• Warning: this story includes graphic images some may find disturbing.

I grew up in a Christian home, yet that didn’t mean I was living for Jesus.

I knew who He was, what He did, heard this talk about trinity and blah, blah, blah. It didn’t mean much and yet there were people who tried to invest in me, like my Youth Pastor Pete who was always there for me. Throughout my entire life, I fought God. I resisted God, I wanted nothing to do with God. I was angry, confused, and bitter. I had questions like, “If God’s so good then why did he let bad stuff happen?  If He is so loving, I don’t see it or feel it.

“From suicide attempts, to depression, to potential overdoses, He kept me here. When I think back at my past I ask, why?”

In high school my drinking went from weekends, to everyday quickly. I began experimenting with pills, pain killers, and eventually I fell in love with cocaine. In 2011, I was involved in a single vehicle DUI car accident. I was driving at erratic speeds, and witnesses state that I rolled my car 4-6 times. I was on life support for 4 days resulting in a broken neck, some brain injury and a face and head littered with stitches and staples. I could have killed myself, or anyone else for that matter. I still didn’t get it. Not once did I give God any thanks or credit for sparing my life. Not a thanks for being able to walk, talk, or see my family, nothing! All I could think of was that I needed a drink right about now.

I totalled another 2 vehicles and almost killed 3 teenagers going to a hockey tournament. Yet again, I had no issues, I was playing the blame game. September 2013, and I was living in my car for about two months and I had been up for days high on drugs, when I put my car into the ditch and watched my house on wheels catch fire and go up in flames. I sat there not in anger, nor sadness, or frustration. I had absolutely no feeling anymore. I was hopeless.

I could have easily died in any of those accidents, but He still saw value in me. From suicide attempts, to depression, to potential overdoses, He kept me here. When I think back at my past I ask, why?

I went to treatment, got clean, then relapsed and partied for another few months until finally September 1, 2014 came and I had enough. I didn’t want to do this anymore and I made that decision to:

  1. Get clean.
  2. Do it with God’s help and patience.

God was being very patient with me. He still saw value in me. I didn’t but He did. As I began to work a life of recovery with God by my side, He started to gently convict me of a few things. He corrects/disciplines those He loves (Proverbs 3:12 and Hebrews 12:6). Conviction doesn’t always feel good.

When we invite the Holy Spirit into our lives to guide us, it also means He is going to address the issues in our life that need attention.

First for me was the conviction of foul language. cursing, swearing, all that stuff. Then my addiction with porn and sexual issues, that’s where Promise Keepers really blessed me. I heard one of the speakers going on about the story of Samson. To be honest I was struggling to stay focused, but as I listened, I began hearing similarities to his words and the 12 Step Recovery circles I would attend. I heard this man touch on his addiction list, sex, porn the whole nine yards. Relating himself to the struggle Samson had been presented with when dealing with Delilah. Now I am totally paying attention. I thought, “is that guy really saying this stuff?! Like there are other people that struggle with these things here?”

I always thought that my “hidden” struggles could not be addressed when surrounded by “godly Christian men” I thought no one out there in the church would understand me. I assumed judgment, ridicule, disgust, everything negative, but then I heard this guy speak issues in his life that I was dealing with. I identified with him! It was fascinating, I no longer felt like I was the only one with the problem. Now when I hit a conference, I always make it my goal to fill my car with addicts and men struggling, to come for a sense of hope. That encouragement is what they need, to see the God who is still changing lives! I’ve been there, I’ve done that, but now I am free. Thanks Promise Keepers!

“Now when I hit a conference, I always make it my goal to fill my car with addicts and men who are struggling.”

Today I have been clean over 2 years, and I couldn’t ask for anything more. God helped me to stop getting drunk and high, I learned to control my tongue, stopped watching porn, stopped smoking cigarettes. Now I attend church regularly, bible study and prayer meetings. I went on a mission trip to Zambia, rebuilt and mended relationships, held a job, grew closer to God, not just in the good times, but the times of trial. I was baptized by Pete, my youth pastor that invested in me while in active addiction. Now I love my time in prayer and reading Gods Word. Now I have a heart to reach the lost.

I achieved more in 13 months with God by my side then in the 12 years trying to do things on my own. I know I don’t deserve His Love, His Mercy, His Grace, His Forgiveness, but I know he has a plan for me. If God never blessed me with another thing as long as I live, He gave me the biggest blessing an addict could ever ask for, and that is Freedom. Freedom from active addiction, from slavery that held me. I truly can’t thank Him enough. John 8:36: “So if the Son has set you free, then you shall be free indeed.”

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