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June 15, 2022 6:24 pm
Mike Zwick interviews special Guest Melissa from the Lindell Recovery Network. For more "If Not For God" Follow us on YouTube.
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Our YouTube channel is not for God with boys would like to patient will be awarded governance video welcome to fifth month for jaw stories of hope with the current. Your host Mike Swift is not for God with Mike Zwick and I tell you what today have an excellent guess hooray for Melissa, it's Melissa. Hooray. Did I say that the right way more than her radio. You're not actually cure what you know you sure you're the one Melissa had me on her show.
She's with the Lindell recovery network, which is part of for the two of you who don't know the out there who Mike Lindell was the my pillow guy and now he actually works with people and that is trying to help people in recovery and so Melissa is a big big part of that. I met Melissa in the Nashville Tennessee at the NRB. The National religious broadcasters and she's a good friend of our friend Chuck Riche, but Melissa you you grew up with. You grew up in Minnesota as well or in northern Minnesota by the now, but Barnard thought no one up there and had more or less a sheltered life, I didn't realize it and my family was pretty functional because it was just what I would do but my parents both drank pretty heavily leading on from exposure to church me my my dad was an elder in the Presbyterian Church.
My my uncle was a minister after after several churches around the upper Midwest so there was always talk of God. From the earliest I can remember we set our prayers before bad and we went to church on Sunday pretty regularly, but when I got a little older and my dad drinking got worse. It started to affect the family more and we more or less dropped out of church.
Though I did continue I got confirmed, but I would say I never really met the Lord our felt the presence of God or not even know that I believe for sure it was just something I would hold and I struggled with that a little bit of unbelief until I got older, but as my dad drinking grew my anxiety worse than when I was young I had a lot of problems with anxiety and panic attacks and I would really struggle with normal kids were doing.
I had a lot of phobias and fears and turns of food for that really. Food was my first addiction sugar was. I come from school and just made the cupboards and watch after school show because my parents were gone a lot so I had an abandonment just from not having their presence are not feeling that I could really count on them to be there for me. So it started with food and then when I was about 14. It turned to alcohol and boys so that became my new medication kind of deal with my wounded wife to get validation through the opposite sex and to start drinking.
So I started drinking when I was 15 I had started dating the guy who is three years older than me and we just went off drinking all the time and gravel pits and from a very early age I had a serious problem with alcohol where I would binge drank I would not know which I would get compulsively drunk and blackout. Basically, every time I drank it was just this a real you know out-of-control pattern that I had every weekend going keg parties and it became a very terrible pattern where I had a lot of I would say near-death experiences even know I didn't really see them in that back then. But times when I would wake up in my vomit and I would wake up in strange places, not knowing where I was. I was driving drunk when I was 16 driving in all in the ditch and just doing all these out-of-control thing and I have some grounding in God but I just know had fallen into rebellion where I just wanted to please the world, so pleasing the world became my God, but I should mention back when I was nine I had a lady in my neighborhood who witnessed me. She was a babysitter.
She took me on camping trips with her family when I was young and she brought me to her Baptist Church and and one on that vacation Bible school I got on my knees and accepted Jesus although after that there wasn't any discipleship site, and there wasn't really anything that followed up with that though my newfound Christianity really wasn't nurtured and that I went into the path of just binge eating and then drinking alcohol and promiscuity really just trying to find anybody who would accept me, pattern, was well in the making. So yeah so what happened after the well. The pattern continued really just I guess the theme of my life was was going from one boyfriend to the next where I always had was had to be in a relationship I had raging codependency.
I could not be alone. I had panic and anxiety. Anytime I was alone and I look back on my childhood and I see that when I was very young I had to teach myself how to be alone and in a way that I did not like I said was through food and television. Those were my babysitter because I was a latchkey kid. So I came home from school and I was alone and in the winter when it got dark I would panic when when it got dark so early so I learned that I just didn't ever want to be alone and on. I dated people throughout high school and then I was on this crash course really I was affected getting married because I think I I believed I could create the family. I never had my parents are horrible people. I mean they love me and I wasn't abused I wasn't. You know I was provided for. And I think they did the best they could with what you know the way they had been raised in and there influences that they had and my mom really spent a lot of time taking care of my dad and tried to babysit him in her codependency with him trying to prevent him from getting DUIs and you know I look back and I have I have compassion for them, so any way to speed up the story I wanted to get married.
I got engaged to someone when I was 19. That engagement ended when I met another guy and you know jumped over this other relationship and we ended up our relationship was based on alcohol really was one of the things I forced outside of God's timing. I really wanted to mold them into husband and I had this idea had fantasy in my head that if we got married. Everything would be normal.
