As a teenager, I never gave much focus or attention to drugs. It was nothing I had ever been faced with or been subjected to in my life. The summer I graduated high school, I was involved in a car accident with my brother, Ricky, which killed him and left me in a broken mess full of anger, confusion, and pain. I blamed God for not answering my prayers to save my brother’s life.

I turned to drugs to numb all that I was feeling without any thought at all to the consequences. It wasn’t long before my focus would be completely on the dope hustle, numbing the pain, shame, guilt, and misery that my life had become. I pushed my family, my kids, and anyone that I had cared about – up to that point – out of my life.

There were still those who would try to show me love and direction, but none could manage to capture my attention for long. I had times of sobriety and would try to get my life back, but it would not last for very long. I would give into the lie that I would be trapped forever in that way of life – that I didn’t deserve to have peace and happiness. There was no way that I could be forgiven for the things I had done, people I had hurt. I couldn’t forgive myself.

In 2014, my dad developed stage IV cancer. He only had six months to live. Talk about a reality check! I was forced to think about someone other than myself for the first time in many years. He began to talk about Christ and going to church. He was always trying to set up a Bible study, eager to learn more about God and having a relationship with Him. His determination to grow closer to God in this time of despair left an impact on me. But just as it had with my brother, when my father died, I began to question how God could take a good man away. Why would He do that to people? I went back to the only thing that I knew would numb the pain – drugs.

It would be several more years of spending time in jail, losing my kids, and facing hardships before I was broken enough to seek help and look for a way out of my miserable life. I was looking for a new way, a better life, and the truth! After several failed attempts to enter recovery and God’s amazing grace, I found myself at Redemption Road to start the journey that would change everything.

Although I was skeptical of all of the joy and peace that I witnessed in those who were part of the program, I decided to take a leap of faith and gave my life to God! I began to shed my old ways and had love, compassion, and consideration toward others. Relationships that I had damaged throughout the years were starting to be repaired through God’s work, and people were being brought back into my life.

I began to build a relationship with Christ that would help me overcome any obstacle that life threw at me. I am part of a body of Christ that not only talks about the love they have for Christ, but they show it in their actions and the way they live their lives daily. My relationship with Christ has grown so strong that He encourages me, daily, to let this LIGHT in me shine so that He may touch, not only the lives of those closest to me, but the lives of so many others that are broken and lost in the darkness just as I once was.

For those of you who can relate to the misery and pain, from being lost and broken, not only from addiction but from the best this world has to offer, I urge you to make a change in your life. Now is the time to make a change, stand up, and face those fears! I assure you that you are worthy of a new and fulfilling life – one with happiness, joy, love, peace, and meaning. You cannot do this on your own, reach out to someone today for help. It will be the best decision of your life.