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Rob and Heather Dolby- From Addiction to Restoration

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
February 28, 2021 1:08 am

Rob and Heather Dolby- From Addiction to Restoration

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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February 28, 2021 1:08 am

We end our Highlight Reel series with a powerful testimony from Salvation Army officers, Rob and Heather Dolby. During our mental health series from 2019, the Dolby’s joined us to share their incredible testimony from addiction and homelessness to restoration.


Series: The Highlight Reel

Our American Stories
Lee Habeeb
Words of Life
Salvation Army
Words of Life
Salvation Army
Words of Life
Salvation Army
Words of Life
Salvation Army

Hi, this is Bernie Dake. Welcome to the Salvation Army's Words of Life.

Welcome back to Words of Life. I'm Cheryl Gillum. And I'm Bernie Dake.

Welcome, Bernie. This is the final episode of our Highlight Reel Series. We hope you've enjoyed hearing some of these familiar voices all over again. Today we're sharing an interview also from the Mental Health Series. In this interview, we're joined by Rob and Heather Dolby as they shared their testimonies from addiction to restoration. Hi, I'm Lieutenant Colonel Vern Jewett of the Salvation Army. I would like to invite you to meet us on the Holiness Podcast, which is a podcast each month where we do an in-depth Bible study on the subject of biblical holiness. Please come and join us wherever you get your podcasts. That's the Holiness Podcast. God bless you. I'm Captain Rob Dolby and everyone knows Heather.

I'm Heather Dolby. We met at an urban missions training college, the Salvation Army hosted in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada, called the War College. That was a two-year program where young people would come together and live incarnationally. Vancouver is a very unique place. In the neighborhood, the downtown east side where we lived, that's where addiction is pretty prevalent. So the Salvation Army has an urban church plan there. And that neighborhood, the downtown east side of Vancouver, that's the neighborhood where I was homeless, experiencing homelessness and living on the streets, where I first entered a Salvation Army treatment facility called the Vancouver Harbor Light. And so that's the place where literally I went to detox. And I remember showing up at the door, you know, I remember pressing the buzzer and just saying, you know, I have nowhere to go and I'm ready to, I'm ready to do something different.

I need help. And then a few minutes later, the door opens and there's an intake worker there that brings you in and begins that process of detox. And yeah, I didn't know at the time, a whole experience that would change my life forever. So we, we met on the other side of sobriety. So neither of us grew up in a Christian home or grew up attending church.

Like it wasn't a thing. So I come from a family who were supportive, who loved me, but like every family has their problems. And so as I got older and my life started really falling apart as I made all my own decisions, which were terrible decisions, you know, I was a, I was an adult, like I was a young adult, I was in my twenties and I, you know, I had my own business and I had my own car and I had relationships and I had finger quote friends. But I was wrecked and I was drinking heavily just to manage my own life.

And I was just like, this can't be all there is for me. And so I remember my grandmother invited me to come to church with her on Sundays and then we'd have lunch together afterwards. And I loved that together time. So I would go to church so I could hang out afterwards. And I began to meet people that were nice. I liked them, but I really ah, gosh, I really believed that if they knew what I was like, like for reals, they'd be like, yeah, thanks. This is not the place for you.

Please go now. And so I would like, I had like a double life, you know, and I remember it was, um, Sunday afternoon, it was June 2nd, 2002. I was in my parents' basement and my life was just falling apart.

And I remember I had already worked my way through a pail of, um, margarita mix, drink the whole thing on my own. And I was making all these calls and even the guy that always would answer, when he wasn't answering for me. And that's when I was just like, wow, I'm that girl. I'm like, I'm rejected. Like I am, I am alone. And then I was like, why would I even want to live this life?

Like this stinks. And I was just like, God, if you're real, I need you right now because I, I don't want to live this life every day until I die. So if you're real, like I need you to come and do something.

And so, which is so funny cause I feel like I watch movies where that's like in the movie and I'm like, Oh, that's crazy. Like he really did. Like he really did show up. Like he really, the room, like the basement that I was sleeping in my bedroom where I was alone, began to fill with this tangible presence.

It felt like a safe, I just heard the voice of God say to me, Heather, if you give your life to me, I'll make it new. And I straight up cause like, I'm keep it real kind of girl. Lord, I said, I can't quit drinking.

So like what use am I to you? Like I can't stop. And he just said again, if you give your life to me, I will make it new. That day was the last time I ever took a drink. In fact, it was the last time that I ever wanted to take a drink. Like the Lord just did this beautiful supernatural thing where he just removed this desire to push my feelings and my hurt and my brokenness away and numb it with alcohol or other substances.

And I'm thankful for that. But interestingly enough, and that's why I said like, he's just so unexpected, Rob, because by the time I got to Vancouver to that neighborhood, I was clean and sober. Like I wasn't using, but I wasn't living life in fullness. And so God did this fun thing where I thought I was going to go and offer something and learn something for people. But really he put me right in the middle of a group of people on a journey to sobriety because we in that neighborhood, there's a strong 12 step presence.