We could create the beautiful life together. So I end up getting pregnant, you know, maybe a year into our relationship, and then we fast-track the wedding got married, moved 600 miles away to Kansas City did all of these huge life changes without thinking, without consulting God. God was nowhere in our marriage or our relationship so we had our daughter and then shortly after that, I panicked and wanted to move home, I was homesick I was. I had no stability, no anchor. I you know I just felt out of control and I thought of you get back home. I could maybe make things the way they used to be, but everything just got worse so we ended up being married less than three years for the total, there were the separation and to but we divorce so I was 24 years old and divorce and I thought this was really not the way I found that my life would go and that continues the drinking continued.
By that time I was a bartender. I was trying to finish college, but I kept dropping out because I would know alcohol prevented me from following through on anything.
Though I was trying to finish my bachelors degree bartending and also with a mobile DJ thought of traveling all around the state doing dangerous things began driving drunk to long distances.
Somehow God sparingly by the grace of Jesus not killing myself or somebody else drunk driving, which I did habitually and then when I was 26. There. That was a turning point because I got to got arrested for drunk driving twice in one year of the first time in January 1999 and then the second time was in August.
The second time was pretty serious. I rear-ended a lady in a blackout and again thank the Lord I didn't hurt her or kill her or myself, and because of that I had an 18 month period of sobriety where I stopped drinking, but really met my catalyst with fear. I was afraid I was going to go to jail.
I had all the terrible class in my head of being locked up in being sent you and I didn't have any experience with real lockup. I had really never been in trouble seriously and am I so I did everything I was told I turn into the complement people pleaser that I always had kind of been for much my life was just trying to not make people mad and hoping they would love me. So I went to outpatient treatment.
It was kind of a rinky-dink outpatient three day a week thing, but I completed that I became an aftercare leader.
I did all the things I went to AA and got a sponsor and I stayed sober for 18 months. But along the way. Toward the end of the 18 month I started to second guess that I was really know an addict.
I started thinking I don't really think I have a problem. I think I will never try to control and I don't really the enemy was working on my mind for several months before I actually picked up a drink again.
But the truth of the matter was I had never really let go of that. I think in the back of my mind I thought Jan did not drink again someday. Once things settle down and also during that time I went back to church with my daughter who was five.
My oldest daughter and we joined a nondenominational church. I was baptized in water. I started getting really into the things of the Holy Spirit.
And every time I would get sober.
That's what I would do.
I would pursue God again.
He would be I would draw near to him and and I would hunger for the things of the kingdom and that went on for about 18 months, but then I started to question I thought of working at a TV station. I finish my degree, which is a mass communication. And I got a job as a production assistant at a TV station and I ended up working my way up to a reporter and everybody young people drank a lot in that industry. There was a lot of drinking and pot smoking and things that went on, not necessarily with the talent, but with the production staff so I moved in with that crowd again and they were good people, not all of them were addicts. Some of them were just kind of going there while those and again I started to feel cheated and bitter and angry and resentful that I didn't have that in my life anymore and I really wanted it back so I decided I would you do control drinking and my plan. I'm going to do it, but only on special occasions that lasted five I started drinking again and and non-March 2001, after 18 months of sobriety and and a quick very quickly back into my old pattern. Drunk driving, binge drinking, blacking out, waking up with people I didn't know all those things were happening again. Once I picked wasn't put alcohol in my system. I would lose control. It was like the devil stepped into my body. It was like another staying came into me and I will block for me talk for me do things I never would do well sober and once I was back into it. I knew that it was out of control again but I didn't really want to stop for another good couple of years and the next thing that happened was that my dad died of liver failure in December 2002 after he died, it marked a very dramatic dissent in my alcoholism because I watched him die of liver failure at the age of 54 and I really started to steal the window closing on me and I knew that this is going to be the path I was gonna take but mine with you to be more dramatic. I just had this knowing it was going to be an accident and overdose or a drunk driving that was going to take my life and I started to just have that reality. And I really started wanting to stop and try yet. I relapsed about six more times before I actually came to the end and the last time I drank was August 21, 2003 and I can just briefly recap that situation, but I had been sober for 49 days really white, not calling it, trying to stay the course and then all of a sudden it was like a switch flipped. I went down to the Minnesota State fair. I had been what I was looking up and down, which is north of care she can a guy friend of mine and I decided to go to the fair and somewhere on the drive down. My mind turned in the direction I'm in a drink again one more time and once I reached the point of no return there. Even nothing was going to stop me. I just made the decision to do it and he didn't know how bad I was really just thought I was going to have a good time, but he didn't know what he was signing up for was a native babysitting me, but I the night ended. I was that it was a 12 hour blackout I was falling down the stairs of the grandstand. The cement and could walk could had to be escorted out by police who wanted to take him to detox of the Gaia was with said you know I'll take care of her. I will make sure she doesn't die, so I woke I came to the next morning in this motel room. I had no idea how I got there I couldn't remember anything.
