An Unexpected Cure for Anxiety and Fear
By Lee Flach
Anxiety, stress, fear, change… These are some of the things that have creeped into my life these past few months. If I am completely honest, I should have seen these things coming. I’ve had some significant changes in my life lately…
Our oldest daughter, Lexi, is graduating from High-School and is heading off on a 3-week mission trip to Peru, and then off to college. Also, just a few months ago, I became the sole owner of the landscape management company I have been working at for the past 6 years (My Lawn Crew.) Ownership naturally comes with a lot of additional day-to-day responsibilities. In addition to all of this, I recently made the difficult decision to step down from our position as the leader of a local Celebrate Recovery ministry and leave the only church I have known since surrendering to Christ. Finally, my mother is making the trip from out of state for my daughter’s graduation. This will be her first visit with my wife (Brenda) and kids in nearly 10 years.
So yes, I guess you could say I knew stress was going to follow these recent changes in my life. What I didn’t see coming was the anxiety and fear that slowly but surely began to creep in. My fears had grown to the point that I started to question my decisions, and started to doubt things that I knew God had placed my heart.
Here is what I decided to do: get away, step back, and focus on helping others in need. In 1996, I attended a Christian drug and alcohol long-term treatment facility in Mount Olive, NC called Potter’s Wheel Ministries. It was started by pastor Larry Miller, with only with $12 dollars in his pocket, his wife’s family land (33 acres), and a vision from God. He built a place that could help men who are broken, lost, addicted, and hopeless find hope and surrender their lives to Christ. He then helps them begin the process of slowly and carefully becoming the men, fathers, sons, and husbands God called us to be. It’s a last chance kind of place. It’s the kind of place that when your wife, or parents, or judge tells you that they are done with you, Potter’s Wheel welcomes you in. I went there 3 different times, and it never cost me a dime. In fact, I stole way more than I could ever give.
Now, many years later, I am in the position to be able to give back a small portion of what was poured into my life. Last Friday, I had the opportunity to take 12 men to help pour the concrete foundation and pad for a new outdoor pavilion that Potter’s Wheel is currently constructing. This will provide a place for these men, when their families come to visit, to sit and fellowship out of the weather. It may not seem like a big deal to most people, but when you haven’t seen or talked to your love ones in a few months, and you are clean for the first time in who knows how long, there is nothing better than seeing your wife, girlfriend, or parents drive down that path on a Saturday afternoon.
I learned a lot last Friday, out in the hot sun. I learned about the men that came with me – men who offered their time without any hesitation or questions about how much they would be paid. When I asked for their help, they simply said, “When and where?” I learned a lot about the men in recovery at Potter’s Wheel, the alumni of the program, and the staff. They all stayed, worked, and fellowshipped all day for no other reason but to help the next guy struggling with addiction. I also learned a lot about Pastor Larry. After all these years since I attended, his vision is still the same: to help broken, lost, hopeless drug addicts like I once was, find happiness, peace, love, and joy that only comes from surrendering to Jesus Christ.
What an amazing day it was! And what do you know… all of my anxiety and fear is gone! Thank you, God, for allowing us to serve you! It is truly a gift!
If you are reading this and want to know how you can help this ministry, either financially, or by volunteering your time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Where there is life, there is hope!