“Patience Paved a New Life”
My parent’s divorced when I was young. My father was present in my life, but he was not a positive role model. The lifestyle he lived was filled with drugs, alcohol, and women. I was introduced to cocaine at the age of 14 by my father. It didn’t take long to start using because I believed my father wouldn’t offer me anything that would harm me. I was wrong. This decision took 30 seconds to make but became a battle that took over 30 years to overcome.
During this battle of substance abuse, failed rehabilitation, illegal activity, and repeated incarceration, I often found myself living on the streets. I always knew that I had a place to lay my head at my mother’s home, but I never did because of the guilt I had about the man that I had become. I didn’t want her to see me like that, I knew I could have been doing something better.
When my father passed away, I reflected on my life. I considered my age, relationships I’ve destroyed, and that I wasn’t doing what God called me to do. I asked God to help me overcome my addiction because I was tired mentally, spiritually, and physically. My prayer was answered soon enough when my god brother shared his testimony video from City Rescue Mission, being a guest years before. This inspired me to check out the Mission. Although I didn’t plan on spending much time there, I just wanted to detox and get my thoughts in order, but God had other plans. I felt so overwhelmed with the resources here and everything being done to help others, I wanted to use the gifts God had instilled into me to be a part of that. I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.
As I spent more time in the Life Builders program, studying the Bible, learning important life skills and embracing the workforce development role in our kitchen, I discovered the lifestyle change I hungered for. I discovered that I loved serving at any capacity, even something as simple as a good meal and giving it to those who are less fortunate, it feels amazing. After graduation, I became a full-time member of our kitchen staff and I continue to pursue God’s call to serve. My goal is to become a resident assistant and work my way up to become a counselor. The Mission has helped me see myself the way God sees me and I have a new purpose in life. I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.