It was the most horrific 16 madness I've ever experienced. It was like I had drank the madness back one superficial evening after somehow white duckling together 4090 sobriety but somehow that morning on, so the guy was apologetic. I'm sorry never should've encourage you to drink.
We had to go find my car, which had been impounded and followed fair and as I'm walking these empty fairground looking at garbage blowing around from the party the night before. I just cried out to God my mind and I just and I didn't really know what I was doing at the time but I just begged him to never let me drink again and I said I want this with everything that I have.
I never want to drink again. I have come to realize that I repented in that moment, and I had before. I had never really wanted to be done with it. That was part of the bill wanted it so I fully surrendered. I asked him to remove the infection and he absolutely did that and that was something that Michael and Ellen I had in common where he lifted it I mean it wasn't like it happened.
It was a process leading up to not but in that moment where I was absolutely gone and so disgusted with myself to the end of every attempt that I had made a mild power and I begged him he met me with his grace and I will not only 19 years this August. I hadn't had a drank heavily and how to urge a craving that there is no bitterness there is no resentment in all of wanting it, or being jealous of people that can do it you really delivered me and then my life really turned around after that not everything was perfect but it was dramatically different after that you will you drew closer to the Lord you you said you can go into a Assemblies of God church now for the last 10 years, and so what got you into how did you get hooked up with Mike window don't want to say really quickly that God really blessed me. After that day because the husband and I we had met in the 90s we met one time. 18 days after I quit drinking. We cross paths again and it was one of those things are.
Hey, I know you are. How do we know each other, caught up and we were married one year later and will be married 18 years this September.
We have two daughters so I have three daughters total. But God really blessed me and he totally redeemed my divorce my first divorce date was September 4, 1997 and the date I was remarried was September 4, 2004 art and I never realized that Lori yes so you really blessed me when he knew I was dying. He brought the man he had selected for me instead of me trying to do it in my own timing but yes we started.
My husband Mike, his name is Mike. Also, we really wanted to raise our kids with godly values. We wanted to pursue Jesus. We really had that she held up the layers about the finest falls right so we got into church.
It was an assembly of God back then that was 2004 we went to a Lutheran Church but the past 10 years and been in the family of God. I think God has shown us things in each church we've been at and we gathered something from every church and every pastor and congregation, but others hear actual spiritual growth.
We wanted to pursue the Holy Spirit more and be in a more spirit filled church and that's what brought us there, but I after I got sober I I went back to school to become an addiction counselor and I worked in treatment centers for 12 years I did intensive outpatient group for 12 years. Basically about five groups a week for 12 years and I was starting to get very burnt out. Even though I love the work and I want to help people with addiction.
There were limitations being that it was secular and you know there was only so much I can do.
I would pray one-on-one with people in my office but I was praying for two years before I met Michael and now I was just praying that I know you want me to do this work, but I don't know.
I can keep doing it.
In this capacity and one day we are at the mall. We saw Mike window cut out like is that everybody in Minnesota knows Mike Mellor. It's not like he's you we haven't seen his face in his commercial but that day I saw his cross and I thought, why does she wear his cross hanging out like that just got a journey like a beacon. So I started googling his name, Michael and Ellen. I was finding all these articles about him being a crack addict and somebody threw the ball things in my life.
That's amazing… Really interested in him and it is about eight more months to executed his company because there didn't mean to be any inroads to get in the door mostly hires, friends, family, you famously study hires the block barstools but I couldn't find a way and so I ended up going to get out a part-time job at the pillow started in the cool the worker. Mike Lindell maybe to lead to something so they called me for an interview the week leading up to the interview. I thought this is ridiculous you're already working a full-time job that you're stressed about, and I can get another job for the weekend, usually bad, but I thought I needed to follow through with my commitment to do the interviews so I showed up there and the woman who was meeting with me look at my resume. She said all your an addiction counselor, while while Mike Lindell is creating the thing from how bad I finally know anything about it but I can pass your name along and maybe maybe they'll call you.
