In 2005, doctors told me I would die if I kept drinking. And I was OK with that. After seeking what the world had to offer from a reckless life working in advertising and sales in Austin, I was only more and more miserable and empty. Following a family intervention at the age of 30, I walked into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and soon hit Step 3: “Turn your life over to a higher power.” I remembered from childhood that “Jesus saved people from their sins.” So, I knelt by the couch I was living on and prayed to the only true higher power, Jesus, and humbly whispered: “Lord, I have squandered everything you’ve given me, but whatever I have left…it’s Yours.” Jesus. Changed. Everything. And I knew I would spend the rest of my life telling people Jesus is real, you are never too far gone, and He can change everything. I bought a Bible and devoured it, knowing there were Truths on every page about this God I was so starved for – telling me about His character, glory, and salvation for mankind.
So, in the Spring of 2006, Jesus took my addictions, hopelessness, anxiety, and depression and quickly turned to them into freedom, purpose, peace, and joy. I earned an MA in Youth and Family Ministry from John Brown University (’07) and a ThM, with Honors, in Systematic Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary (’11) – serving with ministries in Dallas, Haiti, and Sudan along the way. Since joining Watermark’s staff in 2011, I have served on the re:generation, Pastoral Care, Community, and South Dallas teams.
I love (and like so much!) my wife and best friend, Laura (married also in ’11). She is humble, joy-filled, wise, and deeply loves people and the Lord. We love marriage and see it as such a gift from God in companionship, counsel, ministry, and what we call “walking Home together.” She is God’s tangible grace to me. We enjoy the added adventure of raising our three children together (boy, girl, boy). God is using our children to teach us daily about the depth of love the Father has for us and how to daily die to self.
All that being said, know that this is my heart’s desire and mission in life: to proclaim Jesus, who alone has the power to save; to preach the Scriptures, which alone are holy, living, and sanctifying; and to give God alone the glory, because it is all by the power and leading of the Spirit. As it’s been rightly said, I am so fully aware that I am just one beggar showing another where to find the Bread, the very Bread of Life.
Lastly, in case it might be helpful for you or for someone you know, in 2021 I released a book called FREEDOM STARTS TODAY: Overcoming Struggles and Addictions One Day at a Time. It is not a book you read, it’s a book you do – a 10-minute-a-day, 90-day path into healing and freedom from any struggle or addiction by the power of the Holy Spirit along with another believer. Regarding the book, I tell people, “I decided to write the book I so desperately needed when I was trying to get sober.”
John Elmore is the author of Freedom Starts Today.