“Where Healing Begins”
I feel like I had a decent childhood, until I reached my early teen years. It was during this time in my life that I started hanging around people that were a bad influence on me and full of negativity. I started experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and it quickly escalated from there. My parents worked a lot, so I was able to hide my drug use from them for a while at least.Before I knew it, I was using on a regular basis and had become a full–blown addict. I found myself doing anything I could to feed my addiction. I developed such a strong dependence on using to get me through the day. In my mind, I couldn’t make it through the day without using. My entire life revolved around my addiction. I didn‘t realize it at the time, but I was really using my addiction to numb the shame and guilt I was carrying from my past. I was a manipulative person that would lie and do whatever it took to keep my addiction fed. My life was unmanageable and completely out of control. For so long, I have looked for people, places, and things to fulfill my life and provide happiness, and I never could find it. I was so lost in my sin. I have a daughter that was adopted at a young age because of my addiction and bad choices. I have watched her grow up in pictures, and this is my greatest regret. My heart remains heavy that I have not been there for her. When I looked in the mirror, I saw failure and realized I had failed at everything in my life, especially at being a father. This is when I knew I needed to make a dramatic change. I was completely lost and had no direction to change or how to even begin the process.
I checked into the Men’s Life Recovery program at the Rescue Mission on April 25, 2022, and what a journey it has been. The Mission has provided a safe place for me to build a solid sturdy foundation to stand upon. I have been able to deal with past guilt and shame and unresolved sin that kept me in bondage. I no longer have to wear a mask to hide behind. I love this place and will be forever grateful for the things I have learned and experienced here, especially the lifelong friendships made. Most importantly, I am grateful for the close relationship with Christ that I have now. I now see myself the way God sees me. I have learned that my past failures do not define who I am today, because when I accepted Jesus into my life, I buried the old me. Today, I am a child of God, and He guides my steps every day.
I know God has a plan for me, and I pray that He will restore my relationship with my daughter. I feel that He has prepared me to finally be the father He has called me to be. I have found that I am passionate about helping others, especially those with struggles like mine. I enjoy lending a helping hand or just listening to what may be bothering them. I enjoy spending time on the water. I use this time to relax and talk with God. The Mission campus has provided me with a serene, peaceful place to meditate and thank Him for everything He has done for me. I am truly thankful for His love and forgiveness. I will never forget the Rescue Mission and those that have loved me through the recovery process. The staff and residents here will forever be a part of my family.
Click here to download the February 2023 issue of The Mission Bell