"Before I stepped into the office at Visalia Rescue Mission, I was a lost, lonely, broken, sick man. I was coming from a life of sin and darkness.
The first and second times I thought I hit rock bottom were when I found myself homeless. But my third rock bottom moment was when I realized I couldn't steal in the area I was living in anymore. I boosted far too frequently and started to get caught far too often for stealing, or being possession of stolen items. But I desperate to supply my dope habit.
I was arrested six times for either possession of stolen property, petty theft, larceny, or commercial robbery.
I had so much government assistance and an EBT card that I sold for dope. But I had no life. I was ashamed, had no hope, and was a prisoner to all this garbage because I loved dope. I would do anything for it, and I did. I sacrificed all I had for my addiction. This was my life.
I was heartbroken because I knew I needed to get clean but didn't know how. I knew what I was doing was wrong and stupid, but I didn't want to quit the drugs. The pain of avoiding familyand withdrawing from everything important began to take it's toll on me. I just had no control over myself, and there are no words for this feeling. I needed help, and I needed to walk away from this life.
In June 2015, the day after being released from jail for a third DUI that I had been arrested for in 2011, I joined Visalia Rescue Mission's Life Change Academy.
When I got to the Mission I realized that I was in a safe environment. I was in a faith based program and they were talking about Jesus a lot.
I knew I needed to be here, and I knew that being here would reunite me with my family.
I was in the process of recovery and healing. I was learning to open up and share about my feelings and failures.
Proverbs 3:5-6 is wisdom that tells us to, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight." (NIV) God was creating a path for me. I was in the beginning of walking with Him.
I was learning to trust again. I was learning to open up my hardened heart; to show love, as well as receive it. I was letting go of resentments and finally involved in healthy conversations. I was beginning to ask myself really important questions, and really working on me.
While in the program, I worked at the thrift donation warehouse where I relearned the tools to be successful in a work environment. The discipleship groups, Bible study groups, and celebrate recovery meetings created a hunger in me to continue seeking God. I also found a church where I really feel included and welcomed.
I graduated from VRM's Life Change Academy in February 2016. I had this new-found strength and understanding of life now that I had Jesus.
In November 2016, I applied for a Dispatcher position for a huge building material company. I knew it was a bit of a leap because I didn't have any experience, just a lot of hope and ambition to do so much more with my life.
I wanted a full time job and a challenge. It would take a miracle though, because the job required a driver's license and was going to do a thorough background check. I did great in the interview, was honest, and shared my recent life-change commitment and that I was a walking testimony to the power of Jesus Christ. For 2 Corinthians 5:17 says of me, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone the new is here!" (NIV)
In December 2016, I started my first day on the job as Dispatcher for Oldcastle Precast. I am not only as dispatcher of a two-fleet crane truck team, but I am also the yard manager overlooking 2 acres of inventory.
I give God all the glory for my blessings and for the path I am on right now. It was nothing short of a miracle for me to get this important job opportunity with responsibilities that I could have never gotten 2 years ago.
I would have never been able to get off drugs on my own or been able to repair my relationships without Christ. I have been redeemed, washed of my sins, forgiven, and most importantly, I have been given a second chance at life.
I thank God and Visalia Rescue Mission for giving me a change to recover, a place to live, and the love it takes to help a sick person heal and relearn the life skills necessary to be a productive person in their community.
Looking back, I wish I would have known that life isn't easy, it is actually very hard, and we will face challenges. But John 16:33 says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (NIV)