I started smoking marijuana and drinking when I was in high school. By the time I was 27, I considered myself a functioning addict. My addiction progressed to painkillers and eventually to heroin and meth.
I lost everything. The first time I went to prison was for stealing tools from my company. From there, I tried five different inpatient treatments, six outpatient treatments, I just couldn’t find a way to quit.
After ending up in jail again, I finally decided to enter the long-term program at Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge. I told myself I didn’t want to be the same. I didn’t want to be a drug addict anymore.
When I entered the doors of MnTC, I was immediately blanketed with the love of Jesus. I was wanted to do everything I could to build a relationship with Jesus and get out of my old lifestyle.
At first, I was confused when I heard about having a “relationship with Jesus Christ” because I thought relationships were just with other people. Then, about three months into the program I was in the chapel and worshiping to “He loves us.” I felt the presence of God so strong I started crying. From that day on, I knew what it felt like to have a relationship with Jesus. He broke the chains of my addiction. Now when I wake up in the morning, I don’t have to fight to stay sober.
I graduated from MnTC in September of 2019 and went through the TCLI internship program. The same job I stole tools from hired me back, and I was recently promoted. The restoration that happened for them to even trust me again blows my mind.
Last year I had the opportunity to share my story at the Christmas concert. It’s hard to believe that a year before that, I was a drug addict, and now I get to inspire people with my story. It’s such an honor. This Christmas, I’ll be spending time with my family and my kids for the second year in a row.
I’ve been able to get through 2020 because of the things I learned from MnTC. When I was alone in my addiction, I was never content. The Lord taught me how to be grateful. I used to wake up every day miserable with anxiety. Now, I find peace in my relationship with Jesus.