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Before my first ManAlive Expedition, I was a man trying to find himself in religion. Funny thing was I didn’t grow up in church. After a decade of swimming in an alcoholic abyss, I finally found sobriety’s life boat alongside my wife. However, having just centered my life on God, I made this life boat holy and riddled with religiousity.

Since I didn’t know what a “Christian” life looked like, I tried earning God’s love through works and accomplishments. No matter the amount of religious tasks completed, I never felt as if I had done enough to be forgiven of the sins of my past. I joined a church, got involved in numerous ministries, and even led small groups. Again, no amount of religious tasking could bear the weight of my past sins.

Thankfully, I was introduced to John Eldredge’s Fathered by God and Wild at Heart. Reading these two books were the first steps toward finding myself, but it wasn’t until I attended the first ManAlive in Arkansas that God revealed himself to me as my Heavenly Father, and that I finally saw myself as His son. He also revealed to me the life-altering catalyst for my alcoholism was actually one of many “conveniences” that led me to my wife, and eventually back to Him. I learned that Expedition weekend Father God will show you that life’s greatest gifts can be found in life-altering events, both those with the good feels and those layered in utter bitterness.

I have only missed a few Expeditions and I always look forward to the next. God does wonders for me at each Expedition, even as part of the leadership team. He has revealed something new about me every time I prep and attend. He’s uncovered suppressed wounds, shown me my empathetic gifting, and tapped into emotions that were not anger. Attending ManAlive has allowed me to see myself as a Man of God, an Adventurer, a Warrior for the Kingdom, and a Son of the Most High. I cannot wait to see what He is going to reveal next!