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Anthony John Thornton

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Hello, all. Name's A.J. Thornton. I am new to the forum. I see we are like-minded. I am a Purple Heart recipient from OIF III. I am a father to a boy and a girl, husband to my wife of 15 years, and currently in my third year of Bible school. I am preparing to hit the mission field, Lord willing, around the middle of 2020. 

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Hello brother Thornton and welcome to our fellowship.

Thank you for your service to our country. We appreciate our veterans. I am a Vietnam veteran (Air Force).

Sounds like the Lord blessed you with a fine family that is willing to follow you through Bible school and to the mission field.

Looking forward to knowing you better and some fine discussions in the days ahead.

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Thank you guys for the welcoming. I am a former drug addict/alcoholic. I was strung out for about eight years. I wrestled with my sin for those years, thinking I could handle them. After all, I was a man. I had survived Iraq. I was "strong" I told myself. I tried to quit about 200 times. I would throw my pills out in the yard, declare I was done, only to go scoop them up a few hours later. I'd hit my knees asking God to take the burden from me. Strangely enough, I also didn't think I had a problem. In the same time-frame, my marriage was suffering. I had physical wounds from the IEDs, mental wounds from what had happened, and my wife felt like she had to babysit me. She resisted emotional connections to me. Our intimacy was there, but the emotional "want-to" wasn't. It was during those years that I began to flirt. I would text other women. I would hide it. Although I never physically or even emotionally fell for anyone, what I did was cheating, plain and simple. I would often times ask God to "fix" her. God, please fix her. I am at my wit's end here. I also had a foul mouth. I had a proclivity towards watching things, albeit very rarely, that God would not approve of. Ever. 

I was in a mess and looking back on it, I didn't even realize it. What it was, well, obviously it was sin. One day, December 22, 2013 to be exact, my heart was finally broken by the Holy Spirit. I understood my condition, knew what it took to fix it (that I couldn't fix it), and that was the last day I took a pill. In the coming months, viewing pornography wasn't an issue, my mouth was cleaned (Colossians 3:8), and pills were not in my life. You see, in my past I tried to control my mouth. I made excuses as to why this word and that word were not "bad" words. I also tried to control my habits. I failed each and every time. It wasn't until I realized there was only One who could control that for me that they were no longer a problem. Jesus Christ made me whole. I no longer am ashamed of what I was. The devil likes to try and remind me. It's my testimony and no good sailor was ever made on calm seas. I blame no one but myself. I could blame Iraq. I could blame my wife. I could blame my circumstances, childhood, anyone really. The truth is, it was ALL me. 

It also dawned on me one day that my wife wasn't the one who needed fixing. The Holy Spirit hit me with a 2x4 about three years ago. It was me who needed fixing and once that happened, my marriage could be made whole too. Sure, my wife had her issues. But that wasn't the problem in and of itself. It was that I was up to my eyes in sin. She and I have been married for 15 years and we've been through a lot together. She had her own spiritual struggle earlier in the year, and that weakened my spirit some. I questioned rather I could go into the mission field. She literally told me she couldn't be a missionary. That was a gut punch; however, I continued to learn French. I continued my Bible schooling. I continued praying, reading my Bible, and learning. I have a burning desire to share the Gospel. It saved me. It can save anyone. I know Christ died for my sins, and it grieves me when I see someone suffering needlessly. My wife lost her mother in May and has slowly begun to mend from that. She understands that we are called. She has accepted it. It's not enough for her to accept it though. I desire to grow with her together in the Lord. It's been a marathon and not a sprint in that regard, however. 

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