My name is Phil. I grew up in a loving, Christian home in Madison.  Attending church every Sunday and going to a Christian school taught me about God and the Bible basics.

I thought I was a good person and knew everything I needed to get by in life. As I grew up and became an adult I started to ignore God. Other things began to take priority.

When I began drinking I told myself it was only temporary. The only thing temporary was the fun part. I had been so anxious to catch up with all the things I thought I had missed that I did not see how quickly alcohol was taking hold of me.

My life became a never ending cycle of sobriety, binge drinking and drinking alone day and night.  It was killing me. I lost my driver’s license, my job and my willpower. With two drunk driving convictions, several damaged relationships, and dwindling health, I finally realized how broken I was. My mom knew I needed help and talked about a place called Teen Challenge.

It is a miracle that I am still here to tell my story. I have always had family and friends support me through everything. Without their encouragement I don’t know what would have happened. I can now see that it was God’s grace revealing itself to me through their lives.

For about three years I was in and out of secular treatment programs and AA. They were helpful but failed to offer a permanent solution for my addiction to alcohol. When I came to Teen Challenge I found the permanent solution.

I didn’t understand what a personal relationship with Jesus Christ meant before that, but now I know and it has set me free from the control of alcohol. Letting go of my old life was the hardest part. I now desire to do His will and I am so thankful that He provided me with Teen Challenge to help turn my life around. I can see that God has a plan for my life and I am committed to serving Him.

Many things have been restored to me. I am currently a full time student at UW-Milwaukee and have made many new Christian friends. There is now tremendous hope and peace in my life. I look forward to helping others and sharing the greatness of God’s love and grace.

A verse that has given me strength and encouragement through the tough times is Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”