And so I know the, if I knew at the beginning that that's what's going to happen, I would have been like, yeah, no, I'm good things. But the Lord, he knows how to be tricky with me and he knows what I need. And he plopped me right down in the middle of a community of people on a journey to sobriety. And so I began to learn not just how to not pick up anymore, but how to actually change my behaviors and allow God to transform me by the renewing of my mind. And you and I have talked about it before, but I really believe that Jesus saved me. But every day since then, the church, this body of believers, this Jesus family has held me when I want to cut and run when I want to, you know, just give up. They're the ones that have held me and reminded me of who God called me to be.

So I'm thankful for that. You know, we've been talking about hope, but also substances. People use substances. That's the reality of addiction, whether that's alcohol, whether that's drugs, toxic relationships, all kinds of things. And those are substances. But we're also talking about the substantive nature of hope.

That's not even the right word is it? Hope is a substance, but there's almost this feeling, you know, when you're journeying with someone who may be as a family member experiencing addiction, that does it almost feel irresponsible to say, then we'll just pray God is going to be faithful. You know, God is going to come through.

Meanwhile, they're watching this person suffer sometimes on the street in horrible circumstances. But at the end of the day, when you hear these stories that aren't just made up, that our lives being transformed, often it's this time where hope comes in and when hope, when love comes in, shame, you know, all these other things are cast away. Like you said, hope is powerful.

Hope is powerful. Anyone who has experienced addiction of some kind, I just, it's interestingly enough, this idea of God coming in, people have like an experience that all of a sudden, like going from your addiction, being something you enjoy, like losing or getting high, it's like at first it's a thrill. But over time, if we're going to be honest, we become slaves to that. And it's a life that leads us increasingly into darkness or disillusionment or depression. And people feel like their lives are slipping away and they become more desperate. And this idea of there's no high, like the most high is that He, the God that created us, like can set us free from that slavery. And all of a sudden we find ourselves found by Him and life feels fresh and new. And so people can say, you know what, of any high I felt while I was in my addiction, that high quickly became a low because I was a slave to it. So to be able to break free from that into something completely fresh and new, that is hope. It's supernatural.

It is so supernatural. So even in recovery, people talk about the pink cloud, right? Which the, they refer to the pink cloud as, well, you know, your, your first three weeks here, you're going to feel really good, but just wait, you know, until it all wears off and reality kind of kicks in, right? Which is then it's going to be hard and then it's going to require a lot of work, which listen, recovery, even discipleship is not easy. Like that requires discipline. It requires accountability, things that, you know, our flesh naturally doesn't want to just do. But you know, often as practitioners in mission, we get to say to people, there's one thing we can promise you. It's that not only are you loved, but you have an inherent worth because you're a child of God and you have hope that goes beyond the grave. Psalm 68 says that God takes the lonely and he sets them in the middle of a family. And I love that cause that's totally my story.

And I know that's your story too. And because that was our experience that we went from being on the outside to of like life and family and acceptance and spiritual connection, somebody chose to open the door to us. And I think you really have a hard time understanding the fullness of what it is to be a child of God, unless you understand the family of God. Even some of the church movements we're seeing today where it's this idea of the open table, right? To be invitational, maybe even some people call it messy church, you know, just get together with people, even if they don't have it all together and find a way to make connections and share our testimony, share our Jesus story, share the word of God with people in those tangible ways.

I mean, a meal around the table is a beautiful gift. You know, you and I have been through a lot with helping people. We've learned a lot of lessons and we've learned a lot from how people have helped us in our story. But I believe I never go wrong when I'm trying to please the Lord. So I believe if the Lord moves in my heart and leads me or leads my community or my family to help someone in a certain way, then I feel comfortable doing that, even if that's not the time the person has their aha moment and everything changes for them. Because I remembered touch points along the way in my journey. And I know you have some in yours where somebody did something that was extravagantly loving or extravagantly generous that that touched us deeply. But it wasn't our changing moment. It wasn't like that spiritual breakthrough, but it contributed to that day that would come.

So God uses everything, even if it doesn't happen the way I wanted when I wanted. I like what you said. You know, you got to bring more people into the circle, trusted people. And that's a good place if you have a pastor that you trust, you know, a small group leader that you can really trust, even just to find one person to just say, you know, I just need you to pray for me. I just need you to pray for my son. There's a lot going on and just start there because it's not something that one person can handle.

It's not something that you can fix for somebody. That's right. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit to offer your support.

And we'd love to hear from you. Email us at radio at Call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at P.O.

Box 29972, Atlanta, Georgia, 30359. Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or share your testimony. We would love to use your story on the air. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews, and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for the Salvation Army's Words of Life.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-20 10:44:03 / 2023-12-20 10:49:47 / 6

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