Jeremy–The Road to Recovery Part 2

One of Jeremy's tool boxes. The other one is in his heart.

Jeremy, what made you decide to change? How did you start the process?

“I got so low I never wanted to go down that rocky road again. For me, change is a lifelong process. I stopped hanging out with my old friends, but knew I needed friends. I started going to Celebrate Recovery every Thursday night. I have an accountability partner. We talk three times a week. I talk to God every single day. I go to church. I made amends with people I’d hurt.”

What did you lose?

“An inheritance from my grandfather, a business, respect of my family, pride in myself.”

What have you gained? (I’m smiling. I can’t wait to hear his answer!)

“A new house better than my old one with a nice shop out back, an up-and-coming lawn maintenance company, a leadership position for chemically addicted young men at Celebrate Recovery, regained trust and respect of all my family members, an inheritance from my Heavenly Father than can never be destroyed.”


“And you know what else? I don’t always have to look over my shoulder. I don’t have to be afraid every time I see a cop. Peace. Tranquility. Flow. Organization. Continuity in my life. Total mental clarity.”

A pause formed in our conversation…

“Back when I was using, it made me mad that you (Julie) wouldn’t give up on me. I thought, she’s beating a dead horse. I wanted you to shut up and go away. I couldn’t understand why you’d encourage something I thought was impossible.”

Your addiction worked for good in me, too. I’m so grateful.  I had a lot to learn on the Al-Anon side. I had to leave you alone and start working on myself.  I’ll write more about that later. What would you say to someone facing any kind of addiction?

“Nobody’s beyond hope. Right now, I have two chemically addicted young men who call me daily. I don’t chase them around. It doesn’t help to beg someone to change. You can’t nag or guilt somebody into sobriety.”

You’re so right. None of us changes until he or she is ready.

“I’m available for these two men 24/7, but it’s their responsibility to contact me. If you’re serious about recovery, work on it. Every single day. Find a sponsor.”

Do you have one last piece of advice?

“Build a toolbox for yourself. Fill it with whatever works for you. I use things I’ve learned from counseling, AA, NA, Celebrate Recovery, life experiences, my family, my sponsor, church, and group meetings. We’re all different. No two set of tools will be identical.”

What’s your favorite scripture?

“It’s Philippians 4:13. I know it in English and Spanish. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.’ That’s the key. It’s His strength working in me. I can’t make it on my own.'”

Me either, Jeremy.


Julie and Jeremy



  1. Pat Garczynski says:

    Julie, these are truly amazing “Southern Stories of Grit and Grace!” Love the tool box analogy!
    Jeremy, your darkness has become Light for all the world! (Matthew)
    Love from Michigan…..

    • Julie says:

      Hey, Pat! How’ve you been? Thanks so much for reading and for your words of encouragment. Love right back from Georgia!

  2. Julie, Such a beautiful telling of Jeremy’s journey. I’m thankful for the privilege I had in praying through the process. Jerry and I are so proud of Jeremy and what he’s accomplished not only in his own life, but in the lives of others. Thank you for sharing. Blessings, Bev

    • Julie says:

      Thank you so much, Beverly. Jeremy will probably see your comment tonight. He’s now following the blog. 🙂 Love to you both.

  3. What a testimony from both of you, Julie. Jeremy’s right, nothing’s too hard for God. If we continue to pray and never give up. Wow, what an inspiration this is!!!

    • Julie says:

      Thank you so much, Ane. Means a lot to know people care. You’re such a wonderful friend!!!

  4. What a testimony of His goodness and grace…for all of us.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Vonda. Thanks for caring and commenting. xoxo

  5. Julie and Jeremy,
    Beautiful Part Two. I love how you admit what didn’t work for you (both of you) and what now does work. I love the part, Jeremy, about the new young men who are free to call you and that you don’t chase them down. “Free.” That’s the clincher. We all have freedom to choose. I’m SO GLAD that you chose an addiction free life. I’ll pray for you both every day.
    Much love,

    • Julie says:

      My dear friend, B.J. You’re so right. What we were doing didn’t work for either one of us. Love how you put that. Nodding in agreement. Jeremy doesn’t chase them down. I’m praying for you too. So much love!! Talk to you before conference, probably. 🙂

  6. Mary says:

    I really love the focus on the toolbox. If someone tells me exactly what to do, it works for the short term problem. But when someone gives me the tools to do what needs to be done, I have more confidence in my ability to solve the immediate problem, as well as future issues. Jeremy and Julie, thanks for sharing your tools — and keep adding to that toolbox! Best wishes.

    • Julie says:

      Hey, Mary! I loved the visual of the toolbox too. Just makes sense to me. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  7. Cindy Adams says:

    Hi Julie, I understand so well how sometimes all we can do is pray for the individual that’s trapped in addiction. They want to be well but don’t think they can do it. We can’t do it for them either!! So many times, it’s only with God’s grace and answered prayers that people can break free. And oh, how much I’ve praised God in that moment when my loved one broke free too!!!
    What a great testimony:)

    • Julie says:

      I soooo agree, Cindy. I’m praising right along with you that your loved one is free!! Thanks so much for writing–and for understanding.

  8. Oh my goodness J!
    “you can’t guilt someone into sobriety”…
    “build a toolbox”
    I’ve learned so much these past 2 weeks w/ Jeremy’s story. I love (as I said before) his honesty and willingness to help others.
    love you both~R

    • Julie says:

      And it takes a heap of effort to try and guilt people into changing. Plus it doesn’t work. 🙂 Thanks, Rob. Love you too.

  9. Julie and Jeremy — your story is amazing. Especially liked Part II. When Jeremy said he was frustrated with the fact that you wouldn’t give up on him–powerful. Just like our God. Keep up this wonderful dialogue.

    • Julie says:

      Thank you, Linda!!! I’m praying about more blogs about this very subject.

  10. Val says:

    I have read all your mother’s books and your blogs with her. Now, I see you have blogs of your own and I will follow along.
    I lost my daughter 9 months ago from alcoholism and I have a son who is still struggling with addiction to alcohol.
    Your mother’s book ‘Praying For My Life’ was especially meaningful to me and I went back and read some chapters over again. Please thank her for me and thank you for continuing your blog.

    • Oh, Val. I am so very sorry about your daughter. My heart breaks. I’m jotting your name here on my prayer list. I’m praying for your and your son. I’ll talk to Mother today and read her your comment. And I’m so blessed that you’ll be following my blog. Sometimes I just write conversations between the two of us. Somtimes it’s more about where I am in life.

      So much love and thank you, thank you for being a reader.


      • Val says:

        Good news. Rick checked himself into detox/rehab couple weeks ago. He only stayed for the 5 days detox ’cause he needed to get back to work but he’s still doing good.

        Thank you for prayers.

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