by Lt. Justin Bluer*

While my family didn’t attend church when I was growing up, my mom told me about Jesus and at age 9 I accepted Him as my Savior. However, I suffered with fear and anxiety, including panic attacks. At 11 I began drinking with my two older brothers and found alcohol eased these feelings. This led to years of self-medication, first with alcohol and then with drugs. My troubled behavior landed me in jail. Eventually, I tired of this lifestyle, and with my parents’ help I quit drinking and using drugs.

I began to go to church sporadically and listened to the Bible on an audible app at work and found my life changing. In time, I surrendered to God and sought to live a holy lifestyle. My wife, Shannon, and I began serving a Friday night community meal at the Petosky, Mich., Corps where we fell in love with the people and opportunities to minister. We became soldiers and served as lay leaders.

Through reconciliation with God, I have found freedom from my struggle with anxiety, addiction and destructive sinful attitudes and behaviors. In their place I have peace and joy. I have a better marriage because I am a better man, husband and father. It is the power of God’s love working in me. I look forward to serving as an officer and helping people know this life-changing love for themselves.

*Written by Major Christine Poff



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