This morning on radio Darryl and Tracy Strawberry called in to discuss their new book The Imperfect Marriage: Help for those who think it's over.
Some of you may remember Darryl and Tracey were guests of the Glenn Beck Program, covering their own personal addiction and struggles in life. This morning, Glenn asked Darryl and Tracy how do people take that first step towards going to church. Glenn said, "There's a lot of people I'm sure listening to you and they're like — and are struggling, that are like, I don't know if I believe in God and this whole Jesus things drives me out of my mind and how am I ever going to get to church because church people are going to look down on me anyway."
Darryl Strawberry provided some amazing advice concerning that subject, saying:
People have to understand. The church is like a hospital. You come there to get well. You come there to hear the word of God. Don't look at man, don't look at woman. You got to listen to the word. It's the word that changes people. And I think people need to get really that clarification in their mind, Glenn, that it's not the people who ought to change. It's the word of God that's going to change you. It's the word that changed Tracy. It wasn't the people. If I sat and worried about the people, I'm never going to get well. They talked about me when I was rich. They talked me when I was famous. Now they talk about me because I love Jesus. They're going to always talk about you.
Watch some of this amazing interview below:
GLENN: I want to introduce you to a man and wife, Darryl and Tracy. You know — you know Darryl Strawberry. Darryl Strawberry played for the Mets, the Yankees, the Dodgers, probably would have been one of the greatest ballplayers of all time had it not been for massive drug abuse. He turned his life around 12 years ago, married his now wife Tracy eight years ago. And together they have found a way through alcoholism and addiction and really bad, bad places. Before I bring them on, I want to tell you a story. They were on the TV with me. And we have an employee that — their family is struggling. Somebody in their family is struggling with a member who is addicted to heroin. Not only did I talk to Darryl and Tracy about this and said, look, I don't know what advice has come to me. I don't know what advice to give. I was never addicted to heroin and the family is at wit's end. Not only did they immediately ask to meet with us — with this employee, but they met with him for about 20 minutes, talked to him, comforted him. Darryl then reaches into his pocket and says, look, I run a treatment center and if we can get your family member in, don't worry about it. I'll take care of it. Which I thought was amazing. Then I find out later that they had called the mother of this employee who is really struggling and happened to call her on the worst day of her life. She had given up. And she didn't know what to do and the phone rings and it's Darryl and Tracy Strawberry. And they spent I don't know how much time with her on the phone just counseling. This is who these people have become. They are the real deal. And I'm really impressed with them and I wanted to bring them on the program. They have a new book called "The Imperfect Marriage, Help For Those Who Think It's Over."
Darryl and Tracy, welcome to the program. How are you guys?
TRACY: Good morning, thanks for having us.
DARRYL: We're doing great, Glenn. Thanks for having us.
GLENN: Let me start with you real quick. You don't have any memorabilia in your house at all. Where you were a great baseball player. You've gotten rid of all of that stuff. Do you ever think to yourself what could I have done had I been clean?
DARRYL: Oh, not at all. The journey of each person life is the journey they will go through and I think a lot of times too many people try to revisit the past and you can't. You can't look at the past because you can't — Glenn, you'll never walk into the anew. I think that's where most people struggle in their life and not just in addiction but in life period. They look in the past, what the past used to be like. That's old. That's not who you are anymore. It was — at that time who I was. That's who I was. I had a lot of issues inside. I mean, I was famous, I was rich, I was successful. I had everything you could want but I had nothing inside. Inside I was empty and I think a lot of times I prefer where I'm at today not to be empty. When I was back there having everything and to be whole where I'm at today and being imperfect. So I'm grateful for all the things that have happened because it brought new character and it made me a true man. I think sometimes we think success makes you a man and that's not the case. Success doesn't make you a man. Success makes you successful doing what you're doing. But becoming a man and moving in purpose and doing God's will is the most incredible gift I've ever received, in a trophy, in a championship, and millions of dollars. To be in the know — the principles that I live by, the biblical principles. Not worldly principles, but biblical principles, that I'm stronger than ever and I'm in purpose and leading them to salvation.
