“The Plans He Has For Me”- Interview With Christian Recovery Coach Rose Ann Forte




Host James Egidio: 0:38

Hi, I’m James Egidio, your host of the 99 Relapses podcast. The podcast that moves you from recovery to discovery through the grace and mercy of our Lord in Savior Jesus Christ. My guest was an successful executive, mother of four children, and she was a social drinker Over the years with life stresses in a difficult marriage, her use of alcohol increased significantly. Today, three years later, she’s on a mission to bring people to God through her recovery program, which can be found at www.ThePlansHeHasForMe.com It is my pleasure and a blessing to have on the 99Relapses podcast. My guest, Ms. Rose Ann Forte. Hi Rose.

Rose Forte: 1:22

Hi James. Thanks so much for having me. It’s such an honor.

Host James Egidio: 1:25

Thank you. Thank you so much. Please share with the viewers and listeners of the 99Relapses podcast a little bit about your story of recovery

Rose Forte: 1:35

yeah, I my story may sound similar to many stories about, I guess the reasons we drink. We find every reason in the world eventually. I started at a very young age, 13 actually, which is quite sad. You learn how to drink to fit in, to have fun, to socialize. in business, it’s the martini lunch or the dinner out with the fine wine and life stresses come along, relax, socialize and then more stress comes and we start using it to check out. I don’t know, does this story sound familiar? to.

Host James Egidio: 2:23

Oh yeah. Yeah.

Rose Forte: 2:24

And then, you come to a place where you go this isn’t working for me. This is God, I need to stop. And you can’t and you don’t know what’s wrong with you. Why can’t I stop, start negotiating. making all these deals with yourself, and meanwhile, your health is declining. Your mental well being is declining your productivity is declining. And I knew that AA was out there, but it was something at, I think a lot of people they really try and avoid it for a long time. So I think. similar in that particular category. my mental health was really bad. I had depress major depressive disorder, which is very serious. So for me going into a program as a Christian, by the way, I was a Christian leader in the church too, so this was really, shameful for me to not figure out how to deal with this with God as a Christian, knowing drunkenness is a sin. This was horrendous for me. So when I looked at, I could have told my pastor, I could have told my counselor who had been working with me with PTSD and I wouldn’t share it with ’em because I felt like once I did, I would carry this label. And I already felt horrendous about myself. It ended up that I went into a secular program and it was more a challenge for 90 days. and I was like, huh, I don’t think I’ve ever gone 90 days without drinking ever in my whole life. Yeah. And I wanted to see what that was like. And I was first of all, I recognized money. Much of the teaching in there was very price focused, biblically focused. Right. Of course they weren’t it. It was teaching the kingdom without the king, But after 90 days, I was like, I am so transformed. My, I had lost weight, my blood pressure. I had more peace, joy, self-confidence, and I was like, I never want to go back to where I was, and I feel like. that three months was enough of a challenge, to really understand the transformational benefits of not drinking. And so I decided to put this daily devotional together, the plans he has for me. It’s called because at my deepest and darkest moments, I was laughing and going, sure God, what are the plans you have for me as I’m processing a divorce of 30 year marriage that I prayed for 25 years, to restore and to to have him believe in Christ. And it didn’t happen. So I was just devastated and I didn’t think God had a plan. And then I found out he did I had, I walked in faith and. I developed this daily devotional and James, the name of your podcast is Perfect. 99 Relapses, right? I, when I tell people like, what do you think the relapse rate is about 95. They go, oh, you’re way too low.

Host James Egidio: 6:07


Rose Forte: 6:08

Yeah. And and that is a differentiator of what I’m doing. Cuz I think most programs will say, you get a problem, you got this needs to stop. And I think it’s forever. And if I look at me, I couldn’t imagine forever. So I want to invite people to challenge themself for 12 weeks because even 12 weeks, It seems daunting at the beginning.

Host James Egidio: 6:37

before you go any further on that, cuz I want to go over, definitely talk about your program. But before we do that, I don’t, I want to ask you a couple questions because I was reading some of your stuff there online and you mentioned that after the collapse of your marriage, That your drinking further escalated and you felt like a fraud with God in the church? Yeah. What did you mean by that?

