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Grab For Control Only Leads to Chaos

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‘“The more chaotic things got and the more I came out the other end and could say ‘Look what I went through!’ that was my self-worth.’”
The chaos in Mike Lindell’s life started early. He was seven years old when his parents divorced.

“I got put into a new school and I was the only kid from a divorced family. It affected me where I felt like I didn't fit in, I felt like I didn't belong. I felt like I was kind like an outcast. I would show off to try and fit in.”

But as much as Mike tried to control his circumstances, he was drawn to things that would control him. By the time he got to high school, he was an alcoholic with a serious gambling addiction.

“That instant high of winning, that appealed to me at a very young age.  I wanted to keep in control; I always felt like it was me. I could – I could control the outcomes.”

Then, at 21, he got in over his head, owing $25,000 in gambling debt to the mob.  In a desperate move to escape the mob’s reach, Mike broke into a convenience store and let himself get caught. It got him into jail, but the shame and embarrassment were overwhelming. 
So, when Mike was released, his friend, Dick, offered him some cocaine.

“It gave me some, you know, false courage. I felt like I could be myself. I could be more outgoing. I could be the type of the person I always wanted to be where I could be the talk of the crowd. With the cocaine I could get there instantly and feel like I fitted in.”

Again, the life-of-the-party, Mike started bartending. Then he met Karen, who was also a functioning addict.
“When I finally got married, and had the kids, I was the biggest businessman, I had all these – one time I had three bars, but it still wasn't enough for me. Inside it wasn't enough, it wasn't what I was longing for. I didn't have this peace inside of me. It was a chaos magnified beyond belief. But that's where I lived. I lived in that space and that – and that's where I thought in my mind I'm going, ‘Nobody's this good at handling all this chaos.’”
Trying to make a living, Mike juggled one business venture after another. Then, one night he had a dream that would make him famous
“I got the dream for the pillow in 2004, I invented it then, it took about a year. We were turned down everywhere once it was invented and ended up doing home shows and fairs.”
But as Mike struggled with getting his new business off the ground – and his growing addiction to crack--his marriage collapsed.
“My wife couldn't take it anymore. She left in the middle of the night and we were divorced actually within a month.”

It was the first blow of many. Later that fall, his son moved out and Mike realized he had driven his family away. Then, his old drug buddy dropped in for a visit.

‘“I heard he had found the Lord four years earlier – and he came in from out of nowhere. I said, ‘Dick, I want to know something; Is it boring?’ and he goes, “No man, it isn't boring." And I had all these questions for him that only he could answer.’”

“‘Then on January 16, 2009, I said, ‘God, I want to wake up in the morning and never have the desire again.’ When I quit everything that night and woke up and I was freed of all the uh, you know, the desire, I'm going ‘Wow, something's different.’ It was like Groundhog Day. It was like, “Wow, this is different!” And I associated that with being saved.’”
Mike quit drugs cold turkey and sales for MyPillow finally began to climb. Mike’s walk of faith was a different story.
“I used to get anger and not know why I'd get angry. And frustrated and if somebody hit my self-worth button, oh man. It would be bad.”

Then, he met Kendra, a woman whose life centered around her faith in Christ, something Mike struggled to understand.  

“She had that personal relationship and I could see something was different. It wasn't just believing in God.”

By 2015, MyPillow had become a national phenomenon and over the next two years attracted the attention of celebrities, including Don Imus, Stephen Baldwin, and Ben Carson. Mike finally started to understand that God was seeking a relationship with him.

“I would use these mathematical odds that Jesus does exist, and it wasn’t until things started to happen to me in 2015, 16, 17 that it’s impossible that a former crack addict is all of a sudden sitting at the White House. It’s like God's setting these things up and putting me in these positions that it's impossible. I think God was chasing me all that time and going ‘Well, he's almost there.’”

Then in 2017 Kendra and a friend convinced Mike to attend a conference led by operation restored warrior founder, Paul Lavelle.  It was there he finally gave control of his life over to God.

“‘I went in there with hope, and I said, ‘God please, show me you’re real, show me, you know? I want that personal relationship.’ And on the second day, on February 18, 2017, I did a full surrender on my knees. And I’m telling you, it was the biggest peace I ever had. It was a forgiving of myself, something way back that had been stuck in me, all these wounds, and filled ‘em with Jesus, filled ‘em with the Holy Spirit.’”
These days, Mike is passionate about helping others find more than just a good night’s sleep—he wants them to find the peace that he has in Jesus.

“Even if you don't think you're an addict and you've been through everything and you just have – you just feel hopeless.  Well, I'm telling you there's nothing better than Jesus! That is the hope. That's the hope of the world!”

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About The Author

Amy Reid

Amy Reid has been a Features Producer with the Christian Broadcasting Network since 2003 and has a Master’s in Journalism from Regent University. When she’s not working on a story she’s passionate about, she loves to cook, garden, read and travel.