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Golfer Finds Acceptance at the Bottom of a Bottle

After a chaotic childhood, golfing was the only thing that gave Brian any confidence, but his addiction to alcohol killed his golfing dreams. After his fifth DUI, he finally found the way out. Read Transcript

There was a lot of fighting, a lot of yelling,

a lot of screaming, hollering, even, uh,

breaking of furniture.

And they did that in front of me.

NARRATOR: Brian Johnson grew up in a divided home, where

infidelity and alcohol fueled his parents' constant fighting.

BRIAN JOHNSON: I can remember praying to God,

please, just make it stop because I loved both of them.

And I didn't want to see them doing those things

and acting that way.

NARRATOR: The chaos left Brian feeling insecure and alone.

As a teen, he began to deal with the pain of his home

life in the same way his parents dealt with their marriage


I never had felt like I belonged,

or that I had anything in common with other kids.

And if you're drinking, then you were accepted.

It made me feel good about myself.

NARRATOR: Brian continued to drink

his way through high school.

At 18, he was cited for a DUI and put on probation.

Looking back, I think that those were red flags.

I was looking for someone to bail me out.

And so I prayed for God to get me out,

but I would go right back to the same behavior.

NARRATOR: The only thing that gave Brian any confidence

was his skill as a golfer.

I worshipped golf.

When I played good golf, I feel good about myself.

I felt good about life.

And I thought that I'm going to be somebody.

NARRATOR: Brian hoped to obtain an athletic scholarship

at Auburn as a walk-on.

But his alcohol addiction followed him to college.

Despite a promise from his coach,

Brian was cut from the team.

I had to face the reality that I wasn't

going to make it as a golfer.

That was hard for me to handle.

That sent me into depression and a lot more drinking.

NARRATOR: His downward spiral landed him in jail

for his fifth DUI.

Brian went into rehab in lieu of more jail time.

While there, his mother passed away.

Brokenhearted, he attended a church service at the facility.

There was a person that got on stage to give their testimony.

And the person said, all you have to do is love Jesus,

and He'll change your story.

And it touched my heart.

After that church service, I still

had the weight of the world on my shoulders.

But the things that the woman had said on stage

led me to believe that God could change my story.

NARRATOR: Brian went back to his room and prayed.

BRIAN JOHNSON: I said, please, God help me.

Help me out of this.

I wanted Jesus to change my heart.

I wanted Jesus to change my life.

And I was ready because I was at the very bottom.

NARRATOR: It was then that Brian surrendered his life to Christ.

That was something that I've never

experienced to this day, where the weight of the world

comes off of your shoulders.

All of a sudden there's this light inside of you.

All of a sudden, all of your sin and all of the weight

and all of the shame, and it's all gone.

It's like everything is a beginning.

NARRATOR: That same night, Brian was delivered

of his alcohol addiction.

Unless I was drinking, I never felt like I was good enough.

But Jesus said, I'm going to live inside of you,

and I'm going to use you.

NARRATOR: Brian completed rehab and has been sober

for over six years.

Today he is married and lives in Alabama, where he helps

others overcome addictions.

He is even playing golf again, recently winning the Mobile

Metro City Championship.

But most of all, he is grateful to God for a change

story and a changed life.

BRIAN JOHNSON: Jesus provided freedom

from the regret and the shame that I had about my life.

But more than that, Jesus spoke to me and said, um,

you're good enough.

I love you, and I accept you.

And now I feel like I know where I came from.

I know who I am.

I know what my purpose is.

And I know where I'm going after all this.


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