My dad was Catholic and my mom
is Jewish. We went to the local non-denominational community church
on Easter and Christmas Eve. I virtually don’t recall much
discussion about church growing up. God was not part of my life
through high school and college. I chose the ways of the world.
By God’s grace I got my degree, but was suddenly faced with
the reality that I really did not have training make a substantial
As I entered the adult world, I discovered that a lot of laughter,
jokes and “fitting in,” would allow me to move into
a position I chose. I was quickly learning more about “Corporate
America” and what was required to “Get Ahead,”
to advance my career. Unfortunately, I did not see God as part of
the solution. Essentially, I was learning to win at all cost. For
the next 13 years I traveled extensively with my corporate job.
I dated ladies in various areas of the country, partied too much
and told anyone what they wanted to hear, so that I could move up
the corporate ladder. It worked extremely well. Problem was, that
I did not realize what the world was doing to me. It would not hit
me for many years. I found my personality quickly changing to being
arrogant, I was filled with pride, controlled every situation, loved
the power of money and felt I really did not need anyone.
In 1976 I met Leslie. We were married a year later on November
12th, 1977. For the next 27 years we appeared to be the perfect
couple. Financially, God provided for us very well, yet I was not
satisfied with anything we had. Nothing was ever good enough. Behind
the scenes, I had become a control monster. I griped
about everything, demanded perfection, developed into a very angry
person and sincerely thought that any problem I had, was from someone
else. I was sadly wrong. God had had enough of my ways, and I was
introduced to the word "humbled".
My world started to fall apart in about 1996. I was so demanding
that my oldest son could not handle my temperment, and started having
panic and anxiety attacks. It became so bad that we had to send
him to a residential treatment center out of California for 13 months
to get him help. With this new expense, which was not covered by
insurance, my commitments came to about $12,000 per month. That
was a lot of money then, and I simply did not see how I was going
to meet my commitments. I can remember standing in the shower
crying and started praying to God. I didn’t know
what to say, but He knew the real pain in my heart. That was God’s
first miracle in my life.
For the next 13 months, my business exploded and I never had to
sell any of our possessions, or borrow any money. Ten years later,
Mike has recovered and now is a manager over young men, ages 13-17
that have different types of issues at the school that helped him!
One would think that this experience would have permanently changed
me to start looking at my issues. It didn’t. Life returned
to routine, along with my anger and controlling ways. There was
constant turmoil of some type in the house. Tension was so prevalent
in our house, it felt like we could cut it with a knife. I could
sense that Leslie and I were having problems. My thoughts became
reality in September and October, 2004 when she stated that she
could not handle my anger and verbal
abuse anymore and asked me to leave our home and family, and
that she wanted a divorce.
Initially, I thought that it would take her a month or so to get
over this. I was wrong; God had other ideas. I decided to “check
out” Celebrate Recovery and joined the Men’s Anger Group.
I completed CR’s 12 Step Program. Being confronted by other
men seemed to have a lasting impact on me. A couple of weeks after
joining CR, a brother introduced me to the Separated
Men’s Group. The honesty and accountability that poured
forth from the men in my group was unbelievable. I learned that
a true friend doesn’t just tell you what you want to hear
and move on. A true friend will point out issues and blemishes they
see, but they will also help you address those issues. These
men became my true friends in Christ.
Close to two years has passed and I want to reflect on my life
now. First, my wife asked me to move back into our home and I did
on June 30th, 2006. I consider this the 2nd miracle God has given
me. He resurrected a totally dead marriage and we will celebrate
our 29th anniversary in November. I can’t express how wonderful
it is to be able to speak with my wife and show her the respect
and love she deserves. I have emerged from denial. I’ve read
the Bible three times and have quiet time every day. I’m not
afraid of reaching out to people that I sense are having issues
in their life. The Lord saved me, and I feel motivated to give my
time to helping others, to glorify Him. Although I still have normal
problems, I don’t seem to worry about those problems like
I use to. I make a lot more time for my family, my wife and enjoying
friends. I’m more generous and have the feeling that God knows
what I need and will provide. I show others more compassion.
I see these two years as a gift from the Lord. A time He craved
for me to fix myself and to grow in what is really important in
life. I tend to reflect on the Serenity Prayer often to let me know
the power God has, and I don’t. I firmly believe that my experience
will not go to waste, and that I was chosen by the Lord to be a
leader in the Separated Men’s Group. To take the wisdom The
Lord has given me to use His power to help men with the issues they
face and the marriages they have made a commitment to God to keep.
This is my way of providing glory to God through the great things
he is going to do through me to help these men and their families.
I know that since God called me, I will not fail in His mission.