Have you ever known in your heart, deep in your heart that God has a plan for your life, and you’re ignoring that plan? Then something happens in your life that forces you to start that plan?
That is exactly what happened to Jonathan Edwards on April 29, 2010 at 10:22 pm, when he was shot in the line of duty. The fateful day that Jonathan will never forget that God used to turn Jonathan 180 degrees the other direction with his life.
Every 81 hours one of our nation’s police commits suicide. Every 65 minutes, or 22 times per day, one of our nation’s veterans commits suicide. Then while there are those who take this ultimate step, there are thousands of our police, military, fire, and first responders that continue to work while suffering the tremendous burden of PTSD, depression, and anxiety. This is a shocking truth that most Americans don’t really know about.
The true reality is that if these men and women, who serve us so selflessly, could understand how important they are to our country and their families, they wouldn’t be lead to this tragic ending.
Enter: The Empowered Project.
It was 8 years ago that Jonathan Edwards sat on the side of his bed with a gun in his hand, while his wife, Heather slept behind him. He was tired of the darkness that had controlled his mind for so long. Tired of turning to alcohol every day to try to kill the pain. Tired of exploding in angry violent outburst at his wife and kids in the privacy of their home. He found himself at the end where he believed the darkness that told him he would be doing everyone a favor if he would just kill himself.
He raised the gun and put it in his mouth. While holding it there with his finger on the trigger, he envisioned what the room would look like after he pulled the trigger… the blood splattered everywhere… his wife’s reaction.
He had seen the effects of suicide before on the job. Yet that wasn’t enough to deter him from killing himself.
About to pull the trigger, he heard the voice in his mind, the voice that stopped him. The voice, the truth anchor, the one and only thing that stopped Jonathan from committing suicide that day was his 3-year-old daughter’s voice. It was a recording he had saved on his phone of his daughter saying something precious that he would play over and over, that was Jonathan’s truth anchor.
How did Jonathan, a dedicated LEO, happily married with 2 beautiful young daughters come to the end of his rope ready to end his life? According to Jonathan Edwards, the founder of The Empowered Project, the stories are all different but the experience is the same.
You see, when Jonathan remembered his sweet little daughter’s voice, and decided not to pull the trigger, he changed his life. He decided from that day on to put the bottle down giving up alcohol and to overcome the darkness.
This also led him to pursue that plan he knew God wanted him to undertake. He resigned from the police force after recovering from his gun shot wound. He then went on to open a large functional training facility to help people get in the best shape of their lives. Yet, this wasn’t the full plan, God had more.
In April of 2018, 8 years after being shot, remembering that fateful day, Jonathan recorded a video and published it to social media. In the powerful video, Jonathan tells his story, and explains that the darkness is all a lie and that those suffering can’t see their unique gifts and true value because they have been in the darkness suffering for too long. Jonathan explained the key to winning in his video.
Jonathan’s battle with PTSD and suicidal thoughts led him to develop a program to overcome this inner battle that rages within. The key to winning is changing the neuroplasticity in the brain.
The brain produces a chemical cocktail based on feelings from an outside stimulus. In the absence of outside stimulus, like when you are alone or have nothing to do, the brain uses memories. When we have a traumatic experience, our brain will process that memory by spending a lot of time thinking it over. If we dwell in those negative memories too much, our brain will get overdosed with a chemical cocktail which leads to depression.
This pattern of habitual thinking leads to a downward spiral of thoughts, such as believing the world would be better off without them. Sadly, this toxic neuroplasticity of the brain can cause suicidal thoughts and actually leads to suicide.
This is what many of our nation’s finest police, military, veterans, fire, and first responders are suffering with. They are too important to lose, and this is why they must be reached.
For a reason Jonathan cannot explain, as soon as he finished that video, he sent it to 2 people.
The first one was Trent Williams, US Army veteran, a friend of his brother in law, that Jonathan had not seen in years.
The second was Houston Gass, Texas LEO that had been shot in the face. The response was unexpected. Immediately Trent reached out to Jonathan and overwhelmingly was affected and said he too shared the same experience nearly committing suicide as a result of suffering with PTSD.
Then the call came from Houston Gass, who was extremely moved by Jonathan’s video and invited him to Not All Heroes Wear Capes, an event at Emergency Operation Proving Grounds in Texas to honor men and women injured in the line of duty.
Jonathan knew he had to go to Texas, but literally had no extra spending money to pay for the trip. Jonathan prayed about it, then booked the trip charging it to his credit card not knowing how he would pay it off. Then a small miracle happened when he told a friend about the trip and how he felt he needed to go, his friend kindly paid for the whole trip. Jonathan was amazed and overwhelmed with his friend’s generous act.
By the end of the weekend, Jonathan realized why he had to be there. He had instantly found a tribe where they all had bonded over the same experience of overcoming the darkness that tried to steal each of them away, but they had all won the battle.
United in this bond and all sharing the same intense desire to save as many as they can from losing the horrible battle of PTSD, depression, and anxiety, The Empowered Project was launched.
The Empowered Projects team consist of Jonathan Edwards former Georgia LEO, Trent Williams US Army veteran, and Jon Valla, 22 year decorated Colorado LEO, Houston Gass Texas LEO and LET Citizen of the Year, and Jeff Wolfgang former California LEO. The Empowered Project is a movement that has already saved lives, and it is just getting started.
The Empowered Project is made up of Whiskey Patriots who care about people, who care about the men and women who serve our great country, defend our freedoms, and hold that thin blue line.
The Empowered Project is a community where experts want to help you, not diagnose you. It is a place for our nation’s finest to find a tribe and a group to belong to that understands. The Empowered Project is designed to bring people out of the darkness to be fit to live, fit to love, and fit to lead again.
If you or some one you care about needs The Empowered Project, please reach out to immediately. The Empowered Project is solely run on donations and the amazing team dedicated to saving the lives of our lost military, police, fire, and first responders.
**Note From Kyle Reyes, founder of The Whiskey Patriots:
My team and I had the honor and pleasure of capturing the entire Not All Heroes Wear Capes event and spending time with Jonathan. He’s a remarkable and inspiring patriot… as were all of the men and women at the event. Make sure to follow on Facebook to see those videos. They’ll be launched here.
Marjorie Taylor Greene is an entrepreneur, business owner, writer, commentator, speaker, proud patriot, defender of the Second Amendment, shooting enthusiast, CrossFit athlete, wife, and mother redeemed through grace. She states: “Our life is a sum total of our decisions. Every day I have the gift to choose to make it an amazing life.”