“I had come to a point in my life where I had lost all faith. I like to look at my life as ‘40 years in the Wilderness.’ I led a life of alcoholism, depression, and towards the end of the 40 years there was so much sin that I believe I became spiritually dead. 

I had lost my job. I was driving a truck and got a drunk driving ticket. Just before that, I got divorced. There was pornography, gambling, and I was to the point of totally giving up. I was living to drink, and go to bed. I had no desire to get another job. I had no desire to see my kids. I had no desire to do anything. And I knew my life was coming to an end; I just wanted to die.  Knowing I was going to do this, I decided to sell everything I had. Whatever wasn’t selling, I was giving away. When it was all gone, and I was about to be evicted, I decided to ‘go to sleep forever.’ I didn’t have enough guts to shoot myself, hang myself, slice my wrists, or anything like that.

So, I got myself a quart of whiskey and 2 bottles of sleeping pills and decided to take a shot and a pill over and over until they were all gone. I would do this, and play online poker, until I OD’d. It didn’t work. I ended up throwing it all up.  I decided to try it again but this time I got some duct tape. I got another quart of whiskey and 2 bottles of sleeping pills. I figured I would duct tape my mouth shut if I started to throw up again and I could choke on my own vomit if I had to. This time I couldn’t get the duct tape on my mouth fast enough. I was feeling even more worthless because I couldn’t even kill myself properly.  The only thing I had left was a leather coat that I sold in order to go buy the anti-freeze, and I took the rest of the money to go to the bar and get drunk one last time. When the money was gone, I was pretty drunk. I went to park my truck in the parking lot of a George Webb to drink the anti-freeze. On the way there, I got arrested for drunk driving.

They took me to jail. I had a $50 bail and different inmates were offering their money to help me get out. But I had nowhere to go. I didn’t want to get out of jail. I was there for about 2 weeks when my mom found me. She had called everywhere looking for me. I was very angry when I got out. I knew if I didn’t get help, I was going to not only kill myself, but that I would probably kill someone else, too. 

So, we called Human Services and they told me they couldn’t help me for three months. I told them that they didn’t understand. If I didn’t get help that day, I was going to die. That’s when I think God stepped in.  The lady that was behind the desk at Social Services was filling in for a different lady. This lady had heard of a program called Teen Challenge that might admit me. I didn’t have a job or insurance. I worried that they wouldn’t allow me in because I wasn’t a teenager. She reassured me that they took all kinds of people. I was enrolled in Teen Challenge the next day.

When that initial phone call for my admittance was made, the man who answered the phone prayed for me. It was the first time someone had prayed for me. I really didn’t want to go into a Christian program because in my mind, God had failed me. I don’t know if I blamed God, but I didn’t think He could help. I didn’t think anyone could help me. I spent my first couple months there being resentful and angry. 

But I had a Pastor who counseled me and spoon-fed me scripture. As I watched him, I saw there something different about him. He had this peace and this calm, despite other people not treating him nicely. I wanted a piece of what he had. Shortly after that, I saw him off with a couple other people praying. I walked over and he asked me if I wanted to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, and I said, ‘yes.’ From then on, things started to change.  I got a hunger and a thirst for what the Bible had to teach me. I felt a peace like I had never felt in my life. 

About halfway through my year long stay at Teen Challenge, I had a court date for my OWI’s. I went to court, and despite my work in the program, they put me in jail for three months. I spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years in jail that year. I just couldn’t understand it. But I brought my Bible and continued to seek Him and His Word during that time.  I stood there on Christmas morning, in jail, and sang my heart out to God like never before. It had finally dawned on me. I was sitting in jail, yet I was free. I was free from the guilt, from the anger, from everything. It was the best Christmas of my life.

This year is seven years clean. He has just been pouring blessings on me this year. I have always liked Harley Davidson motorcycles. When I came to Milwaukee, I had a credit score of 300. This last summer, I was sitting on some bikes. The salesman approached me and asked if I wanted to take it for a test drive. I told him to not waste his time, that my credit was shredded and not anywhere near good enough to buy the bike. He asked if he could still run my credit, and I told him he could. He said that my credit was good enough and asked me if I would like to take the bike for a ride. I took the bike home that day.

Recently, I started looking at houses. I was on a website searching and a gentleman from the site contacted me and asked if we could sit down and talk. We talked, and he ran all my credit numbers. He came back and said that I didn’t have good credit, but that I had great credit. I thought for sure he had run the wrong credit. Turns out, because I bought the motorcycle, my credit score jumped up. I was finally acquiring credit! Tomorrow, I am turning in the last of my paperwork to be pre-approved to buy a house.

It is amazing where God has taken me. Seven years ago, I had no desire to live or do anything, and now I am full of life and full of joy. I cannot even believe the people God has brought into my life. He keeps performing miracle after miracle. I can’t ask for life to be any better right now, but something keeps telling me that He is going to keep knocking my socks off.”

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:10, 11