Find Hope

No one used to trust me with their dog. Now I teach 6th graders.

I used to break into cars quite a bit. Steal radios, speakers, walk out of Lowes with baskets full of chain saws, carts full of chain saws, just crazy things because I could get dope for them. I had to have my dope to keep go...

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My Mom had a fairly long history of drug addiction and things like that. So I was kind of exposed to it, once I got up into my teenage years. I just pretty much helped myself to her prescription drugs. Once I figured out what they were and what they did to me. I really liked them. You know, with the prescription drug use came everything else. I was what they call a garbage can junkie. Whatever it was I smoked pot, heroine, it didn’t matter, I would do whatever. I used to break into cars quite a bit. Steal radios, speakers, walk out of Lowes with baskets full of chainsaws, carts full of chainsaws, just crazy things because I could get dope for them. I had to have my dope to keep going. I’m causing harm around me. People around me are not happy. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t know that I wasn’t happy but I wasn’t happy. I went to rehab like six different times. I have been through multiple programs. I just couldn’t get out. I would just start doing it again no matter how bad I wanted to stop. I always knew that there was something missing. I had met and experienced people that were followers of Christ many times that had tried to help me, but I was so resistant to change. Once I figured out that this could be a viable option to help fill that void, I started pursuing it. My Grandparents have always been there to help me and kind of been my rock that helped me through my rough times in life. I went to them and I told them; “I want to go to treatment this time.” Of course, they had heard this before. They were not super enthused about it, you know. I had been there and done that so many times in the past. I was like; “I’m good to go this time and it’s going to be the last time I go.” So they did. They took me and I went to Jacksonville Alabama to a detox center there, seven-day medical detox. I detoxed off all the drugs. I decided I wanted to go to a halfway house. I went to a halfway house called the Refuge in Jacksonville Beach. We went to a service called The Eleven22 service with Pastor Joby Martin. We started attending that every Thursday night and somewhere along those lines, God just really came into my heart. You know I found peace within him. I learned so much about whom I was and who I wasn’t. Being there and listening to his messages. You know there was something about being there that I understood. I understood where I was at. A lot of the, by that time a lot of the physical addictions had worn off. I was starting to kind of come out of the fog a little bit. I could comprehend things again. I have had a couple of incidents where I have slipped. But I know that God’s grace, I’ve got God’s grace today. I understand that. I do student ministry with sixth-grade boys at Rock Point church. I have an awesome opportunity there to be able to share my experience, strength and hope with them and help them navigate the waters of life which are an awesome blessing for me because five years ago nobody would trust me to feed their dog for a week. You know what I mean? I couldn’t, I wasn’t a trustworthy person. By accepting the issues that I have had and accepting responsibility for what I have done, it’s okay, I can keep moving forward today.

Joel - No one used to trust me with their dog. Now I teach 6th graders.

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