No previous post
No next post

Freedom from Fear

One of my favorite Christian songs is “No Longer Slaves” by Jonathon and Melissa Helser. It’s a song about not being a slave to fear anymore and recognizing that we are children of God. I resonate with this song so much because there was a long time in my life where I was a slave to fear. I didn’t know God or that I was his son.

I was overwhelmed with fear and despair. I was hopeless and helpless. I didn’t know how I was to carry on. There were many things that contributed to this dark place in which I found myself, including alcohol and drug addiction, as well as  other unhealthy attachments and behaviors that caused me many severe consequences.

One day – November 12, 2000, to be exact – I was on my knees in my bathroom begging God for help. I remember saying, “I can’t live like this anymore. I am hurting so bad. Please God, help me. I will do anything.”

The next day I confided in my brother and shared with him how I was feeling. He suggested that I go to the hospital and get help. I listened to him and went to the hospital where I did receive help – more than I could imagine. After being discharged, I was placed in a treatment center where I began to learn about recovery from addictions. Within a few months of consistent recovery, I began to experience hope.

Years later, still engaged in the battle with fear and anxiety,  I was invited to a Catholic mass. It was then, for the first time in my life, that I felt a real sense of belonging that was deeper than anything I ever experienced before.

A year later, I was  baptized and confirmed into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. It was amazing and incredibly powerful! Much of the fear and anxiety I had experienced years back had subsided, and it was replaced by a real sense of joy and healing.

Looking back, I think I believed that joining the Church meant that I wouldn’t struggle with fear and anxiety anymore. However, fear and anxiety would eventually build up and become burdensome due to different challenges, hardships, and tragedies, including miscarriages, losing family members, complications with my children’s health, and a marriage that seemed to be falling apart.

I’ve spent the last few years working on my personal development and faith, and I have made some major progress in my relationship with my wife, my children, and how I treat myself.

The fruits and freedom of my own personal growth journey motivated and inspired me to want to help others who are struggling to overcome challenges and obstacles in their lives as well. Early in my recovery journey I learned that sharing with others, who struggled with addictions, how I overcame my addictions, not only contributed to their success in overcoming their own addictions, but gave me a sense of purpose and direction in my life.

The other effect of helping others overcome their addictions was my own accountability in recovery. This led me to consider how I could spend more of my time helping others in a broader way that would transcend the world of recovery and allow me to help others heal and grow.

There is an old saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Around three years ago, my wife discovered and introduced me to an internationally well-known author and motivational speaker who teaches people how to grow and become successful servant-leaders. I began listening to his podcasts on personal growth and leadership development and read a few of his books. After learning that he had a certification program that licensed others to coach and teach, using his content, I decided that I wanted to become a life coach and help others grow and learn how to deal with life’s difficult challenges in a healthy way.

Within a few months of training, I was leading small groups of people through virtual personal growth and leadership development coaching classes. For the first time in my life, I was getting paid to do what I loved!

However, I still felt that there was something missing. The coaching program was secular and I couldn’t help but think that it would be awesome if I could somehow combine my Catholic faith and experience with these great and powerful coaching tools that I received from the secular coaching program.

Remember, that old saying I mentioned about the student being ready and the teacher appearing at the right time? Well, nine months ago I discovered (again with my wife’s help) Metanoia Catholic.

I started my journey with Metanoia Catholic just like I did with the secular coaching program. I began listening to the Catholic Coaching Podcast and reading things that Matt and Erin (the founders of Metanoia Catholic) talked about on the show (Man’s Search for Meaning, The Gap and the Gain, and Atomic Habits for example). The beauty of this was that they were doing what I dreamed of doing, which was taking good, secular personal development resources and blending them with a Catholic perspective and world view.

It didn’t take me long before I became a member of the Metanoia Catholic Academy. During those first few months of the Academy, I took great advantage of the group coaching opportunities, and I experienced some powerful transformation that helped me overcome some heavy fearful thinking. I was able to surrender and reduce (with God’s grace and the Metanoia Catholic process, of course) the magnitude of the fear I often experienced because of my wounded past and habitual thinking habits.

As a result of my own transformation experience,I knew Metanoia Catholic was an answer to prayer! I was learning how I could combine my Catholic faith with the other powerful and efficacious personal growth tools I had received from my secular school to help others overcome their difficulties and thrive. So, this past March I was quick to sign up for the Purgative Way coaching program, where I am currently being trained to coach from a Catholic perspective.

It’s been only a few months since I joined the Purgative Way training program and I have already experienced amazing, transformational results in my own life – in my marriage, my fatherhood, and the way I face fear. Even my clients, who I had already been working with, could see a difference in the quality of my coaching and the positive effects it has had on the way that I showed up.

One of the best things about being a Catholic coach is that, with the help and guidance of Metanoia Catholic,  it’s  two dimensional—I get to help other Catholics grow in their God-given purpose and I get to be a product of the product of experiencing transformation myself..

Today, I get to grow and help other people grow and experience freedom, freedom to live in the light and truth that comes from Jesus and His Church—the body of Christ—which we all get to be a part of in an intentional way that leads to happiness and fulfillment.

I can truly say that I am no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God!