GLENN: Tracy, were you a wreck yourself? We all know Darryl. He was — he was — I mean, what I would dare to call times in his life a waste of skin where he was the worst of the worst. You were in bad shape yourself. You two get together at some point. First of all, I mean, what does that say about you in some ways that you were seeing him at his low point? You had to be just kind of in that same kind of cesspool. What were you like when you first met and why did you guys get together?
TRACY: Well, Darryl and I hit it immediately and right away because we were the same person dysfunctionally. We could understand each other right out of the gate. There wasn't any judgment there. We couldn't judge each other because we were in the same people. He was just the male, I was a female participating in the same defeated lifestyle. So this was this sick safety, of you will, created there. We felt safe with one another. We understood one another. The problem is, dysfunction, when it gets together, operates dysfunctionally and produced more dysfunction. And many people in this world today just so desperately want to be loved, desire to be loved and really want to be loved. And I truly believe want to be well. But we are not equipped to love. We have to become well and become a whole person in Christ before we can even think about becoming whole as one with another person. And Darryl and I, we came together relationally. But that quickly deteriorated and fell apart and it just became another struggle, another problem, another issue, because we could not get along. We couldn't —
GLENN: You were knocking down doors of like crackhouses to find him and try to pull him out at one point.
TRACY: I was. I was trying to be his savior. I was working harder at his life than he was. I was working harder at his faith than he was. You're going to believe and you're going get well whether you want to or not. It's called codependency in the world. Living a life without God, I was his savior. So he had no reason to look to a savior and no reason to look for help because I was his help and his hope.
GLENN: Darryl, you told me at one point when she said "no" to you, and sell this story, this is the first time ever in your life anyone had ever said no.
DARRYL: Yes, it was a defining moment in my life. We were together. We had came to St. Louis together and we were living in her parents' home. And Tracy started studying the Bible and we were — said we was going to go to church and get on with her life.
First, we're not married. So this is the people who are not married. We were just shacking up. There's nothing great that's going to come out of that and I think a lot of times people think this can work. And we thought it could, too. And she woke up one morning and she had be studying the Bible and said I can't do it anymore. And I said what do you mean, she said we're not having sex anymore. I said what. No, I'm not doing it anymore. I'm not compromising anymore. And I think that's it. And I said I think I need to get out of here. And she said I think that's what you need to do.
That was a defining moment in my life when she came to me, that's it. Right there, Tracy took a stand. Not only for her but it was a stand that changed me because it sent me off running to California to stay with my sister Regina. And her three kids. And in her two-bedroom apartment and I went there and I got my life together. I stopped sex, I stopped drugs. I stopped everything. I went back to church and got myself right with God.
GLENN: Hang on just a second. What happened, because there's a lot of times that people will say, what? That's fine. And then you go out and you trash her, you know. She becomes the bad person. And you just go deeper. What was the — why was that your bottom?
DARRYL: Well, because I had never been told "no."
And I think — you know, I think most people never tell the other person "no."
This is not going on anymore. They just continue to do it. You know. And for me that was — that was a defining moment. I had to look at me. There was something wrong with me. I needed to look at myself. You know, after Tracy had cut me off and said she's not doing this no more, I'm not living this way. And the thing about it, Glenn, we didn't even know if we were going to get back together. I know most people think, maybe we'll come back together and we'll make it work, but we didn't even know we were going to get back together. The thing was there was a breakoff and there was a pivotal point in my life that I realized, you know, I needed to do something different in my life. I need to go and rededicate my life to God like Tracy is doing and get myself together. And when we broke off, it was a six-month period that I — we broke off for. And I went and got myself together, got it back in church and she went and got herself together and then we decided, you know, well, maybe we're doing the right thing now. And maybe we can come back together and make this work. And that's how it turned out for us. You know, we went our separate ways and got our own self together. And I think a lot of times people don't want to look at themselves and they want to point the finger. When you point the finger, three are pointing right back at you.
GLENN: Tracy, you guys are — you guys write the book and I've heard people say, yeah, like I'm going to listen to these guys who are both addicts. Yeah. I am going to listen to two people who have taken and been at the absolute bottom of the barrel and then changed their life and really truly changed their life and are happy and successful now. And successful in a — in the happiness quotient more importantly. What is it that you think is unique that you guys have to offer here?
