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 was loved and believed in God. To the naked eye I lived the "American Dream" but there was always a void in my life I couldn't explain. From the age of eight I began to find my place in the world through sports. Playing football my sophomore year at Marshall University I was hit by a SUV while riding a motorcycle and life as I knew it ended. I was informed I would never play again. In seconds my whole identity was stolen. WHO AM I? Hopeless and lost for years I struggled on the best way I knew how. I performed my way back into life and held an ever growing grudge against God who had taken it all from me. I became addicted to the pain medication I was given for the accident but truthfully it kept reality away if only a little while, my escape. In and out of Rehabs for years I destroyed every relationship I had and performed my way into Regional Jail on a five year sentence. From a cell bunk I cried out to God for the first true time. He met me there, comforted me and led me to the Eagles Nest. Finally 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 continued to restore all the locust devoured and so much more. He has blessed me with a wonderful wife Sarah, a beautiful daughter Selah, a home, health, a job in ministry, and a purpose and vision. We are expecting another child in September and cannot express enough how faithful He has been to us in each and every season. We look forward to the opportunity to say, “Yes Lord” and continue being a part of helping to serve and grow His Kingdom.
Testimony of hope
My My name is Will Curtis. I am a believer In Jesus Christ and I celebrate recovery from drug addiction. I am a husband and father of three. I was born May 3, 1972 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 provided for my needs and most of my wants 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 became the wrong crowd. I began taking various prescription drugs an was physically addicted to opioids by the time I entered college.
This was a turning point in my addiction. I had an addiction that was in my mind medically excusable. I went to multiple doctors and eventually would end up arrested for burglary of a pharmacy. I was told addiction is a progressive disease and it was just that in my life. Stuck in my pride I became alienated from my childhood friends and family. I have learned you don’t measure a persons addiction by how many gallons they drank or pills they took, but by the effects it has on their relationships. That being said my addiction and the choices I made as a result of it destroyed everything that was in my path. I wanted to blame it all on someone or something; childhood trauma, overprescribing doctors, my mental health diagnosis or genes. Those things certainly played a part in my addiction but without taking personal responsibility I couldn’t even begin on my path to recovery. I have been afforded some of the best opportunities to get my recovery started at some of the finest secular programs in the nation but was unable to maintain recovery for any length of time. I was labeled a chronic relapser and there were several who thought I would ever attain long term recovery.
I believe it was a divine intervention that placed me at Eagles Nest. I had intentionally overdosed because I believed my family would be better off with out me. By God’s grace I woke up in the University of Tennessee Medical Center. My attending nurse could tell I was going to die if I didn’t get help so she took a risk and shared her testimony of how her husband had overcome his addiction at a program in Florida called Dunklin Memorial Camp is the program Eagles Nest is modeled after. I called them and they referred me to Eagles Nest because it was closer to Knoxville and it would be easier for my wife to attend family recovery classes. My wife didn’t hesitate packing me up and sending me to Virginia as I had caused her a great deal of pain and embarrassment. This was March of 2010.
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 year 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; my family made the move to Virginia to join the ministry in November of 2010. I completed servant leadership training and I first served as operations manager for Transformation Painting, the painting company that provides for the ministry. I would teach classes in the mornings and run the paint sites in the afternoons.
My wife and I completed family recovery and It made such an impact on our marriage that we served as teachers for another 3 years before God called us to start Celebrate Recovery at our church. I returned to college and graduated with my degree in psychology specializing in addiction and recovery. I have since become certified as both as peer recovery specialist and a certified substance abuse counselor. God is now using me to oversee the regeneration phase of the program. My wife also became certified as both a peer and a substance abuse counselor. She too works in the recovery field in our community. God has given us both a passion to see people living in sustainable recovery. If that weren’t enough God used my gifts to help start Transformation Grounds in 2014. Eagles Nest now has two industries to help support its mission. It is truly exciting work using God’s gifts to make a difference. Eagles Nest Regeneration 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.
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.