God Can Transform Us In Our Darkest Moments: Edward Grinnan & Damon West

09.16.2021 - By Jesus Calling: Stories of Faith

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Romans 8:28 reminds us that God will work all things together for good—not just the rosy parts of life, but also the ugly, twisted parts. This week’s guests have both overcome addictions that could have wiped them out completely, but instead they chose to call on God in hopes of finding something better—and were amazed to see Him show up in their darkest moments. Editor-in-chief of Guideposts Magazine, Edward Grinnan, grew up in a family bound together in faith—a faith they had to lean on heavily after the tragic loss of his special needs brother, Bobby. In trying to cope with his brother’s death and navigating life as a young adult, Edward turned to alcohol as a source of comfort, and battled that addiction for years. After starting at Guideposts Magazine in what he thought would be a temporary position, Edward ended up climbing the ranks and staying there until this day, where he continues to inspire and be inspired by the stories of faith of everyday people. Motivational speaker Damon West has faced countless obstacles in his young life, including drug addiction and prison time. Although Damon believed he developed negative patterns of behavior at an early age, he used his time in jail to learn about the Bible and to get insight from his fellow inmates about how life circumstances can transform you for better or worse. Damon ultimately chose—with God’s help―to become his best self.    Links, Products, and Resources Mentioned: Jesus Calling Podcast Romans 8:28 Jesus Calling Jesus Listens Past interview: Karen Ehman Peace In Uncertain Times Series: Jennie Finch Upcoming interview: Joni Harms   Edward Grinnan Guideposts Magazine  The New York Times  Conde Nast  Vanity Fair Esquire Dr. Norman Vincent Peale Edward Grinnan’s books https://www.guideposts.org/ Get a FREE issue of Guideposts at: shopguideposts.org/friends   Damon West University of Houston Downtown University of North Texas Serenity Prayer https://damonwest.org/   Interview Quotes: “I came from a family of very, very strong faith, and when you lose a child, that tends to tear apart marriages. And looking back all these years later, I didn't really see it as a child, but my parents stayed together. Their marriage was as strong as ever, and that's because they turned to their faith every single minute of that crisis and every single hour after that crisis.” - Edward Grinnan “The alcoholism slowly but surely ate me alive so that by the time I was out of graduate school, my late twenties/early thirties, I was basically a homeless wreck. I was just living on the streets on and off, begging for money just so I could continue drinking. There's lots of things that happened in between, college, jobs, travel, vagabond travel, graduate school, but at the end, life spit me out onto the streets.” - Edward Grinnan “God had brought me to the place where I needed to be.” - Edward Grinnan “I began to feel that my own spiritual anchor was being strengthened by these stories and this audience. And I suddenly realized as I was going through a story with a narrator that my own faith was being strengthened. And eventually I realized that the bargain that God was offering me was, ‘I brought you to Guideposts and I want you here. In exchange, I will help you with your sobriety and you will help me with Guideposts.’ And that was the bargain I struck in 1986 or so, and it's the bargain I’m keeping to even today.” - Edward Grinnan “My sponsors in AA said you should have prayer time every day whether you think it does any good or not. And, you know, prayer for me was something I had to practice. I had to get good at it. I have to believe in it. And it was a part of my spiritual evolution. As I began to believe that God cared about me, He cared about my life, the more I believed I could reach God through prayer.” - Edward Grinnan “Without hope, we don't get up in the morning. We don't love without hope. We don't forgive without hope. Hope is the underpinning to all of those human actions that make us better people and closer to God.” - Edward Grinnan “My bad belief system at ten and twelve years old said, ‘All you're doing is drinking a little beer, smoking a little pot. You're not hurting anybody. You're not even hurting yourself.’ But I couldn't be more wrong because those belief systems, those behaviors took me further away from Christ and the home that I grew up in.” - Damon West “I gave away my job, my home, my car, my savings account, my family, my tethering to God. I went from working on Wall Street to living on the streets of Dallas, homeless, living in abandoned buildings, sleeping in people's parked cars, living in dope houses with the dope fiends, because that's what I am, is a dope fiend. And I start committing property crimes to fight my addiction.” - Damon West “I remember saying to God, ‘Hey, God, if you're out there, if you're even there’—because at this point I'm so lost in my life, the spiritual warfare going on inside of me is intense. And I remember saying, ‘God, if you're even there, man, just know I'm so tired, I'm ready to be done.’” - Damon West “I got on God's back and God carried me all around that prison.” - Damon West “Jesus died on the cross for our past. And so I had to come to terms with that and my past doesn’t define me, we all wouldn't be listening to some ex-con from Texas talking about the things you learned inside a maximum security prison. But it's because our past is our lesson. And our present today is a gift. And that gift, it's not a gift for you, it’s a gift of what you can do for other people.” - Damon West ________________________ Enjoy watching these additional videos from Jesus Calling YouTube channel: Audio Playlist: https://bit.ly/2PrbuwH Video Playlist: https://bit.ly/2PsmEkJ What’s Good? Playlist: https://bit.ly/3i7VUlZ ________________________  Connect with Jesus Calling Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest YouTube Jesus Calling Website

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