This is the final chapter in a three-part series on Marlon’s story. READ PART ONE READ PART TWO
After Marlon’s graduation from the New Life Program on August 28 of last year, he went to live in a local Oxford House home. He was in good company — living among other men in recovery and commiserating over matters of faith and sobriety.
It didn’t take Marlon long to begin climbing the ladder to leadership. Soon after moving into the Oxford House, he was elected president of the home. And after just two months working as a cook at the Hilton Garden Inn, he was promoted to the somewhat coveted position of sous chef. He felt God’s hand in his life.
“I’m thinking that’s where God put me,” he said of his job. “He brought that love of cooking back and put me there to find joy in that and to serve others.”
While in the program at Springs Rescue Mission, Marlon learned how to use his presence in the kitchen to bless others with happiness and positivity; and he was grateful for that opportunity.
It came as quote a surprise to Marlon when he was offered a new position in outreach for Oxford House. He politely declined, believing he was right where God wanted him. But when asked again, he had a change of heart and relented. He took a leap of faith and joined the Oxford team in Pueblo.
“I’m from Canada — I’d never heard of Pueblo,” he said. “But that’s where God wanted me, and I was ready to obey.”
His time working for Oxford House has been fulfilling. He spends most of his days travelling between several different sober homes in Pueblo, responding to needs and solving problems.
“I’ve really put my heart into it,” he said. “My life now is to do God’s work. I’m a servant, and I’ll do whatever I can for these people.”
A couple of his pet peeves are trust and consistency. He believes the two go hand in hand, and he strives to be a source of those things in the lives of those around him. He uses what he learned through his own experience — as well as a recovery coach training class he took through Springs Recovery Connection — to educate, encourage and motivate others.
“I want to be that person for people,” he said. “Everyone should have someone they can trust to be there for them when they need it — even when it’s hard. And I love to motivate people.”
When it comes to his sobriety and recovery, Marlon stays vigilant. He knows firsthand that it’s a slippery slope that wouldn’t stop until it once again robbed him of everything he holds dear: the beautiful life he’s worked so hard to build for himself since he first got sober over two years ago.
“My drug of choice was crack cocaine,” he said. “I know that it only takes one time to start on that slippery slope again. Because I’d quickly go to doing it every day; then I’d sell my car and everything I own; then I’d be ashamed and want to hide from everyone; and then I’d start walking.”
“But I’m not walking anymore — I’m done with that life,” he said.
Marlon’s now excited for the opportunity to help establish an Oxford House location for women and children in Pueblo, and he’s reviving the hopes and dreams of a future he once thought lost. He looks forward to one day starting a family and wants to stay healthy —physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually — so he can be ready for wherever God may lead him.
“I’ll know when it’s God’s plan,” he said. “But until then, I’m happy where I’m at with what I’m doing. I know I’m where God wants me. And he knows best.”
But for now, he knows his place in God’s plan for his life.
He comes back to Springs Rescue Mission often, to visit with and support the men of the New Life Program. He thrives in community with surrogate families who have gathered around him at church, work and the Mission — people who support him through all life’s ups and downs.
“I love to have people around me,” he said. “You got to have people to support and people to support you.”
These days, his conversations are peppered with stories of gratefulness, faith and God’s mercy. He speaks of everyday miracles and the awe-inspiring love of God in his life.
“God takes good care of me,” he said. “If nothing else, I know that to be true. He loves us so much.”
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