Rose Forte: 7:00

I was running bible studies. I was the treasurer of the church and I was sitting inside the house. Sometimes I didn’t generally drink during the day, but during this really dark period I would shut the blinds, be by myself and be drinking and, oh my gosh you’re not supposed to be doing that. And it’s really hard to, I eventually gave up leadership especially in Bible study for a while after my separation because I just felt like I couldn’t legitimately believe in prayer. I couldn’t show light. There was just too much di like I was so angry. I didn’t know if I was angry or at myself for staying in the marriage. ex for treating me the way he did, or God for not answering prayer. The darkness was very real. And, and I love Jesus. I served Jesus, in ministry, but here I am hiding this big old secret and feeling like a fraud.

Host James Egidio: 7:58

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You were living in the dark when you were trying. Bring the light out for other people

Rose Forte: 8:04

and I didn’t know how I knew God’s word. I had studied it for decades. This is how I recognized the steps and the secular program. Oh yeah, I’m supposed to pay attention to that. That you’re a slave to sin right? Oh yeah. I, yeah I was a slave to sin, and.

Host James Egidio: 8:24

Yeah. And it’s interesting too because I think a lot of times when, I have had brought this up in some episodes. In fact, I made a two-part episode. Addiction is sin And a lot of people don’t see it like that. They take more of this approach of poor me it’s not about repentance. It’s not about atonement. It’s not about recognizing the fact that it’s sin, that addiction is sin, and we’re all addicted to something, every single one of us, we fall short of the mark, and that’s what Jesus Christ went to the cross for. And recognizing that sin means asking for forgiveness. Now, does that mean that God, Not there for you and he’s pointing his finger at you and condemning you. No, that’s not the case. we have to recognize that addiction is sin. We repent for it. Plus, I even mentioned too that there’s multiple sins that addiction leads into, especially when it comes to the addictions heroin addiction and things like that, where people start stealing for the money to get the drugs or whatever it may be. It’s just, it’s a cascading effect of a lot of sin. Yeah. I mean it’s interesting you mentioned that and bring that up about Yeah. Sin

Rose Forte: 9:46

Alcohol, Drunkenness is called out in the Bible, right? So much and only anybody who’s been involved in a substance knows, that when you are using that substance, you’re more likely to sin more say things you shouldn’t say, do things you shouldn’t do. Hurt your body like endanger other people if you’re dry. It is just, the list is long, but Sure. I love your point about sin because I was just thinking about this the other day. I think I used to, in a coaching program, I classify sin as anything that takes away from you using your time, talent, or treasures.

Host James Egidio: 10:32


Rose Forte: 10:33

For the kingdom, right? Yeah. If you’re addicted to something, it’s taking up your time. You’re addicted to something you’re not like that. Alcohol stole who I was. They stole my ability to use my gifts. and while I was successful financially, the financial cost of my drinking. So it just stole all three of those. And diverted it from the kingdom and Satan wins with that,

Host James Egidio: 11:03

absolutely. Yeah. And you, me, you mentioned substances, but even behavioral addictions even. even behavioral addictions. and like I say, when I say that we’re all addicted to something. Even work is an addiction. Food is an addiction. In fact, I have a gal that I’m gonna, I’ll be interviewing here soon again who’s got a coaching and counseling program based on faith-based recovery from eating disorder. She battled an eating disorder. but these are all addictions. All these be and like you say, work, even exercise. Everything is an addiction. It’s an obsession. A really good book that I’ve introduced at the very beginning of this when I launched this podcast that I’ve read in the past is by a Gerald May. He’s a medical doctor. He’s now deceased. It’s called Addiction and Grace. It’s a really good book. And he talks about aversion addictions and attraction addictions. And I even brought that up and I in a earlier podcast episode about aversion addictions and attraction addictions. And some of the things that he mentions are sometimes you chuckle when you read ’em, but their addictions. And his point is that we. will never free ourselves completely from addictions. And obsessions. because that’s part of our sin nature. But that’s why Jesus Christ went to the cross for that sin. And that’s why we have to keep going to the cross and we have to continue to stay in our faith. And I, I use the word tethered to the word. And the other thing I highly encourage too is, most bibles have what’s called a concordance in the back. So you can take like a key word and let’s say depression or hope or love or whatever, and it’ll point you to different verses in the Bible about what you’re going through at that time in a concordance. And that’s what’s nice about it, So it’s very useful. It’s a good way to use the Bible and stay tethered to the Bible if you’re not gonna read devotionals. But to just grab a Bible, look in the back, look in the concordance, look up the word and the, and what you’re going through. If it’s depression, if it’s anger if it’s unforgiveness or whatever it is, look up that word and they’ll give you a multitude of verses, Bible verses that relate to that particular word or what you were going through at the time

