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#88 Addiction and Finding God in Prison – Brian Johnson

        1. Brian Johnson is a very different man today than he once was.  Brian suffers from a mental disorder and addictive personality which pulled him away from Jesus during the darkest times in his life.  It wasn’t until his last prison sentence that he finally understood why he was making such bad choices and how God could lead him toward the life he wanted.  This is his testimonyFor I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future – Jeremiah 29:11
          1. Biggest Weakness – The shame of his past still affects Brian.  It makes it more difficult to focus on all the good he has in his life.  It is difficult for him to forgive himself.
          2. Biggest Strength – Love.  God taught him to love himself and love others.  He gives love now as much as is possible.
          3. Dark Time – Raised Christian with good parents.  There are things in his family like addiction and mental illness that ultimately became the problem for Brian.  He began abusing his ADD medication in high school.  Once he went off to college he began partying and had a manic episode which was the onset of bipolar disorder.  That was the start of some really bad decisions.  Brian relied on Marijuana as a stability, but when he stopped using the bipolar really advanced.
          4. In college Brian took way too much medication in an attempt to commit suicide due to his disorder.
          5. He spent a long time trying to self medicate away from his bouts of depression.
          6. Brian became a missionary which was helpful. but when he came back he fell into bouts of depression.  He underwent electroshock therapy which helped to get past the depression, but did not help the addiction.
          7. His first arrest was during a manic episode.  Brian had began taking Meth and stole a car to sell in Mexico.  He was sent to jail for 6 months.
          8. There were many times he experienced jail in Mexico and had gotten back alive.
          9. In 2010 he was arrested again and sent to prison for 16 months.  This time in prison God finally got his attention.  Brian is grateful that he was arrested, because he got sober.
          10. Spending time with his bible aided in his recovery more than anything else.
          11. Brian was unprepared to be in prison, but he believes that God has plans and based on Brian’s actions, he needed to be there.   He had to learn what led him there and how he could avoid returning.  Once he started walking with God, he felt a little protected.
          12. Once he got out anger was a new struggle for Brian.  Prison had changed him.  His anger led to a 3 day relapse in Mexico.  Fortunately he made it back.
          13. His life today is very good and it’s all because of Jesus.  Brian had always had the conviction that he wouldn’t make it, so he is constantly aware of everything he has.
          14. Brian has a fiance and is getting married soon.
          15. His parents learned about co dependency and put their foot down which also was key in his recovery.
          16. Best Advice – Have a conversation with God about why your life is happening the way it is.
          17. Recommended Book – “The Meaning of Marriage” – Christian Geller


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