My name is John Ryan Finley, I’m 32 years old and I’m from Breckinridge County, Kentucky. I had a great childhood. I was raised by good, Christian parents who always made sure I attended church, Sunday school, Bible school, and every other church-related activity. However, that still didn’t stop me from experimenting with marijuana and alcohol at the age of 15.
When I was in high school, I began believing the wrong thing; that’s where it all began for me. I believed a lie! I was taught that the most misbehaved guy was the coolest. For 14 years, I was “cool” and my life spiraled out of control. I was an addict. I mistreated my family and hurt the people that loved me the most. I made beautiful children, but my addiction and selfishness wouldn’t allow me to be a father. I became empty and broken, searching for joy in things that only brought pain.
I remember a night back in January 2016. I had taken a bad combination of drugs, which led to an altercation with my family that ultimately landed me in a jail cell. I was facing a number of charges, but thankfully the courts agreed to allow me to seek treatment. I entered Chad’s Hope Adult and Teen Challenge on February 8, 2016. This is where I was introduced to truth.
Over the next nine months I learned what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus and my life would never be the same. I graduated Chad’s Hope in November of 2016, and decided to stay as I was accepted as a staff intern. Eventually, I became a full-time staff member and have devoted my life to working with men who face the same life-controlling issues I once faced. In January 2020, I will be four years drug, alcohol, and nicotine free.
On March 23, 2019, God saw fit to bless me with my amazing wife, Tyra. My relationship with my family has been 100% restored and they, along with my wife, are my biggest supporters. I have begun taking steps to having a relationship with my children and I believe the Lord will bless that relationship as time goes on.
I thank God for what he has done in my life. It is truly an amazing thing. So, if I could describe the difference in life before and after Chad’s Hope, it’s the difference between night and day, darkness and light, like the difference in being blind, and then being able to see!