Rose Forte: 13:22

yeah, I agree. I did a lot of that during my dark period. And it is about staying in the word and grow and being grounded. I don’t know how people live without Jesus. I don’t think I would be here today if I didn’t have him. I really used to pray I’m ready, God, take me home. Yeah. And and I know that. a typical thought process for somebody who’s just trapped in this thing. Yeah. And and I agree with you about the addiction and all of us. I was just saying that when it’s substance, we just spiral. What is it? Multiply the effect of sin It’s not only the addiction itself, it’s what we’re doing. It’s not in our right mind, yeah. But yeah, binge watching Netflix could be Sure. It’s taking us, it’s taking our time, it’s taking our treasure and it’s taking our talent away,

Host James Egidio: 14:18

absolutely. Absolutely. You also mentioned that AA was not an option, and why was AA not an option at the time?

Rose Forte: 14:27

I think my mindset and aa. Let me just say for the record, I understand that AA and that 12 step program is the most successful, the most successful program known, right? In the medical community, right? So I’m not trying to take away from that. I’m trying to come up with an alternative for people like me who feel like they’re kicking and screaming for years before having to go in there, right? And It was mostly the labeling that I was having a difficult time with accepting this label. Like right now I try and say I’m choosing to be alcohol free because God gives us a choice, gives us a choice to follow him or not follow him and to sin or not sin. And I also, did you ever smoke James?

Host James Egidio: 15:20

Never smoked

Rose Forte: 15:21

yeah, I smoked cigarettes super heavily. Started at 13, was a latchkey kid, got in a lot of trouble. And I was two to three packs a day and that’s a pretty bad substance abuse habit. And I was killing myself. Sure. Definitely telling myself, and I had to quit. it wasn’t, it didn’t, I didn’t have to identify as a smoke aholic or a cigarette aholic. And I don’t, I know it’s different languaging, but this is just my world. I didn’t recover from cigarettes yet. I know if I have one, I’m in big trouble. I don’t wanna go there again. So I have the same thought process about that and I’m gonna tell you that quitting cigarettes was harder for. then alcohol and cigarettes. When I quit was I lived in California and they were frowned upon. So imagine, right now it’s hard to quit alcohol because it’s so accepted, That I was in a substance that was so unaccepted and see yet still, it was difficult, but I knew I was killing myself, and that’s the same. The trajectory of my life I could see was a real big problem. and because I was divorced, because I wanted a relationship in the future, I had to think about who I wanted to present myself as to another man and I wouldn’t want it to be with me, the way I drank. I didn’t want somebody similar to me. so I had to fix that. If I wanted to be future focused and I definitely wanted want a man of God, and so I had to take a really hard look at who I was and who I wanted to be. Yeah. And choose that path of who I wanna be.

Host James Egidio: 17:16

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s interesting you say, you mentioned AA too, and we were talking, we’re discussing AA because I have mixed feelings about AA and I’ve of course mentioned this as well in previous podcast episodes. started off as a phenomenal pro Christian, a program phenomenal. It was started off biblically based Christian, and then it was not until 2008, nine. Had the medical clinic and I was triaging patients that were coming in, that were going through AA and they were an NA and they were trying to get off of opiates. And we were basically helping patients get off heroin and opiate pain medication. And they’d come in and it was all. Higher power. So there wasn’t anything clearly defined as God or Jesus Christ, or it was basically whatever you wanted to accept as your higher power. So it was very loose. And what I had found over the years of the patients, that went through AA and NA, they relapsed within a few months because there wasn’t anything solid there. There wasn’t a clear understanding as to the addiction, because I think when you go through a faith-based, Bible-based recovery program, you start to dig deep into the elements of forgiveness and you start to get involved with anger, all the things that are in scripture that you could confront and ask for forgiveness for, go and repent for, and AA just wouldn’t cut it. It was just, like I say, it was a very loose program and it wasn’t based on any anything. That had to do with Jesus Christ. And that’s the only way you’re gonna get through your addiction and recovery is through the grace and mercy, as I say.

