It has been awhile since our last update from Vance and me. Our writing process has been a wee bit slow, you just can’t rush the “process & creative flow I always say. And, one, is because he is ALL over the place with helping addicts find treatment, doing God’s work diligently, and getting him in one place long enough to spend time talking while I transcribe has been hard with both our schedules! We did finally connect last week on and off for about 2 1/2 hours and his book is getting really juicy, LOL.
And yes, it was Superbowl time for him. He had made his predictions earlier in the week on who he knew was going to claim the trophy this year, and he WAS right as you can see above! It is what I love about this guy, he has such a great sense of HUMOR.
But back to the writing side of things. We have been going over so many different areas of Vance’s life lately. I also wanted to share a few of his ‘Facebook Posts’ here with you. I am learning so much through them and reading many “Light-Bulb” moments of clarity he is having about life, faith, family, and looking back when he was deep within addiction in his NFL days. That only is hard to share but shows his audacity and drive to be transparent that honors his recovery and sobriety. And why he inspires me and many who are connected to him through social media.
Now for me, it is hard to describe to you in words and as a co-writer learning many of the “inside details” of not only a mans life, but one who is higher profile and earned that from his abilities being an exceptional athlete and football player. Not many writers get this blessed opportunity as I have to write with, now a brother in Christ and an amazing friend. I share this because he has put his trust and faith in me to write his words and share his voice with the world in book form.
I am sure it can be uncomfortable having that kind of “TRUST” in another person (me) and not knowing much about them is a very brave thing to do. That is why I always share how Honored I am to be doing this memoir with him. It has been an amazing writer experience for me. So let me share a little more about what Vance has been up to and I will close with a small excerpt of a chapter we have finished to give you a Sneak Peek of what is to come in his book! Make sure you follow and like his Facebook page as Vance loves interacting with all his FANS Vance Johnson #82!!
Putting Our Past Behind Us FB Post:
So many stories he shared today as I transcribe and had a few “Giggles” too as I thought; “we did some crazy ass things when we were deep in addictions”…(Sorry co-writing buddy) 😁
My co-writer and I are a little more than halfway through with my memoir. I think the picture becomes more an more clear every paragraph we dove into and relive in intimate detail on how addiction was present, and manifesting way before there was a problem. Let me help you get a picture of today’s writings. If you are over 35, 40, 45+ years old, take a deep breath and think of this. You are between 18-23 years old… take a good look at you back then, just for a minute. answer this question; “who are you, and who or what made that person”?
Get the picture? Visit Me At www.vanceinspires.com
About His Faith and Sobriety:
It’s far too often that we of little faith look for reasons not to believe. “I’ll believe it when I see it” is commonly the most pessimistic response when trying to convince someone of what’s possible. As a youngster, I had the faith that Jesus talked about. I could see myself winning races, jumping further than anyone else, even being a professional athlete.
In the height of my addictions, I couldn’t see anything. This went on for years. After crying out to God while driving through a canyon one day, there was a breakthrough. Shortly before committing to go to rehab something happened, I could actually see myself being sober. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t see the rest of my life, I could see it, BEING CLEAN, so I believed it!
I had a conversation with a friend and asked them this question…
Question; have you ever loved someone so much, that the past didn’t matter. Literally, everything that had happened in his/her relationships was just that, past. No judgments, no thoughts of why did you do that to me? only thoughts of the future with the changed person in front of them. Have you ever felt that way about anyone in your past, or even now?
And then I prefaced it, you know how God feels about us. We’ve sinned against him our entire lives, but when we repent he washes our sins away as far as the East is from the West, and cleanses us as white as snow. The Bible says, “he remembers our trespasses no more. ” Answer; yes, I’ve felt that way, I feel that way now, well, before the thought of being hurt came back across my mind. I looked at them and said, your exactly right, you’ve never felt that way before. “He who has ears to hear, let them hear.”
When you finally get it, you get it and have no excuse but to live it.
