“I was raised in a church that taught the Bible, but I really had no interest in the things of God.” I was raised in a church that taught the Bible, but I really had no interest in the things of God. Everything else I saw going on in the world fascinated me much more. When I turned 18, I moved out of my parent’s house. Shortly after, I tried drugs for the first time. I used ecstasy, which seemed to me to be mainstream, harmless, and safe to use. That was the beginning of my obsession and love of drugs. I became out of control as I began selling and using drugs.
My family suggested that I join the military and get myself together. I joined the Navy, but after serving for a short time, I found there were other guys just like myself in the military. They also liked to party and didn’t really care about the consequences. After being absent without leave several times, I was put in the brig for 2 months, and then received an OTH discharge from the Navy.
After I returned home, I did my best to be as ‘normal’ as possible. I began going to the gym, and was soon obsessed with working out. I became a heavy steroid user, was obsessed with my appearance and was once again fascinated with the way chemicals affected my body. For the first time, I was introduced to Crystal Meth, Crank, Tina, Ice, Glass, etc.
One night as I was leaving an Allentown night club, I got into a fight with a few guys and was stabbed in the neck. After coming out of the hospital, I realized that I was out of work and needed money. A friend gave me an opportunity to sell Crystal for him. I hesitated and thought, “Well, I’ll just sell it, not use it.” That comment would soon become a joke. In no time, I was using it almost every day, sniffing a gram of Crystal a day worth $240 to me if sold. At the same time I was using Coke, GHB, Ecstacy, “Special K,” Oxycotton, and other prescription pills – along with drinking all the time. I was living my life like one big party, wacked out, staying tweeked, almost constantly drunk, and surrounded by people I thought were my friends.
After living this way for a couple of years, I was a big mess, a feen. Crystal took away my appearance, my body, and any sense of right and wrong that I had left. “I was a pathetic shell of a person.” I was a pathetic shell of a person. I knew I had to stop using Crystal or I was going to be dead soon. So I got away from everyone I knew at the time and tried to live a ‘normal’ life.
All during this time, I also had a heavy drinking problem over which I had no control. I even had a few near-death experiences. I was shot at and I was in the hospital several times with head trauma from fights and car wrecks. Sometimes when I wouldn’t drink, I would begin to shake because my body craved alcohol. I realized that it was not cool anymore, but I could not stop drinking. I got a job selling cars, and started growing up a little. But I was still living for myself with drinking, women, and sometimes drugs. I considered this to be a great improvement.
All this time, I had ignored God and wanted nothing to do with Him. But God had not given up on me! One Saturday night, I went out to party. That night and half of the next day, I was hammered drunk and coked up. On Sunday afternoon, I started home from a bar, drunk and still affected by the coke from the night before. As I started my drive home, I had no idea that God was getting ready to grab my attention in a big way.
I got on the highway and began to open it up, going anywhere from 70 to 80 miles per hour. Suddenly I crossed into the other lane of traffic, smacking into the car next to me. Both cars flew out of control. My car crashed head-on into the guard rail and the other car I had hit flipped over. After the accident, I felt terrible for the woman who was driving the car that I had hit. Thankfully she was not hurt too badly.
I was arrested, processed, and sent home. I walked into my brother’s house and told him what had happened. To my surprise, he didn’t yell at me. “He told me that God was trying to get my attention.” He told me that God was trying to get my attention. He hugged me, prayed with me, and said I needed to listen to God before it was too late. A feeling of complete awe came over me as I thought about what had happened. It was horrific. I could have killed that woman and sent her to Hell. If I had died, I certainly would have gone to Hell, and I knew that I deserved it. You see, I had always known that I was lost but I wanted to do things my way. As I looked back at my life and saw how I had destroyed it, I realized that Jesus Christ was my only answer. I knew that He loved me and was trying to get my attention. I also knew in my heart that if I rejected Him this last and final time, it would be my last chance. (Note: salvation,saved and born again are Biblical terms referring to the forgiveness of sins by God and the rescue of a person from the power and penalty of that sin. This is God’s requirement for everlasting life.) That night I began to pray for the first time in my life for God to soften my heart.
After two days, I talked with my brother again because I just didn’t seem to be getting anywhere, and I didn’t know what to do. I knew that I needed to be saved, but I didn’t know how. I knew that Jesus Christ had died on the cross to pay for my sins, but I didn’t know what I had to do to make myself right with Him. My brother said, “Just give up. Salvation is not a cushy feeling; it’s a choice. You simply just choose to accept Christ.” Instantly I had clarity like I never had before and said, “I’m ready.”
That day I repented of my evil life and begged God to forgive me of all my sins. I accepted the gift of salvation that Jesus Christ offered to me. I also begged Him to change me because I hated the way I was. Since that day, God has changed my life in many ways! Now I want to do right. At first, I struggled with some of my old ways, but soon those things were all out of my life. I had tried many times before to overcome those same problems but was never able to do it on my own. I told the girl I was dating about what God had done in my life. At first, she thought it was stupid. But after awhile, she began to see the changes in my life and had to admit that something had changed my life in a major way!
Only through the power of God has my life become different. The Bible says in Second Corinthians chapter 5, verse 17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Jesus Christ has indeed given me a new life!