Rose Forte: 19:23

That’s why, yeah, and that’s that. I, that was the second part. I didn’t wanna call myself a name and I had my higher power I certainly didn’t understand what the 12 steps were or anything like that, but those are the two reasons wait, I already have God in my life, so this isn’t gonna be a. concept. And then I didn’t wanna deal with the name. But that’s why I did the devotional because I feel like this brings you every day. It keeps you grounded in God’s word. It gives you hope for something better, knowing that he has something better. It does deal with forgiveness of self and others, and using your gifts in place of, the time that you spent with your substance and then documenting, we and you, I, I’m sure you know this, but we are good at really forgetting about where we were. And then we get all confident and wow, I really feel good. I can manage this now,

Host James Egidio: 20:25

Yeah. And that’s in scripture too,

Rose Forte: 20:28

Yeah. And so that’s why it’s not a long journal form, but there’s just a small. of space to write in. Keep documenting. Are you sleeping better? Are you more at peace? Have you found forgiveness? Are are you more connected? Are you more productive? Write it down. Write it down and write it down.

Host James Egidio: 20:50

Yeah. And I want to talk to you about that. I want to definitely wrap up this. With talking about your program in detail cuz I have another question for you and that is, okay. After enroll after enrolling in a coaching program in 2020, you mentioned that the experience was transformational. How was it transformational?

Rose Forte: 21:11

Yeah. Like I mentioned, it was, it felt like a new person. I especially that self-confidence. I just felt connected. I felt more in peace. I knew I was healthier. I knew I could feel that Holy Spirit speak to me. I read the Bible with different eyes, like everything was different and you just need that amount of time. It’s, I know you understand this too, the dry January and the sober October, it’s just not enough time. It’s just that’s clenching your fist. and waiting for day 32, right? Or day 31. And as a matter of fact, in coaching, I find that the hardest time is the second four weeks. Cuz the first one you’re like, yeah, Yippy, I can do it. But then it’s like reality sets in and you’re like, this is boring, what do I do? And that’s when I start, doing the processing. But, Yeah. Yeah. It just, it was, everything was different about me. I don’t feel like the same human being. I feel like, I’m not sure if you’ve studied the, probably have in the medical industry, the MRI of the brain and depression and stuff, and Boy, I would’ve loved it before and after picture of my brain. Because it would’ve been lit. Lit up. very different places. The confidence I have and the fearlessness I have. Whereas, if you, if somebody had rolled their eyes at me, it would’ve ruined my week, month and I’m like, eh, yeah. Just not even the same human being and that’s what I, oh, you’re gonna love this. I know you love this. So the renewing your mind, verse was written in Romans, right? Yes. So Romans was written in, just had this down maybe 80, 60. And and neuroplasticity, right? Came around. Yeah. Came around. 1960. God knew that you could renew your mind 1900 years earlier, right?

Host James Egidio: 23:17

All those, I always said that all those programs, all these secular self-help programs, they’re all basically biblically based. They’re all, they, all they, that’s where they plagiarized from, is the bible. that’s what they do,

Rose Forte: 23:31

right? Yeah.

Host James Egidio: 23:33

Nothing is new under the sun. Just like Solomon said, an Ecclesiastes.

Rose Forte: 23:36

It’s not this, it drives me crazy when somebody says, I shouldn’t say drives me crazy, but I’m like in awe of everybody going it’s really good wisdom. Yeah. Do you think that’s a coincidence? It’s not, it’s good wisdom. I just can’t believe I’m the creator of that wisdom. Like I can’t believe, yeah, and that’s what I love showing that God knew first. Cause, before then use your thought. You were stuck once you had that mind, that brain. It can never change. Never ever. But God tells us you can renew your mind and it just so happens to be that science has caught up with God.

