Over 9 years ago, on April 4, 2010 I used crystal meth for the last time. I had tried it for the first time when I was 15 years old and used it for 23 years not daily at first but in the end I had to have it daily to function.
My name is Dave Cox. I am 47 years old. I was born in Louisville, KY, moved a few times as a young child before finally landing in Owensboro, KY, in the 5th grade. I grew up in a home where mom and dad didn’t do drugs and dad very seldom drank. I can’t remember ever seeing mom drink. I tell u that to let u know I wasn’t exposed to drinking and drugging like some people were so I can’t use that as an excuse for how my life would turn out.
At a very young age, I found myself craving attention. It didn’t matter if it came from praises from parents, grand parents, family, and coaches and at times negative attention was fine as long as I was getting it. Looking back I can see me trying to fill a void in my heart and didn’t even realize I was doing it. When I was maybe 4 or 5 I was sexually molested by a babysitter and sexually abused by a cousin. I really don’t think this had anything to do with the way my life would end up going. I tell you this to let you know that if this has happened to you, you are not alone! Through Christ there is freedom from this bondage and forgiveness for the ones that did it.
Sports is where I got the most attention so that’s what I loved to do. I was really good at football but I did baseball and basketball too and when I got to high school track, wrestling, power lifting, and even cheer leading as a senior. Football would become my idol for the next several years.
When I was 15 years old, I got introduced to crank (meth). I had smoked weed and drank starting when I was 13 but this was different. This drug hooked me the first time I did it.
I graduated high school in the top part of my class, received team captain and honorable mention all state on offense and defense in football, broke records in shot put and 4X100 meter relay in track, and set the state bench press record of 425lbs in power lifting. I went on to continue my education and football career at Murray State University. Partying and using drugs and alcohol continued to be a part of my life only recreationally because of how much football was an idol to me.
I graduated MSU with a BS in Mathematics, a minor in physics, and a high school teaching certification, team captain of the football team, and 2 different football all American honors. I tried out professionally for over a year and then accepted a job teaching math and coaching football and track at Clarksville Northwest High School in Clarksville, TN. I got married and shortly after got inducted into Apollo High School Wall of Fame in 1996. Everything was going really well. Two years after this I started drinking more and then started to using meth again fishing and hunting with old friends from high school on the weekends initially. I would then eventually commit adultery and my wife would do the same and then leave me. With her gone, porn and meth would consume me. Somehow I was able to keep my job. I can look back and see God putting people in my life back then and trying to draw me to Him but I was becoming a slave to addiction.
In 2001, I was offered the head coaching job for football and I took it. Well with that job came more responsibilities and longer hours and I was already to the point of necessity with my meth addiction and I needed more and more to the point of not being able to afford my habit so I started manufacturing methamphetamine. I lost my job and my house burned down directly related to my addiction.
In the next 8 years, I would run from God and consume myself with making meth. My addiction would cause me to pee blood for about a year and face life in prison twice before God finally bringing me to the end of myself. On Feb 20, 2010 in the Owensboro Police Department facing 2 class A’s, a class C, and a class D felony and having 12 years parole over my head, I had come to a place where I was tired, and completely broken, and in desperation I cried out to God to please save me and He did.
I lost everything. I had once again abandoned my family but God had a great plan and He took care of my family. The next year I would spend in the Daviess County Detention Center and I would seek after Jesus with all my heart. At a Residents Encounter Christ (REC) retreat I met Roger Chilton. I had many things happen that gave me confirmation that God was working in my life but none like this. He was director of a rehab that was well known in Owensboro called Friends of Sinners. He asked me if I would be interested in coming there. Although my plan was to go to a faith based program in Lexington KY where my kids and their mother was, Roger and I made a commitment to seek Gods will in prayer and see what He said. That morning about 3am the Holy Spirit of God woke me up in my rack and would not let me go back to sleep. After several attempts to go back to sleep, I gave in and got up and got out my 3 devotions that I read everyday. I had no idea what was about to happen.
Well mine and Rogers question for God was did He want me to come there:
The scripture for my first devotion was this:
“Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people. That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do.”
Philemon 1:7-8 NLT
I said ok God if that’s the case then what’s going to happen with my court case?
The scripture for my second devotion was this:
“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.””
Matthew 19:26 NLT
By this time the hair all over my body is standing on ends and I know that Jesus is right there in c-105 with me. But being hard headed and wanting to make sure this wasn’t just coincidence I asked God so what about my kids and being their spiritual leader?
The scripture for my third devotion was this:
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.”
Matthew 19:29 ESV
Needless to say I saw Roger the next day and shared all of this with him and told him that I was ready to be obedient to God.
I entered Friends of Sinners on Jan. 6, 2011 by the grace of God. 2 weeks after being there, my kids moved to Owensboro to be a part of my life. As you know I was on Parole and had caught new multiple felony charges and was facing major prison time. This program introduced me to a life I never knew existed. A life of truth, relationship, accountability, and most of all agape love! After being in the program for over 800 days, I was no longer on parole and went to final sentencing for the new felony charges. The law reads that a person in my situation must return back into state custody. Well little did I know that the 2 1/2 years that I was in FOS I was being prepared for a mission trip into jail and prison which is a place that missionaries can’t go into. But God had known all along that I would go back to the jail that I spent almost a year in the year before I entered FOS. Well let me tell you it was definitely a mission trip and God revealed Himself to me continuously through things that happened inside that didn’t normally happen and the amazing support that I received from the support that Jesus had put in my life through the FOS program, residents encounter Christ, Pleasant Valley Community Church, celebrate recovery, and walk to Emmaus communities. After I met the parole board from LaGrange prison and explained to them the work Jesus had been doing in my life they agreed to give me parole and let me go back to FOS to continue my walk with Christ. Less than a year later I got married to the women that I had lost in my addiction that I prayed for many of days on my knees while in the program. My wife and I and our kids are soooooo happy. After looking for three years and faithfully praying God gave us a little 9 acres farm in Utica exactly what we were praying for. Praise Jesus! I have a great job and still come around the program and share with the new guys the love that was freely given to me. I took over the recovery ministry at Pleasant Valley Community Church about 2 years ago and teach a Sunday school class every Sunday that the FOS guys come to. I could tell you tons more and would love to if you would want to contact me. But thanks to Friends of Sinners, Roger Chilton and the rest of the staff and supporters of this wonderful ministry! Praise Jesus for Friends of Sinners!!