I grew up in an alcoholic home where my father and grandfather were both lifetime alcoholics. I learned at a very early age to use alcohol to escape reality, pain and low self esteem. I began drinking at 12 years old. My first experience with drug use was at 13 years old. I was very shy and uncomfortable in groups and never felt accepted by my peers. I learned that by altering my personality and the “false courage” I obtained from drugs and alcohol, I was more at ease and could interact better with others. All I wanted was to be loved and accepted for who I really was. The problem was no one knew who I really was because of the masks I wore.
I first met Jesus Christ and accepted Him as my savior when I was 21 years old. I do not doubt my salvation at that time because I sincerely called on Him to come into my heart and save me from my sins. He kept His part of the bargain – but I did not keep mine. I continued in my rebellious lifestyle not wanting or trying to change my life. I did not surrender my will to Him to allow Him to work in my life and change my heart. I dove deeper into my sin-filled life and ignored His calling for me to serve Him and obey His word. A couple years later, I began attending church and was baptized. The Holy Spirit was working in my life – but I refused to heed to His calling. I continued my lifestyle of partying, drugs and alcohol. I was still searching for love and acceptance. But I didn’t realize I was looking in all the wrong places. What I craved could not be found in the world, but I was so much in the world I couldn’t see the truth. As I began to read more of the Bible, God drew nearer to me, just as His word promised:
“Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you” James 4:8
The Holy Spirit convicted me and I rededicated my life to him when I was 35 years old. For the first time in my life, I knew what it meant to be loved unconditionally and fully accepted for who I was in Christ. I finally found the love I spent over 20 years searching for. He was there all along – I just couldn’t see the truth for all of Satan’s lies. I was so caught up in the bondage of drugs and alcohol; I never thought I could find freedom.
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” John 8:36
The Lord delivered me from drug and alcohol abuse 12 years ago and has sustained me ever since. I urge you to draw near to Him today and He promises to draw near to you. Find in Him the unconditional love and acceptance that cannot be found in the world. If God is calling you into this ministry, trust Him that He will equip you to carry it out.
“He that hath done a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
P.O. Box 11
Hanover, MD 21076