Written by cycleguy on May 13th, 2014

I have been running a series on Second Chances. Mine is here. Daniel’s here. Zee’s here. Eileen’s here. Wolf’s here. Kari’s here. Anonymous here. Today’s Second Chance story comes from Dan, who blogs at two places, here and at hip diggs. Dan has an interesting story. You can read about it in his two books (which are semi-autobiographical fiction).  Here is Dan’s story:

Reach Up and Trust God

When Pastor Bill asked me to write a post about second chances, I jumped at the chance in a second. After all, if anyone knows about second chances, it’s me. I was the child victim of a religious cult. I struggled with drugs and alcohol as young adult. I’ve struggled with paranoid thoughts. I’ve been through a divorce. I’ve lost a child. I feel adequately qualified to write about second chances… and third and fourth and fifth chances.

We’ve all heard stories about people who have found themselves at rock bottom to discover they only had one way to go: up. We’ve also heard the sad stories about the ones who hit rock bottom and got stuck. I think about musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Gram Parsons and Kurt Cobain. Like many others, their addictions led to death.

I’ve never quite felt like I’ve hit rock bottom, but with my victimized and addicted past, I’ve definitely wandered off the straight and narrow and was in danger off drifting off into oblivion. But I chose to look up before I hit bottom. There’s only one source to whom I can give credit for my second chance in life.


Back in my late twenties when I was in the worst throes of drugs, alcohol and paranoia due to the post-traumatic stress of being abused and indoctrinated by a megalomaniac cult leader, I fell to my knees, cried out, and looked up to God. He heard me. But what I didn’t realize then was that God wasn’t up in the sky. It took time, study, and prayer to discover that God is in my heart. God’s power is right here. He’s always with me. He’s always with you. He’s with each and every one of us. But you have to ask Him to help. You have to trust in Him.

In July of 1993 that’s exactly what I did. I was already a believer at the time, I just wasn’t acting like it, and I wasn’t trusting God. One night, in a drunken and stoned panic, I asked my brother to drive me to a Christian friend’s house. That was the beginning of a new life. My friend and I prayed and God began to work in my life.

I went back to college and studied until I received my master’s degree. I found my career calling as a college instructor. I began to keep a journal which eventually led to my first book, A Train Called Forgiveness, the story about my coming to terms with and forgiving those who harmed me in the past.

If that’s not a second chance, I don’t know what is. And if that’s not divine, nothing is. To add blessings upon blessings, God gave me a beautiful daughter and a wonderful home.

Second chances are available to anyone. And here’s the best part. They’re free. All you have to do is reach up and trust God.


Dan Erickson is a teacher, a writer, a poet, and a songwriter. He is the father of a beautiful girl and a follower of Christ. He’s written two books, A Train Called Forgiveness, and At the Crossing of Justice and Mercy. You can learn more about Dan and read some of his work on his blog at http://www.danerickson.net.

Any thoughts you want to share with Dan? BTW: Dan wrote a great article on divorce here


18 Comments so far ↓

  1. Eileen says:

    Dan, thanks so much for sharing your journey. I never get tired of hearing stories of what God is capable of doing with a willing heart. Second chances ARE available for anyone.

  2. Love Dan. I read all of his blog posts, though I don’t comment too often.

  3. Daniel says:

    Great story that has much to teach each of us. Sometimes it is so easy to get stuck in the crap and think that things will never get better. Glad to see one example where that lie was shattered.

  4. Dan Erickson says:

    Thanks, Eileen. I know about second, third, fourth… chances. God’s grace is immeasurable.

  5. Kari Scare says:

    Have heard your story before and am reading your book now. Always inspiring. Blessed to be connected with your virtual self, which I suspect isn’t too different than the real Dan.

  6. floyd says:

    Your word has weight, brother. Though the road hasn’t been easy, God has given you authority to speak into the lives of others with persuasiveness from Him.

    I always appreciate your perspective on things. And your two books are a part of me now. Thanks for your obedience and heart, Dan. And thanks for the reminder of second chances… and counting.

    • cycleguy says:

      I agree Floyd. God has given him a “platform” to speak into the lives of people. My prayer is Dan always uses it to bless.

  7. Everyone has a story. The places, names, and circumstances vary wildly, but it all affects us and can haunt some of us until our dying day. I’m thankful you allowed God to create (and continue to create) a beautiful one for you. Thanks for sharing, Dan. And thanks again to Bill for the series.

    • cycleguy says:

      I agree Jason. We all have a story. Some more dramatic than others. I’m honored these fine people have volunteered to share their story with me and my readers.

  8. Betty Draper says:

    Powerful testimony brother, gives hope to all who read and watch your life. Our testimony of God working in our life to bring us to Him is the very platform we speak from for it a solid platform.

    Bill I have told a few people who don’t blog to get on your site and read these precious stories. It will help them not feel alone. Good stuff. Thanks for giving us all a platform to share.

  9. TC Avey says:

    Praise God. Thanks for sharing your testimony- it has the power to draw people to God.