Marie (23 Feb 2020)
"Rev. 12:11 and A. A."

"And they overcame Satan by their Testimony" 
Revelation 12:11st

This is Alwin's Testimony.
He was an alcoholic for
1/2 of his life. 
This is shared in hopes that his testimony will encourage others with addictions to get  to a 12 step program for help for whatever addiction they may have. ( drinking, drugs, overeating, porn ,gambling, emotions anonymous etc. )

Alwin started drinking in middle school. He and some kids robbed homes,
and the courts sent him to reform school. After graduation he got jobs, got married and had kids.
But the drinking progressed and led to infidelity, lying and stealing.
He had many jobs due to being fired for not showing up on Mondays.
( hangovers from weekend binges). 
He had many D U I s, many jails and episodes of delerium tremens.
He was often arrested with his blood alcohol content exceeding the amount that causes death.

His marriage failed and he took a geographic to another state where he came to the end of himself and entered a rehab house.

He finally got a job , met and married me, and gave up daily drinking for periodic drinking.

I went to Al-Anon meetings which taught self-examination and also " tough love".
I learned to stop spoiling him and covering for him, and to be forthright and frank in our conversations. 
I learned to work on my own character defects... to stop nagging and to go to Al-Anon daily and hear the testimonies of others going through the same lifestyle.

At the time we got married he promised he would lick the problem in one year. I accepted with the condition that there would be a divorce if the drinking persisted after one year.

He was attending A A meetings daily trying to stop, but having slips.
After 11 months of on and off drinking, I realized the moment of truth was arriving and although I was not a church goer at the time, I went to the closest church and spoke with the Pastor. He put my need on their prayer list, (anonymously ) and soon the miracle began to happen.
Alwin gave up drinking---
one day at a time, 
---O D A T---
just 15 days before our 1st wedding anniversary.
My heart rejoices even to this day.

My husband learned through the program and through his own experience, that a person doesn't get drunk from several drinks. He gets drunk from the very FIRST drink.

"1 is too many, and 1,000 is not enough."

"First the alky takes a drink,
Then the drink takes a drink ,
Then the drink takes the alky."

The obsession dominates
immediately from the first sip.

It's the FIRST drink that gets a person drunk and will impair the brain.
The D M V states that if you drink just one drink and then drive, then  you are under the influence of alcohol and will be arrested. 
It is even on their books that they can arrest you if you have 0.00% alcohol in your system but have altered behavior. See Google's search engine.

What kept Alwin from ever taking that FIRST drink was Galatians 5:23 where it says that a drunkard cannot enter the kingdom of heaven...Period.
No second chance.
(No O S A S.)

Any honest alky will tell you that from the very first sip, there is no more self-control. Satan takes over.

Alwin learned that you had to change your playmates and playgrounds to avoid temptation at all costs.

Almost all family gatherings have John  Barleycorn invited to allure the vulnerable to be seduced. 
We said "no" to many family gatherings.

Alwin would tell new- comers at the meetings
that his 38 years of consecutive sobriety was easy. 
He only had to work it one day at a time. 
O D A T.

Alwin had the advantage of 2 sources of wisdom:
1. The wisdom of the  program and
2. The wisdom of the Bible.

The program taught
1. Zero tolerance
2.  100% rigorous honesty

The Bible taught:
1. Relationship with his Higher Power, whom he chose to call God.
2. To practice living Godly righteousness daily.
3. Having accountability to Almighty God.

He would tell new-comers
that they would make it if they wanted sobriety more than a 'buzz' or a 'high', or to be drunk.

Alwin wanted to live by willingness to God, rather than living by willfullness to SELF. 

He found the power that lies in surrendering to God.

He went to program almost daily until he died.
Not because he had to, but because he wanted to.
The fellowship gave him so much acceptance.

He wanted to share so much with others that no matter how low one's life gets ---pennyless, friendless, jobless, homeless--- it's never too late to make 180 turn around.

***Testimonies have the power to save,***
by the grace of God. 
Revelatation/ Apocalypse 12:11.

Alwin's favorite story in the Gospels is "The Prodigal Son", Luke 15. Especially where it says, "and when he came to himself",
meaning when he had a moment of clarity".

Many times he would end his testimony with this verse from John 9:25,
"I once was blind, but now I see. "

Alwin had a warm, caring personality. He was greatly revered in the program. New-comers were so grateful for his testimony. He was honored as a respected elder in the group, for he
usually had the most sobriety in the room.
"He cared."

The very second that the monitor went flat in the hospital, and his heart stopped, his face actually GLOWED. I saw it with my own eyes, and I instantly knew what he was hearing up in heaven...
"We'll done thou good and faithful servant."♡