By Brenda Jank

How do I change the direction of this ship? I hate that my life feels like a shipwreck. It probably looks like one, too.

If there was ever a shipwrecked soul (apart from me), it was Bill W., the father and founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. I was introduced to AA through a person I dearly loved when I attended an Open AA meeting—a gathering open to all. I was 16. That evening altered my life and my understanding of community. The authenticity was captivating, the community riveting.

“This is what the church should be like.”

I was already well aware that the church was not a safe place to be real. Masks were the norm. Somehow we had come to believe that God’s credibility rested on us and the image we projected. The church was about image control, not a place of grace and on-going transformation.

Anyway…I recently watched a dramatization of Bill W.’s life. I didn’t know his story, only his name. “Shipwrecked” describes his life well. Once proud and successful, his ship hit rocks. All that remained was a broken, splintered mess. The whole story blessed me, but one gem emerged. When Bill was in the early, fragile days of recovery, he knew what he wanted. He had tasted new life, but his commitment to sobriety was was tested at every turn. Through a series of events, he came to understand a simple truth that altered the course of his recovery and restoration.

“To keep it, you must share it.”

On this journey through overload and exhaustion, we’ve all hit bottom. We’ve all hit some rocks, some of us more than others. The damage is real. I would venture to guess you are reading this blog because within you is a desire for “a better way.” This better way becomes ours when we recognize that our recovery from overload will be a journey spanning the entirety of our lives. We must commit to the long haul. There is no quick fix.

My passion for Run Hard. Rest Well. runs deep. I am a hard-core addict of work. I write and speak, ultimately, to an audience of one. Me. I don’t want to go back. My life (and my LIFE) depend on it. So does my children. This culture, when given full reign, points us to a single destination: self-destruction.

Do you want to change the direction of your ship?

Explore. Taste. Try. Fail. Wrestle. Grow. But know in your heart, “To keep it, you must share it.”

Out loud. Deep within. In person. All the time.

Lord, the rudder is yours.

Do you think there’s truth in, “To keep it you must share it?” What will that look like in your life?



First time here?

2 thoughts on “Shipwrecked”

  1. Ouch, Brenda! Sharing has seldom been pretty. Oh, the stories!!! I’m finding my life to be stuck. The cause is overload……physical, mental, emotional. It has taken a long time to accept my grounding. I know the high tide will come and I will sail again, but I am content with the small things, the little things, the God things. It could be a beautiful day, a call from a friend, a special scripture…..Habakkuk always ministers to me. I stand on the deck of my grounded ship. I don’t look for the high tide any longer. Instead, I scrub the deck, polish the fittings, scrape of the barnacles, and await God’s timing for the next best thing.


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