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The Flight of His Life

A young man from the trailer parks of West Virginia and a divorced home felt out of place, He also felt alone. Even as a successful Air Force Pilot and Happily married man he still had a void in his life until he gave up trying to navigate life ... Read Transcript

SPEAKER (VOICEOVER): I grew up in a very small town

in West Virginia in a trailer down by the river.

And it sounds like a sad story or something like that.

But truth be told, I had a loving mother

and father, grandparents.

My family was amazing.

That was definitely a humble beginning

and taught me a lot about growing up and hard work.

I remember being baptized August 28, 1988.

And I know I was saved at a young age

and that Jesus was my Savior.

SPEAKER (VOICEOVER): My father was typically my coach.

He was really hard on me, which is a good thing.

Pushed me to be on the all-star team,

whether it was baseball, basketball,

being best all around.

And my mother had her hand in it just as

well, a very competitive lady.

And she also inspired me to do the best I could.

Ended up becoming the Student Body

President of my ninth grade class, straight A's,

all of that.

During my high school years, my mom ended up leaving

and my parents got divorced.

SPEAKER (VOICEOVER): I didn't fully

understand why my parents were separating.

I knew something was going on.

But when my mom left and I saw my dad cry for the first time,

I saw my dad alone for the first time, honestly,

I felt abandoned.

I felt alone.

I felt like God had left the situation.

Once I got to college, I started drinking,

seeking the attention lost, I think,

a lot through the divorce from mom and dad

to trying to be the popular guy, trying to be the cool guy.

And this made me more and more empty.

After leaving West Virginia, my goal was to never go back.

So what I wanted to do was go out, be successful,

and let that soothe and kind of be the revenge

to avenge my heart that was broken.

SPEAKER (VOICEOVER): So while in ROTC, I was a junior.

And they brought everybody out and said

someone was out of uniform.

And they threw me a flight suit and said,

you're going to be a pilot.

Went to pilot training clueless.

And throughout pilot training, I get into the Air Force,

become a pilot.

First thing I do is go buy a motorcycle,

you know, trying to be Top Gun, trying to live that life.

And the drinking, the going out, all of that stuff

was consistent of what I thought it should be.

And once again, left me empty inside.

Everybody on social media and everyone in my life

thought, man, he's really doing it.

He's made it in his life.

And he's an inspiration.

But on the inside, I was barely holding

onto the tail of my relationship with God and my family

and having confidence in myself.

At this point, my relationship with God

was a one-way relationship.

It was always retroactive.

It was always going after God's grace when I made a mistake.

I didn't know who I was supposed to be.

SPEAKER (VOICEOVER): I was living the Air Force lifestyle.

I was trying to be the pilot guy.

On the inside, I was alone just like I

was in my high school years.

And about 2009, 2010 time frame, whenever

I'd been married for two years to my beautiful wife.

And I come home one day and the door's ajar.

And I find her in the bathroom.

And I could tell that she was sick.

I could tell something was going on.

And that was the moment, after two years of marriage,

I found out that she had been struggling

with a eating disorder for eight years.

And at that point, I was helpless

because she was helpless.

And I couldn't-- I couldn't do anything to fix it.

SPEAKER (VOICEOVER): The pilot guy couldn't fix it.

My persona, my-- my, you know-- being able to fly, whatever,

to a safe landing.

I couldn't fly this one to a safe landing on my own.

And I needed help.

I just simply got on my knees, and I was like, God, I

need you to do something here.

I promise you, if you can do anything here,

I'll dedicate the rest of my life to you.

SPEAKER (VOICEOVER): No matter what it looks like.

And I'll know I'll make mistakes.

But I'm never going to be out of the fight.

I'm always going to believe in you.

And I'm always going to proclaim your name in my life,

if you can just help me with this one thing.

And I'd like to say we walked out of there

and everything had changed.

But it didn't, you know?

It was a seed.

It was a thought.

It was something that we'd nurtured.

SPEAKER (VOICEOVER): I got involved

with the church, got sent to this conference

by one of the local pastors.

And during that conference, Priscilla Shirer

shared this story.

And her message was supposed to be about something else,

but she shared the story about eating disorders and God

healing eating disorders.

And it melted me.

And it gave me hope in a new way.

All the speakers were speaking directly to me.

And God used that conference to melt my heart,

rededicate my life.

Now God is not going to be just my Savior,

but he's going to be the Lord of my life.

Finally, that void has been filled.

The gap has been filled.

SPEAKER (VOICEOVER): My wife saw the change.

I stopped cursing.

I stopped drinking.

I stopped doing all these things that

were on the outside, the outside behaviors.

And she saw that.

And she was like, OK, he's up to something.

One day, she walked into the living room

and she got down on one knee and put her hand on my knee

and said, you know, baby, I want what you've got.

I want that grace, that freedom that I see in your eyes.

And I want that too.

And that was the prayer that was answered

with her in my arms that day.

And leaving there, she was able to have

power over that disorder.

Enough power, as a matter of fact, that over the next four

years, eight months, the eating disorder is gone.

SPEAKER (VOICEOVER): To go from where

I was, broken in southern West Virginia with not much hope

at all to be able to live in this home today,

to have the family restored, to have God restore and redeem

so many things in my life, including my purpose

and to be made whole.

I feel like I can't keep that in.

And I've got to share it through the world.

SPEAKER (VOICEOVER): I want to share the gift of freedom

and of purpose, and what God will do to your life

if you listen to the people that he wants to use in your life

to speak to you of your purpose and vector you to where

he wants you to be in life.

And I feel like I'm commissioned.

I feel like it's much more than flying airplanes

and being an officer.

I feel like it's a privilege to know

and be cognizant of what God has done in my life.

Because once you witness all that God'll

do with a broken person, you can't help

but want to share that with people

and give this gift of freedom, of grace,

that only Jesus can give.



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