I was raised in a good family with love and care. My parents made sure my siblings and I had a good and happy childhood, but we were never introduced to Jesus, the Bible, or the church.
In my teen years I just assumed that everyone partied in order to have a good time and I began drinking and smoking pot. Along the way I had a few run-ins with the law. I figured that was just part of life. Several years later I was introduced to prescription pain pills which made me feel invincible. I figured I could control how I used them, but they had already gotten a hold of me. Others could see my addiction but, when it was pointed out to me, I would just deny it.
I had a good job and made good money with lots of benefits. I was proud of myself all the while I spent my money selfishly and the pain pills which had come to be a big part of my life. They had become the crutch which helped me handle long work days.
One day on the way to work I fell and broke my arm. I was given more pain pills, and ended up with too much free time on my hands. In May I made a poor decision to do a favor for friend – ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time. The police got involved and I was arrested and put in jail. Though they were not mine, I was seen as the one having a meth lab, a needle, etc.
My heart sank when I was told I was looking at three felony charges and six years in prison. I didn’t even have the money for the bail bond, so I was sent to jail, where I stayed for four months. It was a very tough experience for me. I was innocent and confused and grew very angry. The days were long and I could see through two-way glass the guy who had used me and landed me in jail.
I felt all alone even though I was in a cell block with twenty other guys. However, I did see one guy reading the Bible daily. So I asked him if it really worked. He said, “Yes, but you have to really want it.” One night in June I decided there in the jail to ask Jesus to come into my life and clean up the mess I’d made of it. The next morning I knew something had changed. I didn’t feel alone anymore and the anger was gone. When I talked to my Mom on the phone I asked her to have Pastor Steve Cox (The Evangelical Church) come and see me. Steve helped me to know how to read my Bible and to understand that it is God’s Word. In addition to spending lots of time in God’s Word, I took a class on making good choices.
On Saturday, August 22nd, my parents were able to bail me out of jail. When Sunday morning came I was in church for the first time in my life. I really began to see that God had a purpose for my life and realized that He wants to use me to introduce others to Him.
I now have a whole new group of friends as I live in a half-way house. I have also been given a second chance at a job. Steve Cox has become my pastor and the church has accepted me with true friendship. Most of all my personal relationship with God is growing and I have a hope. I am growing in my knowledge of His Word and am beginning to use that knowledge to bring others to Him.
I give thanks to God for His mercy and grace. I am learning the power of Jesus. I sense the presence of the Holy Spirit daily to help me fight life’s battles.