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In The Midst Of Mountains-Before And After

The mountains before recovery had brought me the ability to appreciate the mountains after recovery.

I have recently returned from a vacation in the midst of mountains. Exploring the beauty of the Rockies in Colorado. Surrounded each day by the magnificent wonder of God’s handiwork. I could see, feel, and smell the wonder of nature that was all around me. Personally, I am at a place in life that I could actually take it all in with all my sensory receptors. Gazing out on our world’s beauty from atop Pikes Peak opened my mind to my own perception of mountains. I knew all too well the mountains of my own making. Being in the midst of the mountains on vacation, I found a sense of achievement. The mountains before recovery had brought me the ability to appreciate the mountains after recovery.

Pikes Peak

They were mountains of my own making.

Mountains as an alcoholic took a whole different meaning in my life. They were mountains of my own making. Ruined family relationships, financial chaos, and emotional bankruptcy were the peaks in front of me. I was using every bit of hell-bent destruction I could muster to avoid the ascent to any kind of recovery or help. My senses had become dulled to anything of beauty around me. My mindset was of nothing other than escape in a bottle. My perception was these mountains of my making had arrived to let me fall to my death. I was so engrossed in my own misery that it blinded me to the life I truly longed for. Complete change would be necessary if I were ever to survive.


These would become my weapons to climb the mountains from my days as an alcoholic.

Then in March of 2014 I found recovery. A recovery from the hopelessness, isolation, and overwhelming peaks of addiction. Awakened to faith, a sense of purpose, and a renewed relationship with God. These would become my weapons to climb the mountains from my days as an alcoholic. In this post I wont go into how I recovered and climbed those giants in my life but I will tell you what I have learned. In our addiction we cannot see what really lies in front of us. We cannot see the beauty in our world around us. In changing our mindset our perspective also changes. With a changed perspective we change our life.

View of Pikes Peak, Colorado

I see the beauty of my life.

This was my view of Pikes Peak on the drive back down. I could see it for all its glory and awe. It was all about the change in my perspective. On the drive up there were moments of fear. Those moments though were viewed as a necessary challenge to get to the summit. Fears once conquered, that became a sense of accomplishment and strength. Before, I would have seen nothing more than impossibility. I would have seen it as an excuse to drink. I would have seen a grotesque attempt to keep my life void of purpose. But after, I see God’s miracles. I see challenges and lessons of strength and courage. I see the beauty of my life.

Back porch view

Not a bad view each morning and evening……

This was my view each morning and evening. Surrounded by nature and the quiet of that moment. I would do my daily bible reading and prayer. They say being in nature can bring you closer to God and I could see and feel Him move as I sought Him out each day. He had opened my eyes as a transformed man. His grace and mercy leads me to a greater understanding of my purpose.  I have learned a few things after my vacation this summer.

  • We all face mountains in life. They do not discriminate.
  • By changing our perspective they become ways to discover and explore our natural talents and gifts.
  • With each summit reached we become warriors growing in strength and wisdom.
  • They are beauty and only a challenge to sharpen my weapons and to extend me beyond what I used to think impossible.

My life is quite the before and after. To traverse from before to after I only needed to change my mindset. I had to have a lobotomy of my old self to bring in the new. Our perspective makes all the difference in the mountains we face. Impossible or just another challenge to conquer. The way you look at it is up to you. But I am living proof of one thing, change your perspective and change your life. 



  1. Really enjoyed this one Kip. It is so true, we go from climbing invisible mental mountains, to climbing real ones! We go from talking about doing stuff, to actually doing it! I think Christ meant something similar to this when he talked about faith being able to move mountains.

    • Thank you Mark. Seeing our obstacles in life as challenges and opportunities for growth makes the climbs exciting. You are right on about Christ, what we perceive as mountains can be as easy to remove by simply saying in faith, MOVE, and they will move. Thanks for reading and sharing.

    • Thanks Dan, letting go of more control and fear is pushing me forward. Your leadership in our community is priceless.

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