I can say by the time I was 18 I was addicted to drugs. I was already involved in gang activity. I’ve done a lot of crimes in my time. I’ve done everything from collect money for the dope man, to armed robbery, to throwing guided missiles with the intent to kill. I’ve done home invasions. I was a very, very bad person at one time. I put myself through a lot of heartache and misery and my family along with it.
About a year and a half ago, when I was sitting in the Hamilton County jail, I gave my life to the Lord. It started off when the preacher man came between the two, you know, pods. I found myself getting closer and closer to the preacher man who was between the bars, and before you know it, I was crying out to the Lord. I surrendered that day. I totally bowed down and surrendered that day. From that point on, that’s when I started my relationship with God.
I had to walk 11 hours to get to my brother’s house because that’s the only place I knew where to go. I thought I’d get some sort of sympathy, you know. When I got there—my brother, he works out of town, and he happened to be out of town. His ex-mother-in-law was watching the house, and she looked down to me and said, “What are you doing here?” because as far as she knew, my brother didn't want anything to do with me. I’m like, “Man, I’m tired. I’m hungry. I’m cold. I’m sore.” You know. “Can I come in?” and she’s like “I don’t know. I’m gonna have to call your brother.” I’m like, “Shoot, c’mon man, this is my brother’s house. So finally she gives in and lets me come in. This was like 6:00 in the morning. I got out at 7:00 the night before, and it took me until 6:00 in the morning to get to my brother’s house.
I can tell you that, since I’ve made changes in my life - having that personal relationship with God - I can tell you that he’s restored my whole family, basically. After seven and a half years, my wife and I are back together, and we get along better than we ever have. After that my kids, my brothers and sisters, my mother. Like I said, they all disowned me, but today there’s restoration. Believe it or not, they look up to me for the changes I’ve made.
I’ve got a job today, where the only thing I knew to do back in the day was rob people—literally, just take from them. Today I got my own vehicle, driver’s license, insurance, all the little things that, you know, make a world of difference because, you know, I’m trying to be a productive member of society today. I want to be able to give back, whereas I used to take from. Where there was hate and rage and anger, you know, I try to give back by showing love and kindness and compassion. I try to be an example today for my family. Since I’ve been saved, I’ve been able to lead my mother to the Lord, my wife, my son, and my daughter. I mean, we’re all at different levels, but we’re all trying to turn our lives around. The Lord’s using me, and I was at one time, you know, I was worthless. But I know the Lord says I AM worth something, otherwise He wouldn’t have died on the cross for me.