TRACY: Well, number one, I truly believe that this book is — we keep it very real in here. We keep it very real. We don't paint a picture of a fairy tale story that's not attainable, number one. We really get to the core issue. And I believe instead of blaming your partner or working on outside things, to expect an inward healing, we don't address those things. We talk about those things in the book. But the book really leads you to look within yourself and take responsibility for yourself and your own life. And how you do that with practical application. And understanding that you know, God has to be in the center, but how do you make that happen? I was one of these people going where I was like, look, I know God is important. I know all this stuff is important. Can you help me with that? I'm angry with God. I don't understand Him. I don't what you understand my problem is. I know I'm powerless over alcohol and drug addiction, but boom, now another powerless thing has popped up. I'm powerless over my marriage, my kids, my mind, my thinking, my entire life. And it leads people — my prayer is into the understanding, we're born with this thing called a sinful nature that we're powerless over. We're born with original sin. This character that cannot mold to God. It separates us from God. I'm completely separated from God. I'm not — I didn't do anything to earn this sinful nature. I was born with it. So I don't do anything to earn God's love. And that's the power of the cross right there. And having an understanding of what the true gospel is and understanding what of what is wrong with you and why we need Jesus Christ to make it right, how you put God in the center and then how you live that out in an everyday life, overcome adulteries, addictions, everything that is birthed out of the sinful nature. We want to get a real understanding of that.
GLENN: Can you ask you guys a question? There's a lot of people I'm sure listening to you and they're like — and are struggling, that are like, I don't know if I believe in God and this whole Jesus things drives me out of my mind and how am I ever going to get to church because church people are going to look down on me anyway.
DARRYL: You go to church because everybody is screwed up anyway. No one there is perfect. That's why we go there.
GLENN: Unfortunately a lot of people who are in the pews think they are.
DARRYL: They're not. That's the whole point.
GLENN: I know.
DARRYL: People have to understand. The church is like a hospital. You come there to get well. You come there to hear the word of God. Don't look at man, don't look at woman. You got to listen to the word. It's the word that changes people. And I think people need to get really that clarification in their mind, Glenn, that it's not the people who ought to change. It's the word of God that's going to change you. It's the word that changed Tracy. It wasn't the people. If I sat and worried about the people, I'm never going to get well. They talked about me when I was rich. They talked me when I was famous. Now they talk about me because I love Jesus. They're going to always talk about you. But what has happened in our life is we allowed the word to change us and bring us to a greater understanding, a greater place of why we were created. I think a lot of people don't even know why they exist. You know, I think a lot of times husbands are supposed to be the head but they're a knuckle head because they think I'm successful, I don't need this God and my family is falling apart. My wife and kids are falling apart. Because I don't know this God to lead my wife and family. Because the man is supposed to lead his family in the biblical principle ways. I lead my family. And that's what this is all about. And I think we're ought off order. We got it all backwards. Most of the women in church. They're loving God. The husbands are out running around chasing football games, basketball games and all kind of other stuff to be successful. And they're missing the point because they don't know the — they don't know the biblical principles of living.
TRACY: And Glenn, I believe, too, it's the goodness of God that leads people to repentance. And sometimes it's easy to get a wrong introduction to God. Some people were raised with harshness and why harmed by what we call a church and they put a label on the church and Jesus said, my God, my God, you're pushing my people away. I love them. I know what's wrong with you. I know what's in you. You are no surprise to me. I'm not trying to get you to fall in love with the church, a place. I'm not trying to get you fall in love with a preacher. I'm not banging you over the head with my word. I'm trying to get you to fall in love with me. I know everything that's wrong with you. You're no surprise to me. I am the solution and I'm leading you in love and I'm leading you with solution. I already know. I just want you to come to me. And we give this misrepresentation and it pushes people away from God.
GLENN: Darryl and Tracy Strawberry, I want to thank you for being on the program and thank you for your book, "The Imperfect Marriage." I have to tell you. I've lived this. I don't care how you get there. What they're saying is right. I've lived exactly the same thing and it is true. If you happen to be in need for you know somebody in need, please, consider the "Imperfect Marriage, Help For Those Who Think It's Over. Darryl and Tracy Strawberry. Thanks.