Host James Egidio: 24:19

Yeah. Yeah, and it’s interesting. I did a four-part series on the brain, on the structure and function of the addicted brain, and God gave us this super computer right. and we function on two levels with our brain. We have what’s called the limbic system, and we have the neocortex. The neocortex is what stores that memory, those past memory of those hurts, habits and hangups. Like the things that, if we’ve gone through a bad childhood, like I was subjected to verbal and physical abuse when I was younger and I rebelled. So there was a lot of stored memory and anger for many. and so you, those memories that are stored and if you’re not, if you don’t let go of them, that’s what faith-based recovery is so beautiful about, is it teaches you about forgiveness and live and let live and just give it to God and forgive, because I even tell people Jesus Christ was hanging on a cross after beating bloodied, to a pulp. And what does he say? He says, father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing. So if he could forgive like he did, we who are we not to forgive, right? Who are we not to forgive? We have to forgive, especially as Christians. We have to realize that once we get over that and we do forgive and that burden is lifted of forgiving, and I equate to forgiveness as like being locked in a prison cell. and you got the key in your pocket. You got the key in your pocket to get out, but you’re just refusing to take that key out of your pocket, unlock that door, and free yourself from that prison cell. And that’s what forgiveness is.

Rose Forte: 25:58

Yeah, I love that. That’s a good, That’s, that’s applicable to forgiveness of self and others. I like the picture of when somebody wrongs you, right? They owe you a debt and you’re just handing it over to God. So that as a bank, so he can collect the debt, you don’t have to worry about it. You don’t have to be the debt collector. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah.

Host James Egidio: 26:22

And so when you realize that, and I think that’s where the secular. Programs are, have the shortcomings of the faith-based Christian, god-loving, God-fearing program, such as what you have. And what I’ve done in the past is, again, you bring up that element of forgiveness, right? You overcome that wrong through forgiveness. The secular programs on the other hand is it’s all about willpower and. And I could do it on my own and what it does.

Rose Forte: 26:58

Yeah. I don’t if you know the statistic. I just thought recently it’s out of n a division of NIHA A. You know that national, it. Institute for Alcohol Abuse and maybe addiction to, three A. And they did a report. Okay. And this isn’t gonna surprise you, not one bit. Research shows that when it comes to addiction of substances, that there is 84% more likely for you to recover when God’s involved. Yeah. Yeah, because if it’s just you, it’s like why bother it doesn’t matter. That’s why my, the name of the book is the plans he has for me because knowing that God has a better plan, that’s super exciting.

Host James Egidio: 27:47

It is. And when it comes down to too, and I’ve stressed this a lot is surrendering and it’s hard for us to surrender and you know why? It’s hard for us to surrender because of two things that get in the way of our addiction and recovery is pride and ego. And listen, I can be guilty of that. You could ask my wife, Pride and ego gets in the way every time. So when you know you get angry, you don’t want to forgive that pride and that ego gets in the way. Sometimes it’s hard, but that’s where faith comes in, is it puts you in check. You go, you know what? I gotta repent for what I just did and what I just said. I need forgiveness, but the secular programs don’t teach that. It teaches, oh, I can do it on my own, I can do it on my own. I have the willpower. Or they do it with these programs that are these high energy, bury the hatchet type programs.

Rose Forte: 28:50

Teaching forgiveness, but I don’t know that what the basis of it is. So if you like, I’ve heard it like you need to forgive yourself, you need to forgive others and yeah, but that strength comes from you and that’s a lot of, weight then who’s gonna collect the debt?

Host James Egidio: 29:08

exactly. Exactly.

Rose Forte: 29:11

I like handing it over knowing there’s an all powerful God that’s gonna deal with it for

Host James Egidio: 29:16

the price has been paid in full at the cross.

Rose Forte: 29:19

Yeah. Yeah.

