I grew up in a good home with two loving parents who provided all that I needed. They taught me right from wrong, but I chose a road of slow destruction. After high school I got a job in Quincy, Illinois, and with this job came various forms of “fun” – money, alcohol, and drugs.
By the time I was 21, I was a full-blown alcoholic and drug addict. The true deception was in the fact that since I was functioning normally, I thought I was still in control. Drowned in alcohol, my twenties were a blur of stupidity and decadence. My cocaine use led me into a meth addiction, which would soon lead to complete destruction. At 33 I lost my job and my truck, or more accurately stated, I gave them away thinking that meth and vodka were more important than work and responsibility.
Over the next four years I was in secular rehabilitation centers twice, in the emergency room more times than I can count, and twice in intensive care, but not once did I think about going to church. Early in December 2008, after another trip to the ER, I reached out to my brother, whom I had spoken to only twice in six years. I didn’t know it at the time but this call would change my life forever; he was living and working at a place called Heartland.
December 15, 2008, is a day I will never forget. It was the day I finally made the right decision – I came to Heartland. After 19 years of walking in circles, I had finally come to the end of myself. The thing that I remember most about that first day was fear mixed with a weird feeling of relief. It didn’t take long to realize what was missing in my life, a relationship with the Lord. Over the next three months I listened, I learned, and I prayed. Then, on March 12, 2009, I gave my life to the Lord. I finally realized there is joy and peace available; all you have to do is open your heart and invite God in. He is in the forgiveness business!
When I came to Heartland, my plan was to get sober and go home, but fortunately God has a greater plan. God brought a wonderful Christian woman into my life, giving me a new home. Now I work in the Admissions Department at the Heartland Men’s Recovery Center, so every day I have the opportunity to tell other men about this program and the decision that changed my life – the decision to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior!