I never really feel it’s necessary to go into much detail about my childhood when giving my testimony because I feel like it’s probably not that much different than many of those who have struggled with drug addiction and legal trouble. I will say that I’m one of four children and my parents divorced at an early age. I managed to stay out of any significant trouble until high school but I lost an uncle to suicide and a very close friend to a car accident around the same time and started to question the very meaning of existence and the purpose of my life around that time. Shortly after I began experimenting with drugs and alcohol and at seventeen years old, psychedelics for the first time. It seemed to give me a sense of belonging to something bigger than myself. Something that I had been searching for, but it was only temporary. It wasn’t long before I was using hard drugs daily. I landed in jail in less than a year later for the first time on felony charges. That was before I had even graduated highschool. I spent the next 10 years of my life going from high to high and jail cell to jail cell. I always managed to find blame in someone else or make excuse after excuse for myself until my actions finally caught up with me and resulted in a stay at a treatment center for the first time when I was 27 years old. I was forced to admit that I had a problem and was convicted of a felony. I thought that I had finally reached rock bottom and that it would be the catalyst for serious change in my life that would get my life back on track. I went from being a client at a treatment center and a sober living home to an employee of both. I was three years sober from any mind- or mood-altering substance but there was still something missing in my life and I was secretly more miserable than I had ever been. I bottled thoughts of suicide and ultimately relapsed. But this time my old favorites didn’t do the trick and I started using meth for the first time. I still couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t able to fill the God sized whole in my heart with drugs, sex or financial success but it didn’t stop me from trying. Finally, it seemed that the chaos I had caused was catching up to me. I lost a great job, and ruined all relationships with family and friends. I failed a drug test with probation and parole. Thoughts of suicide once again plagued my mind and I cried out to God. I begged him to do something drastic in my life because I had run out of ideas and was disgusted with myself and every aspect of my life. That night he answered me. I was arrested for four felonies and later indicted on a P.F.O. Since then, he has put many people in my life who direct me to the Gospel and when I finally dropped my prejudice toward Christianity and opened the Bible, God spoke to me in ways I could’ve never fathomed. I wrecked my life before Jesus could wreck my heart. But when I finally surrendered and let him in, he changed everything. Now I truly know what it feels like to be set free from prison of my mind and the condemnation of my very soul.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing. It is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8