I really didn't think they would. Two weeks later, they did call me to come in and meet with him and he said once I think this is a divine appointment. He didn't even do an interview will hire you because things are yes exactly he did you get things from God, we like, but I gotta get a woman in here and talk to her but we have an online platform. The Lindell recovery network. It's really a self-service hub of resources for people with addiction their video testimonials church sermons is a searchable database for churches in treatment program Christian all Christian, all netted almost free or low-cost, and we had the operation restored warrior freedom course that people can go through all all the content online, so Mike wanted to make a central location or people in the privacy of their own home.
They can figure out what's best for them. Whether it is a treatment center in church or for the video content that we have that we started out about two years ago I met a year ago we started the whole report podcast and that was something else that Mike had talked about when I first met him he would walk around saying, I shown it can be called the whole report that this can be good news. Back then I didn't think I would be part of that.
Like I thought I was a news reporter and anchor. II did that for seven years and then ended the station closed.
It was consolidated in a revenue sharing things that they did up in Duluth and then I went into the addiction counseling field. I thought that ship sailed over and God brought it back around to this always been part of something I've missed, but I did. I thought I your to alter washup, but he came back around again that I became the cohost, with Jason Terry and I just am amazed at God and what Don when I've gotten out of while I want to get out of the way but one I partner with him like on parallel tracks when I'm not trying to force my own will he just opens up the path you know it's been amazing in my husband Mike and I go to like I said Assembly of God Church were very involved. He serves on the safety team I'm on the worship team. Our girls are very involved in the church so yeah were just super grateful I was giving God the glory for everything you've done in our lives yet so the people you know somebody right now is listening and they have or they may be addicted to alcohol, they may be addicted to it.
Was it just alcohol and drugs working to be any addiction what we do so in order to have the searchable database and Mike called it hope match so you can type in your age and select your addiction from the drop-down enemy of all drug, alcohol plus gambling, sex and pornography, we may get some other things like I've gotten videos from people on smoking and food addiction.
We did have enough to make. We need at least five videos in each age category.we've got a couple thousand videos on there now but if people want to they can go to Lindell recovery network.org and you can know it. So drugs and alcohol plus behavioral addictions like gambling section 4 and we have short short clip from the main page and then you sign up for a free account and then you can view the full testimonials you basically see you if you will of people talking about what they didn't like about their addiction on the main landing page when you get invited the full testimonials we also have inspirational stories of hope, which are not addiction, but they could be somebody who left the child or somebody who the out thing is that Jesus has delivered them from maybe grief or anxiety or any type of life struggle. We have all those inspirational videos that don't really fit into an addiction category and then sermon so I that all of you that there is in a video that has gone up there without my approval I we get some from outside we get some from Choctaw creation is a huge helper for us, especially with the startup of the platform where he is with his ministry partners is not with a lot of videos from people in the ministry that he works with. So that really help build our content, especially at the beginning when we are getting five from going and you guys have a great show, you can if you go to YouTube. You can go to the hope report right now I have a website you hope report show.com so if anyone has a testimony and they get along, Michelle really our only requirement is if you have a story where Jesus delivered you something, or even how you came to salvation have to be about addiction anything that you know any Jesus story are we have a little model your story is his story that we really want to encourage you to think your testimony is no big deal like my husband did the other day.
He struggled with. He has bad anxiety or he get any was prescribed different benzodiazepines for that and got to he was never using them daily, but he would abuse them. I was a year that the public speak and he never told anyone I was the only one who knew about this because he found it very shameful that I have to do this in order to perform. He didn't want his employers know what he had to go through in order to build a all you get the top of the nation.
Boy, I barely remember it because I was on Klonopin but he he I am so proud of him because it was such a shameful thing for him that he didn't want anyone to know about the we want to encourage anybody you even if you think your story is not a big deal on my cohost, Jason's wife told her story about perfectionism and she always got all my testimony is not important because it's not like a near-death experience or Mike Lindell's 10 parachute accident smelled big. He talked about what he really struggled with depression and and also like well if I'm a Christian, why, why am I depressed my mature so we would encourage anyone. We don't even try to get famous people and occasionally it happens, but that's not what we seek out regular people just sometimes regular people shoot it to you straight in the Melissa were so so glad to have you on here today in the Truth Network on. If not for God with Mike's with Endo one more time with people to check out the website is what you think. So much for having me Mike. I really appreciate it was off to NRB prayer podcast draws and it was great having you on our website are Lindell recovery network.org troublingly and then hopefully in our website.com and YouTube channel is not for God's would just like that patient will cover this video. Have you thought about your loved ones, their financial security.
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