A Better Destiny

“I was destined to be a drunk,” says Brian Heiskary.

Growing up in a home with parents who drank heavily and a witness and victim of frequent domestic violence, Brian clearly recognizes the many factors in his early life that led him to alcoholism. He began drinking when he was only 12 years old.

What Brian only recently realized, however, is that he was also destined for something much better. While he grew up knowing the Christian faith and was baptized at age 13, he never kept his attention on Jesus in any meaningful way or for any extended period of time. God, however, never stopped paying attention to him.

Later in life, Brian joined the Army. “In the military, I couldn’t do drugs, but I could drink. In fact, it was almost encouraged.” He also married, but the marriage fell apart after seven year of hard drinking. Toward the end of this marriage, Brian attended church for a while, praying to God for help in salvaging his relationship. “Yet God knew I was just trying to use Him like a big vending machine in the sky,” he muses. “I didn’t know it at the time, but I needed to come to God for my salvation, not for my marriage.”

His second marriage didn’t do much better at first; though his new wife also liked to drink, she seemed to know when to stop, but Brian never did. They had a son together, but the drinking continued and even got worse. He got to a point where he needed alcohol simply to function. He soon lost his business and was unable to keep a number of other jobs because of his addiction.

Brian hit his lowest point when his sister died. In a drunken state, she fell and struck her head, requiring emergency surgery. Her body, badly damaged by alcohol abuse, could not handle the surgery, and she died. Brian, so imprisoned by his addiction, remembers his lowest point—“God forgive me, but I stood over her while they unplugged the life support saying to myself, ‘I wish she would hurry up and die because I really need a drink.’ ” Amazingly, even this experience did not wake him up to his condition, and he continued to drink as always.

However, God would wake him up sooner than later.

A Time for Change
Brian heard God say “Enough!”

It was not a literal voice in his head, but he felt convicted nonetheless. He had a six-pack of beer in his hand. “For the first time in my life, I threw out a whole six-pack,” Brian remembers. “I told my wife I was going to seek help.” He went to the hospital, where his blood alcohol level was measured at .38, nearly five times the legal limit. The staff checked it twice, amazed that he could even walk.

Brian then completed the three-week inpatient program. Though he achieved sobriety, he developed “I” problems. “I had accomplished sobriety; I was proud of myself; I felt good about who I had become—forgetting that it was Jesus who strengthened me for sobriety and who had stayed with me during the detox. I lost sight of Jesus, yet again.”

Brian soon moved out of his house, his marriage long having ended in his mind, and prepared to start a new life without alcohol.

But God had different plans.

Brian’s car was broadsided by a large SUV, and he ended up in the hospital with a cracked vertebra and pelvis. He had no choice but to move back in with his wife to recover. “Funny what you see when you can only look up. I finally saw God.”

His wife had been attending church and praying for their marriage and Brian’s return. While flipping through the TV channels at home during his recovery, Brian found a “short balding man”—Doug Batchelor—who caught his attention. Pastor Doug claimed that no one could prove that the Sabbath had been changed to Sunday by God, and Brian took this as a challenge. He dusted off his Bible and set to work to prove the preacher wrong. After reading and studying the Bible for three months, helped by Amazing Facts, Brian became convinced that Pastor Doug was right. Further, when the time came to remove his back brace, he realized he felt finally healed from his broken past, and had fallen in love with his wife all over again. He had learned to love Jesus as well, and desired to serve Him wholeheartedly.

Brian joined God’s remnant church and was baptized exactly one year after his sobriety date. “I didn’t even realize it until my wife pointed it out. God is so good!” He began speaking at his church after only six months there and wanted to enter into full-time ministry. His wife was more cautious coming to the church but would attend worship if she got off work early enough on Saturdays. She began studying Bible truth with the pastor, and she and Brian would do devotionals together. Now he explains, “My wife notified her job that she was leaving. She doesn't want to work on Sabbath anymore.”

Brian doesn’t know where God will lead him now, but he knows God is in control. He thanks Pastor Doug and the staff at Amazing Facts for teaching him to love Christ and how to read the Bible for himself. For anyone still struggling to find God, Brian offers some encouragement. “At the lowest point in my life, emotionally, I had sins that would make Paul, the chief of sinners, blush. If God can pull me back, He can do the same for anybody. All things are possible with Him.”

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