Joshua 1:9 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I’ve been strong my whole life. I had to be. I grew up without a leg and got teased a lot for it. I also grew up with a mother who never thought I was good enough. I desperately wanted her acceptance, but I never got it. So I felt like I always had to prove myself — to the world and to my mother.
But I always had to do it my way. Not God’s way. And my way got me into trouble, including a 20-year addiction to alcohol and methamphetamines, constant fighting and several stints in jail. I didn’t respect or really love anyone.
The day my daughter was born was the hardest day of my life. She almost didn’t survive, and she’ll be disabled the rest of her life. But she was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. I never knew it was possible to love someone that much.
Learning Real Strength
But the stress of taking care of her was too much. My addictions grew worse. I went back to jail three more times. Then I finally came to Springs Rescue Mission. I’d gotten clean and sober before, but this time was different. This time I was a father, and I was determined to change — to be strong God’s way, not my own.
That meant I had to confront the insecurities that crippled me since childhood. I got into therapy and attended all the classes here at the Mission. I put God first and I learned I don’t need anyone’s acceptance but His. And today, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.
Thanksgiving is coming up in a couple of months, and I’m a thankful man. I’m thankful to God for giving me one more chance to get it right. I’m thankful for Springs Rescue Mission for helping me — and I’m thankful for people like you who support this place. You changed my life.