grace and mercy of God, for the first time, I am walking in freedom. After graduation of the Eagles Nest in September of 2011 I followed the Lord’s will and entered Servant Leadership Training. I am five months into it and the Lord has never left my side. Each day I take new steps of faith, allowing the Lord to correct and guide me in this new season of my life. So WHO AM I? I am Ryan Brockmeyer. I am forgiven… I am cherished… I am blessed… I am a redeemed son of God.
Testimony of hope
My name is Will Curtis. I am a believer In Jesus Christ and I am a recovering drug addict, Husband and a father of three. I was born in
Knoxville, TN and spent the majority of my life there. My childhood was normal for the most part. My parents are still married and have provided for my needs in the best way they knew how. I am the younger of two children. My sister is 5 years older than me. I did pretty good in school, excelled at sports and had many friends. Looking back, I had an emptiness inside that I was searching for something to fill. I tried drinking alcohol when I was in 7th grade. I loved it. It made me fill warm inside and like I could do anything. Not long after that I smoked Pot for the first time. It was like a long lost friend to me. So I began smoking it as often as I could. In high school I was exposed to other drugs and I would like to say quickly fell into the wrong crowd. Truth being told, I was the wrong crowd. I began partying every weekend and smoking pot and taking pills before and sometimes during school.
I am not sure how it happened, but I managed to graduate high school. I left home for college immediately. My first semester in college, I began trying and using drugs I had not been exposed to yet like cocaine, LSD and Ecstasy. I continued to progress with my usage and lifestyle. Somewhere along the line I became addicted. I no longer had control over whether I used or not. It was controlling me. I developed an addiction to prescription pain medication and had to have it every day. I began going to multiple doctors as well as buying pills off the street. Needless to say, I totally lost interest in college and pretty much everything that didn’t involve getting high. I got into trouble with the police more times than I care to mention.
My life was completely out of control. I went to the best secular drug treatment centers that are available. I could never manage to put together any long term sobriety. My addiction took me to places that I vowed I would never go to. God finally boxed me in. I had been arrested in Orange County California for theft. I was covered with needle marks and physically sick. There I was in the county jail all alone or so I felt. My family had no idea where I was and I was too ashamed to call them and tell them. I decided I would just use the defense provided by the court and hope for the best. It was time for me to accept responsibility for my actions. Remarkably I was only
sentenced to 3 months. During my stay I noticed a Chaplin who would come in each week and meet with prisoners. Wanting nothing more than to get out of my cell I arranged a meeting with him. He asked me if I was a Christian and I told him I wasn’t sure. You see I thought I was a Christian because I had grown up in church and gone to the alter a couple of times.
He gave me some information and encouraged me to read it and seek the Lord; we would discuss it next week when he came to visit. I discovered I was unsaved and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior the following week. I would like to say that was the end of my addiction but it wasn’t. I returned to Tennessee and served my sentence there for violating my probation. Upon release I got plugged into a church and recovery group. Things were going well. I met my wife who had a 4 year old daughter who I adored and we had twins within the first year of our marriage. The Lord was really blessing us as a family. I started my own business which turned out to be quite successful and it seemed like everything was going the way it was supposed to be.
I went to the doctor for a routine physical and when my blood work came back was informed I had Hepatitis C. My wife and I were both scared but we asked for prayer and the Lord came through for us. I was connected with the right liver specialist and I began chemo therapy which was to last 6 months. I was responding well to the treatment but it had some significant mental side effects. I began to rely on my own strength. I pretended like everything was OK when I was becoming very depressed. I felt hopeless and was too ashamed to admit it. I finished my chemo and have normal liver function. It was nothing short of a miracle that my liver was healed. I was left with serious depression and my pride. To make a long story short, I turned back to drugs instead of my Savior. I tried everything within my power to stop and stay stopped. Each time I returned to using my guilt and shame increased. I didn’t want to keep hurting my family but I was. I couldn’t seem to get back to the love and mercy of Jesus.
It was in early in February 2010 when I truly came to the end of myself. I had been using for about 45 days was covered in needle marks (again) and had run through every bit of our money. I came to the decision that suicide was the best option. I purchased a large about of cocaine and oxycontin and had decided that injecting it all in a short amount of time would be my way out. I continued with the plan only to live. I ended up in the psych hospital feeling even more worthless. I was prescribed some medications and released. I still had an emptiness inside I cannot explain. The enemy was having his way with me. I was believing many lies about myself when I decided I would try suicide again. This time I wouldn’t mess it up! I had the same plan as before, only I added a large amount of sleeping pills to the equation. I left my wife a note and continued with my plan. It was working this time! I found myself drifting in and out of consciousness and I could see flashes of light with every beat of my hear.