AND, About Childhood and Family:
I blamed my dad for my problems in my life, especially when I got older…
Lies are the root of evil, and people who believe lies don’t know they are doing evil. Look at all of the genocides in history, based on lies. With a lie, you can enslave a people not knowing its evil, gas Jewish families not knowing its evil, march Indians across the country and put them on reservations not knowing you are doing evil. Even in the 21st Century, we blame someone else for our addictions and not know we are doing evil!
1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
I’m four years clean. It’s my mission to be as transparent as I can to give hope to all who will listen. By sharing my thoughts on this journey and through my book soon, there may be a tool, a word or some truth from my own experiences that will encourage people that change is possible. You just have to want it. P.S. I’m sorry Dad
And there is sobriety in that!
THEN, More Clarity and Life Lessons From FB:
After posting this morning I thought I would edit, by a follow-up post. The reason, throughout the day I have reflected on the dynamics of my childhood by trying to parallel in a sense where the reader might be in his or her walk with Christ. I am not excusing underlying issues that may have contributed with ones need to escape their world at some point because of whatever dysfunction they grew up in. Someone reading this may be saying to themselves, your dad didn’t rape you or physically abuse you. These last four years working in the recovery field I’ve heard stories that are too graphic to share. I empathize with anyone who may have had to grow up in that environment.
Looking at my history and accomplishments you may be thinking “what the hell does he have to complain about”. Honestly, the only reason for my chosen words this morning was to open the possibility that forgiveness will free you, my addict friend from bondage. And the only freedom that I know makes sense, is scripture, what Christ calls us to be and DO through the divine word and through forgiveness.
Let me be a preacher for a sec. Christ came to fulfill the prophecies, not abolish them. If you are an addict, and you have hate in your heart for anyone, including that Dad who molested you, a Dad who cheated and beat your mom. The father who abandoned you or ridiculed you to make you feel like you were nothing but if you hate them it’s like murder.
Jesus took the 6th commandment a step further by giving us another interpretation. John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
I love my dad but thought that I hated him until I was 50 and it almost killed me. My dad never beat me, or abused me physically, he was actually a great provider. My book will explain the rest of my story, it starts out “A letter to my Father”
An Excerpt From Our Working Title of “Vance Johnson Story” – Redeemed ~ Driven ~ Uncovered.
“My life was spiraling out of my control. There I was, 50 years old, chained to a hospital bed a washed up broke former football pro. Then God showed his power at that moment and showed me it wasn’t my time. He had a much bigger plan and purpose for me and my life!”
In 2012, I was hurting emotionally and physically. My mom took me to the hospital for some tests, and my bloodwork was not well, and I fell into a coma. I remained in an induced coma for 26 days. My pastor came and prayed over me as my daughter, sister, and family began to say their goodbyes. No one thought I would make it. Neither did I. I was broken, exhausted physically, and was spiritually bankrupt. As another of my lowest points in my life other than my son’s passing and my suicide attempt years before.
Now looking back as I share my life with all of you, I wondered if this was how it was all going to end. All the trials and tribulations I have been through, the loss of my son, broken relationships and many marriages, hurting my family with my addictions and selfishness. As I lay in that hospital bed, I was having hallucinations and visions of dark shadows walking in and out of my room. Was it Satan’s enemy circling my bed as if to take me with him when I passed from this world? They came every day, but they never took me with them. It was at that moment I knew GOD was by my side.
Here is when my healing and recovery was about to begin. Take a walk with me, and I will share with you how a man so broken can be “Redeemed, Uncovered, and once again Standing in Grace!” This is my story my truth, my transparency…
~Vance E. Johnson and Author, Catherine Lyon
Vance Edward Johnson (born March 13, 1963), is a former professional American football player who was selected by the Denver Broncos in the second round of the 1985 NFL Draft. A 5’11”, 174 lb. a wide receiver from the University of Arizona, Johnson played his entire NFL career for the Broncos from 1985 to 1995.