Host James Egidio: 29:21

So share with the listeners and viewers of the 99 Relapses podcast a little bit about your coaching program. I know you alluded to it a little bit, but I want you to go into a little bit more detail about it and then the website that people can go to and reference it out at. But go ahead and,

Rose Forte: 29:40

yeah. And the devotion, I do coaching that goes along with the devotional. And, but the. it’s 84 consecutive days with God, which in and of itself is transformational, right? there’s scripture and then there’s something called a mindful minute, which really takes a very applicable approach to where you are. The great thing about how this happened is I did it probably a month four of my own, success, and so I was deeply connected with what I went through the first four weeks, what I went through the second four weeks and what I went through. I, if I had tried to do that today, it wouldn’t have worked out as well. It was real time like, oh, this is what I’m struggling with. So that’s the feedback I get a lot is Wow. This is really relating to where I am. So the first part is just staying the course. Knowing there’s a better plan running the race, knowing you’re renewing your mind, practicing these things because all people will see it’s just that stay. The course. The second four weeks is really focused on this concept of forgiveness, of self forgiveness of others. And using your gifts and talents so that you’re not just taking something out, you’re putting something back in that provides this joy and this peace. All the while you are documenting all the things that are happening. Wait, I feel better. This, wait, I went out and I didn’t have to struggle. Wait, you. just reminding yourself because the science of writing things down is real too, because then your mind is really storing that information as something critically important and then the last four weeks is really feeling the power of the Holy Spirit and documenting more and understanding that there’s a better plan, and it’s just very progressive and I’m always full of hope. We do walk in valleys and that’s how we get through understanding that we’re just gonna walk through this valley and on the other side is something better that God will teach me. God will show me the, God uses everything for good And so for those people that buy the book, which is, can be found on Amazon, The Plans He Has For Me. Once you get the book, then you have access to a private Facebook group with other like-minded people that are doing the same thing. So I’m in. communicating and people need different levels of support. Some people might be able to just quit using the book. Some people need that extra encouragement. And then have a coaching program that is, I used to do the coaching and the secular world at the executive level, which is super expensive. And it really bothered me as a Christian that only people with money could afford it. And I felt like that’s the other reason I documented. now the coaching is not free like AA, but you’re getting professional coaches, not peer support, right? Yeah. And I also believe that we pay attention to what we pay for and people are more successful if they invest in themselves. But the thing is, I priced it as a, if you’re willing to give up this money for alcohol, you can afford this. As a matter of fact, many people. save money being in the program cuz they’re not drinking. So I’m just asking you to trust that if you take your alcohol money and you invest it here, that you are gonna succeed and see something different. Yeah. Yeah. And I guess the other thing I have at the website is the kick stuck method for Alcohol freedom. And you can download it for free. It’s confidential, I don’t spam people. I don’t, it’s just, I want people to have access to all of these tools that help us be successful for at least the 12 weeks so that you understand what’s possible.

Host James Egidio: 33:38

Yeah, that’s beautiful. And it’s www.ThePlansHeHasForMe.com. www.ThePlansHeHasForMe.com I do have a question. So I know we talked about this in the past. The program itself is designed to be basically challenge the person for that amount of time with this devotional, correct? That’s right. Yeah. I think that’s great. That’s wonderful.

Rose Forte: 34:07

it’s just because it’s live coaching. And another private Facebook group for just those people that are paid for the coaching and so they can post wins and struggles and I also post at the beginning of every session, I do a 10 to 15 minute, for our coaches, I have another coach, 10 to 15 minutes of coaching that. and I can throw it into the VIP Facebook group so that if you miss something, you’ll never miss it. It’s always there for you. So there’s just a lot of resources, and that can be found out in my website as well.

Host James Egidio: 34:44

Is that group coaching or is that individual? Coaching.

Rose Forte: 34:47

All, group coaching. Because in order to make it affordable, it’s hard to do the one-on-one. I have considered implementing the one-on-one. Yeah. But I actually would prefer that somebody get involved with not prefer I can do the one-on-one, but I think it’s important sometimes if people are dealing with trauma that they get the professional support at the same time,

Host James Egidio: 35:09

yeah. Yeah. Beautiful. My guest, Roseanne Forte, the website is, www.ThePlansHeHasForMe.com, ThePlansHeHasForMe.com. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the 99 Relapses podcast. For anyone that wants to view this on the website, which is the number 99Relapses.org you can watch this episode of this podcast and as well as get the show notes. But thank you so much for joining me and have a awesome and blessed day. Thanks.

Rose Forte: 35:41

Thank you for having me.

Host James Egidio: 35:42

All right.

Rose Forte: 35:43

Appreciate it.