As a Texas Game Warden, I had a lot of opportunities to improve my professional knowledge and skills over the course of my career. When I first signed up for Discovery, I thought it would be another corporate type of development course. The experience knocked me off my feet. The miracles I saw, and the freedom gained, took my breath away.
As an officer and a competitive athlete, I’ve always set high standards for myself—and for others. Through Discovery, I learned to turn the head off a little, and turn the heart on. I discovered compassion for others and for myself, and I found that the very skills that have helped me to be a successful officer have worked against me in my other relationships.
Discovery is a perfect name for the experience. At Discovery, I found people from every walk of life, with every imaginable and unimaginable hurt, those who wanted to be there and those who had been pressured to be there, some interested in finding a little more joy and insight in their life, and others at the end of their rope, wanting out of life. It was amazing to see the Discovery staff meet each person right where they were, to help them “discover” where they’ve been, where they are now, and where they’re going.
I’ve struggled to put into words the huge impact Discovery has made in my life and the transformation I saw in others’ lives. During that first weekend, at Base Camp, I looked at the ashes of my past. I owned up to my part, felt it, really looked at it. Now, finally, I can learn from it. In the second weekend, Ascent, I got the tools to make bricks from those ashes. Instead of viewing the past as something to bury, I began to build healthier relationships and a healthier me. In Summit, I began to lay those bricks to build a highway towards a more focused goal and purpose. I’m building a highway not for just me to travel on, but for others as well. It’s amazing how we can help others the most, when we accompany them through the areas of our greatest weakness or shame. But first we have to go there ourselves. We have to feel it and learn from it—not just bury it.
Discovery is absolutely awesome. Life happens . . . anyone who has lived long enough to hurt, or to be hurt, who has lost a dream, lost their passion or joy or wanted to help others regain joy in life, should attend Discovery. Words can’t totally describe it, but this should speak loudly: I am sending my greatest treasures to Discovery—my family.