The Note That Changed Everything | Easter 2009

The Note That Changed Everything | Easter 2009

On April 12th, 2009 I arose from my bed in room #4 at the Renaissance Ranch addiction treatment center. I was not a morning person and I loathed the fact they made us wake up at a certain time. This marked my fifth attempt at rehab and I was not happy.

After opening my window curtains and making my bed, which were mandatory rules to be followed, I slowly and tiredly made my way down the carpeted stairs into the kitchen area for breakfast. There on the dining room table were 12 Easter baskets with eggs, candy, and Easter grass. My attitude suddenly shifted.

I noticed an envelope inside the basket next to the chocolate egg. As I opened the envelop, I negatively thought, “probably just another standardized message about Easter, blah blah blah.”

It was a note from the owner named HR Brown. As I unfolded the note inside it read:




You are a special spirit who is a born leader. Serve these men & all those you come in contact with, as the Savior would serve them.

HE is the example by which we should strive to live our lives. I’ll see you in 12 years. 

Love Ya Bro,


The note touched my soul to the very core. I never saw myself as a born leader. I believed many things about myself, but not one of them was positive. I contemplated on these words and read the note at least five times throughout the day. With each read, truth and hope sank deeper into my heart. Maybe I could change after all…

That day, HR gave me hope that even a wretch like me could change and stay sober. Maybe I could become a new man through the love and example of Jesus Christ.

But how?

The note gave me clear instructions on how to go about making my change.

It was simple.

I had to serve people the way that Christ would serve them. That meant I needed to stop thinking about me, my problems, my pain, my losses, my suffering, my sadness, my depression, my addictions! In order to change, I needed to open the curtains and let the Light into my life and into my soul by stepping into someone else’s shoes for a minute.

As I took the suggestion, I realized how blinded I had been by my own bondage of SELF! My life had always been about me, my wants, my needs, my dreams, my plans, my, my, my, and nobody else.

Awareness of my self bondage was an Easter gift.

With each act of service, I began to love others, and feel their love back. Words cannot describe how much I longed to feel lovable.

Some of you may have wondered what HR meant when he said, “See you in 12 years.” This references an agreement he and I made just days prior to Easter when he gave me his 12-year sobriety coin. That day, he expressed his belief in me that I could stay sober long term. He then handed me his coin and asked me to make a deal with him that in 12 years, he would give me his 24-year coin, and I would give my 12-year coin to a new comer. I won’t go into details about this encounter, but it was preparatory to the change HR’s note ignited inside my soul. HR invested in me. I was more than a client. I was a broken man who desperately needed to build a relationship with a loving Savior, and HR facilitated that.

Easter is a day of reverence for sacred memories. As I re-read the note HR gave me that warm and sunny spring morning in 2009, I am reminded of how truly lost I was, and how I have been found through the love of my best Friend and my Maker. In a very real and intimate sense, my mind and spirit have been resurrected.

He never left me.

I am alive only because of Him.

I give all glory and credit to Him. It is my responsibility to share the message of hope to the world, that He not only lives, but will help you too! He is ready, we just have to ask! We need to serve others, and He will find us, and then change us.

HR Brown was the messenger of a truth I was missing in my life. Maybe you can write a little note to someone today to share your belief in them and appreciation for their role in your life. You never know what level of impact it will have on someone’s life, and their family for generations to come, like HR did for the Coombs family.

Happy Easter!

If you need help, please call 208-650-7359

The post The Note That Changed Everything | Easter 2009 first appeared on Brick House Recovery.
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