Our Founding Story

Our Founding Story

Have you ever felt like you were going through the motions? Have you ever felt burned out? That feeling where it takes a lot to summon up any kind of excitement?

This was my life, but I didn’t even realize how lost I had become.

I believed in Jesus Christ’s promise of everlasting life when I was 4 years old. I knew I was going to be with Him when I died—regardless of what I did or did not do—because I believed that He gives everlasting life freely to anyone who believes in Him for it. However, along the way, I lost sight of God’s love, grace, and power. I set out to please Him and everyone else through my performance.

Years of reinforcement of the mentality that I had to earn my worth throughout schooling, my military service, and our culture didn’t help my sprint toward a path of self-destruction. What’s worse is that I didn’t even realize it!

I thought I was doing all the right things, even though I was miserable, selfish, and a hypocrite.

Everything changed forever the moment I sustained a traumatic brain injury on August 1, 2015.

This event led down a journey of the destruction of my world as I knew it. I was an officer in the Air Force, a Psychiatrist, and in the process of finishing the 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado.

However, I became the shell of a person within a moment. The brain injury was only the beginning of a year that included rape and four more concussions. Although I had been a master at pushing down my failures, emotions, mistakes, and flaws, I had faced more than I could handle. As everything was laid bare, I came face to face with the darkness within me.

The masks I had worn proving my worth were burned off from the traumas, but instead of being left in ashes, I felt an all-consuming love envelop me. A love I knew I did not earn nor deserve. This love empowered me to stop shutting my eyes so tightly in despair, shame, and guilt, and I began to unclench my fists to receive God’s love, forgiveness, and grace. This is where Jesus’ words really hit home for me, written in Matthew 16:25,

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

I finally realized that I was holding on to this life and everything the world had to offer. The moment I let go of the tunnel vision pursuit of dreams and achievements, and prioritized my relationship with God and studying and applying His Word, I began to feel freedom and begin the healing process. I experienced moral injuries, trauma, and loss, but received freedom, a greater purpose and my restored sense of wonder that had been lost long before these traumas.

The invaluable lessons I learned through this journey have enabled me to understand the power of trauma and the devastation that comes with it.

However, the greatest lesson I learned was knowing that God’s love is more powerful than any darkness we could ever face. I began prioritizing my love and diving deeper into God’s love through stepping out on faith and trust. God never let go of me, even in my worst moments. The knowledge of that unconditional love empowers me to see the darkness within me and frees me to step into a life God has prepared for me, no matter how uncomfortable, unpredictable, and unknown it may be.

This is why I founded Advancing Warriors. To provide community and support to those men and women who have stared evil in the face and are living with the repercussions in isolation. We are not meant to be alone, and I needed a “tribe” who understood my pain and hurt, and others do too. Through Advancing Warriors, I have seen incredible and miraculous, life transformations.

Through Advancing Warriors International, people have broken the power of addictions, found their life partners, found remarkable life-long friendships, and have broken free from suicidality. Veterans and first responders are starting to experience joy for the first time, are finding their purpose, their relationships have dramatically changed for the better, and they are getting their lives back.

God is using the trauma I faced as a vehicle to help others break free from the power of their traumas, and now they are helping others to find the same freedom. They are finding this healing through finding a deeper connection with God, having a greater understanding of God’s truth through biblically based group programs, connecting with other brothers and sisters.

We can connect to others who have shared experiences as they wrestle together with how to understand and apply God’s wisdom to their lives, as well as Christian-based therapy.

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