This Christmas Nancy and I will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. And while we've had many many wonderful years together, we started out in a very rough, very difficult way because for our first two years, I was an alcoholic.
I understood who God was and how much he loved me, and Nancy likewise. We were both raised in good church families, but Christmas Eve, I came home from a part-time job where I worked and I was completely drunk. And unfortunately, Nancy and I had planned on going to the Christmas Eve service that night with our young son Brian, but I was in no condition to do so. Thankfully, she went off to the church and I stayed at home passed out.
The Lord came to me in a very real way that night, Christmas Eve, and made it very clear to me that He had died for my sins many many years ago and paid the price for the hell I was taking my wife and young child through at that time. He made it very clear to me that evening that I could be forgiven for my sins. I could understand His grace and His mercy and all that he had done for me as my Lord and Savior, and I turned my life over to Him.
Nancy came back from church, and I was completely sober. She couldn't even smell the alcohol on me anymore. It was just a matter of an hour and a half. And so God changed my life that night.
Once the Lord really got a hold of me and challenged me and Nancy to engage in public life, I was able to run for the State Senate and actually on my birthday, I was elected. The most important vote I think ever cast was to build Miller Park and to keep the Milwaukee Brewers in Wisconsin.
We're satisfied that we serve the Lord while doing all of that and I haven't had a drink in 45 years and it is God's grace that's enabled me to say that. He turned my life around and thankfully He has been a very real and very meaningful part of my life since then.