“I’ve learned to give it all to God.”
“Like a lot of teenagers, I started using drugs when I was 14 just for fun! At the time, my friends and I were just doing drugs to have a good time. You know that’s how it starts a lot of times. Kids experiment with drugs or alcohol, just being kids, just trying to have fun.”
For years Keith thought he had it under control. He didn’t need drugs, he just did them with his friends for recreation. But that all changed when one of his best friends was murdered when they were in their early 20’s. Her death, and the investigation that followed, which Keith believed was not handled well, led him on a 25 year journey of addiction, criminal behavior, and stints in prison. The drugs he used for fun had now become a coping tool, a way to dull the pain of what happened to his friend.
Oddly enough, throughout this time Keith continued to work, to hold steady jobs when he wasn’t in prison. “It was instilled in me at an early age that you work, you take care of yourself, you earn your keep. So I always did.” But despite his work ethic, things continued to spiral out of control. Eventually he found himself isolating from others. Spending all his time alone.
“Before I came to the Mission, I spent most of my time alone. After years of addiction that led to self-destructive behaviors and time in jail, I was estranged from my family. I was beaten down and broken. I’d just given up. Thankfully, some good friends intervened and helped me get to the Rescue Mission. Now, I’m getting the help I need to overcome my addiction and heal from grief I’ve carried for years. I’m so grateful for this place and everyone who supports it so I can be here.”
“I’m especially grateful to my friends that cared about me enough to confront me. I know it was hard for them to do, but they cared enough to do it anyway. I know they love me and want to see me well.”
Since coming to the Mission Keith was able to realize how his grief had impacted his life, his choices, and his behaviors. Best of all, he has learned to give it all to God. “I always believed in God, but I didn’t know Him or consider that He wanted to be part of my life. Now I know better. My biggest challenge before coming to the Mission was my self-destructive behaviors. With God’s help, and the program here at the Mission, I now know what drove them, and God is healing that hurt and its changing me.”
Keith had never experienced the love, warmth, accountability, and grace he’s found at the Mission before. He says it has been a safe place where he could look at his life, take responsibility, and humble himself to receive the help he needed. “Knowing God, leaning on Him, it takes your worries away. It let’s me rest good at night now.”
Keith is learning to trust God with his life, and to trust others. His great hope when he leaves the Mission is to be reunited with his two sons. He’s trusting God to heal their relationship. He also hopes to get back to work in construction. He is very hopeful about his future now. “I’m learning to like myself and my life now. I wish I would have done this years ago!”