I was desperate. I was stuck in an old relationship pattern and I didn’t know how to get out. I was angry at myself. I was angry at Kim, my wife. Empower U’s Leadership Awakening.We had been doing this same destructive dance for more than 15 years. The arrival of children in our home intensified the pattern and dragged two more lives into the mess. Believe me, I had tried to change. We both had. I had made valiant but half committed attempts to respond differently to my wife and to act differently. Sometimes we even successfully shifted this old pattern for short periods. But we always slipped back in to the old, well-worn track, and after more than 15 years, we had dug deep ruts. As I drove to Lowe’s one night, as an excuse to get out of the house before I did any more damage with my tongue, I decided I was willing to do something desperate, even if I wasn’t convinced it would make a lasting change. When I got home from Lowe’s I told my wife I was going to
Several close friends had been to Leadership Awakening, and I had watched their lives over the weeks and months after their return. Each of them came home committed and passionate for their families and for their Savior, and I had seen changes in their lives. I was planning on waiting them out to see how long these changes lasted. In my opinion not enough time had passed to say whether the changes were lasting, or whether they would fade as the glow from a mountain top experience faded. But I was desperate and couldn’t wait any longer. I had to start a change now and find out later if it would last.
I arrived in Portland several weeks later, mad at myself for wasting time and money to go to a leadership training that I expected would disappoint me. How would a leadership training produce the personal and relational change I was desperate for? Just before the first session I read a letter from the friend that had encouraged me to come. Now I was skeptical and scared. What had I gotten myself into, I wondered. As the first session started, I was even more skeptical and angry. Throughout the first evening and into the second day, I desperately wanted to change, to find the answers I was looking for, and to go home a different man, husband, and father. As I began to see classmates experience breakthroughs, I gained hope that I would also. During Friday evening’s sessions I identified fears that were keeping me from being who God had created me to be. I experienced healing from abuse that had happened to me as a teen, and I heard God calling me back to him. When my friend and sponsor made a surprise appearance at my final exercise and graduation, he didn’t recognize me. The intensity in my eyes, and the focused energy and passion in my body and voice amazed him.
That was 14 months ago. The intensity and emotion has diminished. The changed patterns have lasted. The journey of change that began during those three days of Leadership Awakening continues. I returned home a different man, husband, father, child of God. The pattern I went desperate to change is forever altered. The day after I returned home, Kim booked her trip to Portland to experience Awakening. Wow, what a change. At times Kim and I start to slip back, but each time, we recognize it and pull ourselves out more quickly than the last. In fact we were starting to slip back two weekends ago. But before we were even all the way in, we turned to God and jerked the wheels back out.
If changing that pattern with Kim was the only return on my investment of time and money that weekend at Leadership Awakening, it would have been worth it. I have experience many other returns as well; however. That weekend put me on a different life trajectory. Because of what God did in me there, I have gone back into counseling practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist at a natural medicine clinic. I have stepped back into ministering to couples and families in our church. And next week I begin a new and exciting venture, an internet radio show called Like it Matters Radio, with Mr. Black, the founder of EmpowerU and creator of Leadership Awakening.
Like it Matters Radio is a merging of Mr. Black’s and my passions. For me it’s about help people remove road blocks that get in the way of Living the Life they were created for, and experiencing greater commitment, intimacy, and passion in their marriages and families. For Mr. Black it’s about motivating, encouraging, and equipping people to live their lives Like it Matters. Because, as he says, “When you live your life like it matters,
The Pilot episode of Like it Matters Radio will air October 4th at 5pm Alaska Time
(9 Eastern/6 Pacific). Click here for a time zone converter.
To learn more click on Like it Matters Radio.
To subscribe for the FREE Pilot web cast, click on the Like it Matters Radio Subscribe button in the Right hand column or click here.
If you have questions please e-mail me at livethelifeAK@gmail.com or submit a comment below.
After the Pilot, I invite you to return to this page and give me feed back on the show in the comment box below.