How I Learned to See with New Eyes

I’ve been wrecked two significant times in my life. And the lesson that brought me to my knees in gratitude each time was the same.

It’s not about you. It’s about how big He is and how He can transform our lives and our hearts. It’s about how He can take the ugly, the painful and the empty, and somehow redeem it all, making it beautiful and usable again.

The first time this truth hit me was about 11 years ago. I was struggling with an addiction to alcohol. I tried over and over to stop on my own and would tell myself, “just don’t pick it up, Eileen!”

But God patiently taught me that there was a better way.

He wanted to transform me from the inside out. He wanted to change my heart. So, I began praying: Lord, change my heart. Make Your desire my desire, too.

Day after day, for months I would fail. And, day after day, for months, I would get back on my knees and pray for the desire to change. One day, out of complete desperation, I cried out: God, I can’t do this anymore. I am so tired.

An amazing thing happened. God reached down into my situation and showed me just how big He really is. He wrecked me.

The second wrecked experience came after hearing about a group of people from my church that were planning on taking a mission trip down to the Dominican Republic.

I didn’t go the first year. But, the seed was planted. I remember reading about the adventure in our Sunday morning program and thinking, I wonder if that’s something I could do too?

The next year, the invite to join the mission team was presented again. I took the first step out of my comfort zone and told the team coordinator, Casie, that I might be interested…but money was tight and I wasn’t sure I would be able to go.

Casie told me something I will never forget. “If God has placed it on your heart, don’t ever let money be the issue standing in your way. We will get you there.”

And she was right: God came through and the money showed up.

As I prepared for that first trip down to the DR, I prayed for one thing. I prayed that God would keep my heart open and receptive. My desire was to go down there and selflessly empty myself for others.

I had no expectations. I just wanted to go and serve the Dominican people.

The adventure to the DR was incredible. I was a part of something bigger than myself. I’ve been down to the DR three times now and each time God reminds me that He is bigger than our circumstances and that He can bring beauty into even the bleakest of situations.

When I arrived home from that first trip, our team came back together to discuss the journey. As I started to share my thoughts, I couldn’t contain the tears. I was overcome with emotion and could barely get the words out.

How does God do it? I signed up for the this trip with the sole purpose of making an impact in other people’s life and God blessed me beyond what I could even imagine. I emptied myself for others, but I didn’t return empty. I came home overflowing.

There is a quote in Jeff’s book that resonates deeply with me,

This is the goal and necessary outcome of being wrecked—to see the old with new eyes.”

Once you are wrecked, you and your world are never the same again. It changes you—for the better.

About the author: Eileen is passionate about leaving a legacy for her son and encouraging others along the way who might need a dose of hope poured into their weary lives. You can find her taking The Scenic Route.

About the Author


This is a post by a guest author. To submit your own story of how you got wrecked, click here.


  1. Eileen- Thx for being Brave & sharing your story! It touched my heart as I know it will many others!!! <3!!!

  2. This is absolutely powerful and brought me to tears. I admire your courage in writing your testimony and experience. Your story brought back so many memories in my life. God is definitely using stories like your and Jeff’s book Wreck to challenge and provoke me. Thank you so much for sharing and blessing all of us.

    • Pilar, isn’t it cool how we can find glimpses of our story when we hear others share theirs? I love that!

  3. This is a powerful story, Eileen. Thank you for having the bravery to share it.

  4. Beautiful story. So moving. It is amazing how God can show us things when we are willing to see through His eyes.

    • I agree Tammy. He opens up a whole new beautiful world.

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  1. […] anticipation of this new project, Jeff has invited us to share our personal WRECKED stories.  I shared mine. I invite you to share yours too. Share this:EmailDiggStumbleUponFacebookReddit […]

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