life was literally flashing before my eyes and I was becoming scared. I didn’t want to leave my wife without a husband or my children without a father. I cried out to Jesus and begged him to help me. The next thing I remember I was in the emergency room at U.T. hospital. Nurses had been trying to get an IV into my arm but they couldn’t because my veins were all collapsed. The forth nurse came in to attempt to get the IV in. Looking back I know God sent her. She ended up giving me my IV in the neck. She pulled the curtain and told my wife I needed help or I was going to die. She told us of a place that her husband, who was a crack addict, got help eleven years earlier. The place is Dunklin Memorial Camp in Okeechobee, FL. I was transferred back to the Psych hospital with this information. I called them and explained my situation. They told me the next group of men started in two weeks but they didn’t believe I would make it that long. They referred me to another place in Virginia called The Eagle’s Nest, a Christ based 10 month program. I called them and they agreed to work with me.
My wife gladly packed up all my clothes for me and off I went. I was told when I arrived that God hand picks the men at the Eagle’s Nest and I believe that. My marriage was pretty much over and I was on the verge of losing my parental rights to my children. The Lord began working in my life right away. I lost the desire for drugs, started rebuilding the relationship with my children, and in a few months He began restoring my marriage. During my 10 months at the Eagle’s Nest I truly developed a relationship with Jesus. He began speaking to me through my journal and showed me he had a purpose for me. He was speaking to my wife at the same time. He told us both that I would be involved in the Ministry. Not being a fan of following directions, this was not easy for me to receive. Having a willingness to do Whatever God asks us to do; we made the move to Virginia to join the Ministry. I completed servant leadership training and Now serve as operations manager for the In house painting Industry that provides for the ministry. I teach classes in the mornings and run the paint sites in the afternoons. My wife and I are Co-teaching family recovery and she is going to work for our church’s child development center. We both are excited about using the gifts God gave us to make a difference. The Eagles Nest is growing and I am proud to be a part of it. It is truly a blessing to watch men allow God to work in their lives. I now possess something that Jesus wanted me to have all along. HOPE!
Testimony of healing
My name is Grant Hinson. I came to Eagles Nest in June of 2013. I had spent the previous eighteen days in a hospital, bed-ridden from crippling withdrawal as I detoxed from a severe prescription painkiller and benzodiazepine habit. My life was in shambles. Months earlier, I had dropped out of graduate school, medicating my shame and guilt with ever-increasing amounts of intravenous narcotics. My family wanted nothing more to do with me.
I remember how my arms were still bruised and scarred from the track marks that first day when I walked through the front door at Eagles Nest. I was so ashamed. I wanted to hide. And then Fern greeted me in the foyer with open arms and a bear hug that left me half-dazed. I knew instantly that these men were my brothers. They understood what I had been through.
My program was difficult, fraught with personal resistance and rebellion. Although 29-years old, I was still a child in my thinking. I wanted to do things my way---neither God, nor anyone else was going to tell me what to do. Patiently, with more grace than I deserved, the Lord began to speak to me. He spoke to me through my journal, through staff, and through the other men around me. He showed me the fruit of my pride and arrogance. As much as I fought to look away, He never blinked. “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it,” Hebrews 7:11. Although I couldn’t see it at the time, the difficulties and trials I endured during my program were preparing me to walk in an eternal calling and receive unimaginable blessing.
Following graduation, I committed to stay on for a year of Servant Leadership Training. In SLT, I learned what it meant to handle responsibility with very little authority. I took on new leadership roles both in the classroom and on the paint sites. I became practiced in the art of confrontation, pouring back into the men the same lessons that were instilled in me during my program. I also became more involved at church, joining the worship team to play keyboards each Sunday.
Then, I met Amy, one of the worship leaders. We got to know each other through the worship team, and after nearly a year, we started dating after SLT. The next six months of OJT were hectic as I shifted from the paint sites to a new role on the clinical side of Eagles Nest. I became a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist in the state of Virginia, and I am studying to earn my Certified Substance Abuse Counselor credential next year.
When Jason asked me to partner with him teaching Inner Healing class, I was reluctant. He must have seen something in me I couldn’t see in myself. I never considered myself a particularly spiritual person, and I found the prospect of praying with men through some very serious issues quite intimidating. I believe the Lord’s strength was perfected in my weakness as I began to rely on him to operate in my newfound gifting.
Today my blessings are too many to count. I married Amy in March. She is my beautiful bride in whom I’m well pleased. I have a purpose and calling on my life; a career doing what I love. I’ve been restored to my family. I get to worship beside my wife every Sunday at church. Above all, I am blessed with an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I thank Eagles Nest for giving me an opportunity to meet Him.