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Breath of New Life


It was early April 1990 when I had found myself alone and newly divorced from my high school sweetheart after nearly 18 years of marriage. She and I had three beautiful kids. The marriage had ended due to my own self-centered lifestyle, running around, drinking and drugging. On this one particular night I came home half drunk feeling very sorry for myself and sobbing about my situation. I got to my knees in the middle of the living room and asked God for help and then went to bed.

A couple of days later I was lying on the couch watching television in the late morning, hung over from the night before, sort of drifting in and out of sleep. Suddenly there was this man kneeling right next to me as I lay there on the couch. I can still see him in my mind. Although he was kneeling I could tell he was not a big person. He was wearing a white robe draped over his shoulder like a toga in Roman times. He had brown eyes, white hair and beard that was rather close cropped with a little sprinkle of salt and pepper. He was looking away from me to my right. I was thinking what the heck is going on, when this man turns to me and says, "You have to take me in." He then blew into my face, and as he did, I inhaled a sort of slip stream of mist going from his mouth into mine. I felt the sensation of butterflies in my stomach such as you would feel on a roller coaster, and I became afraid. I thought, Oh, I've taken enough. Just then the man was gone, and there I was looking at the ceiling with my heart racing. The whole thing couldn't have lasted more than 10 or 15 seconds.

I got up quickly and looked around the house, trying to convince myself that what just happened had been a weird dream of some sort. Later I described it to one of my drinking buddies (over cocktails, of course). He simply said, "Man, that sounds weird."

About 2 weeks later I found myself sitting in the back of a county sheriffs car on my way to jail with another drunk diving charge. The next morning when I was bailed out of jail I thought for the first time that I really needed to do something about this miserable life I had been living. Look what it was costing me, what I had lost. It was that very evening that I attended my first AA meeting and realized that I was an alcoholic and that unless I changed my life I was going to die a miserable drunk.

From that day to this, I have not had a drink or drugs, and it's been close to 14 years. I have a fabulous life and am married to the love of my life. We have a great relationship with my 3 children and her 2 boys. It is in recovery that I have found spirituality and discovered the loving God that answered my prayer of desperation that drunken night in 1990.

A couple of years into my recovery, while pursuing my spiritual journey, I was reading the Bible and nearly fell out of my chair when I ran across a passage from the Gospel of John. It is where the disciples of Jesus are hiding from fear of reprisals after His crucifixion and suddenly Jesus appears (John 20 : 21-22). "Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' And with that he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" To this day I am not a religious person rejecting much of the dogma that was preached to me in my youth. I do however pray to our Heavenly Father daily and enjoy a wonderful relationship with Him that I never knew existed. All things are become new to me!

Dennis Kelly




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