A life beyond my wildest dreams. This was the topic of an AA meeting I attended one morning during the Sturgis motorcycle rally in 2010. I was four years sober. I remember thinking to myself, what an appropriate topic—I really did have a life beyond my wildest dreams.
There was a time when I hated myself. I hated my life. I only wanted to escape, to numb my pain, and I used drugs and would drink to the point of blacking out in order to do so. I maintained this lifestyle for many years and, as a result, I experienced things that, to think of them now, just break my heart. I was so lost in the darkness of my addiction that I began to believe my only way out was to end my own life. No one should ever have to experience life like that. With the life I have today, it’s almost hard to believe I lived that way for so long. But that is addiction—it has a depth you cannot fathom, and a darkness that seems impossible to escape. Addiction doesn’t want you to have life; it wants you dead.
I began treatment for alcoholism and addiction at Hazelden in Center City, Minn. on Aug. 16, 2006, and I have not had a drink or used drugs since. My life in sobriety has not been easy, but choosing to get sober was the best decision I ever made. Every day I have to make a decision to stay on this path. Some days are easy, some days it takes courage. The magnitude of blessings I’ve experienced for remaining on this path has been simply beyond my wildest dreams.
Quest 180, the addiction recovery ministry at Eagle Brook, entered my life in 2009. My volunteering began with being a 12-Step reader on stage in large group. After feeling “nudged from above” to share my testimony, God used it to launch me into serving in several volunteer roles at Quest 180. Each role, each step, each path that God lead me down has blessed my life in incredible ways. Through Quest 180, I have found freedom from my past, fellowship with my peers, mentors who challenged me to grow spiritually and personally, self-love and acceptance, continued sobriety, and, most importantly, I found what it meant to have a true spiritual relationship with God.
Quest 180’s mission is “Empowered by God to reach addicts and their loved ones for Christ.” My prayer is that through sharing my story, one more person living in addiction will see that there is a way out—that they, too, can find what I have found: a life beyond their wildest dreams.
On Oct. 27, Quest 180 will launch at Eagle Brook’s Woodbury campus. Quest 180 also takes place once a week at our Lino Lakes, Blaine, and White Bear Lake campuses. Click here for details.
Tara volunteers as a Quest 180 large group co-director at our White Bear Lake campus. She has two boys, Aiston and Colton, and this year God blessed her with a husband. She and Tim were married in September.