I was raised by my mom until about 9 years old. Then my stepfather came into our lives. I felt much love from them.
School was challenging. I remember talking back a lot. Then, high school was even more difficult. I found girls and drugs. The group I hung out with was not healthy. I did go to vo-tech for diesel mechanics. This was definitely a blessing. I got a job with Alban Tractor, the Caterpillar dealership, where I worked from 18 to age 31. I loved it, but drugs and a crazy divorce ended my job with Caterpillar.
I went to three 30-day programs, but this was not enough time for me. And I was not working on my relationship with God at those programs. I pushed through the next few years and earned my class “A” CDL license. I went over the road seeing the country, but I was full of fear and did not know Christ!
My last trucking job was hauling roofing shingles to Florida. It was fun and exciting, but I was not focused on God. I did not understand that there is a better way to live. I had been living in my Ford F150 for 3 weeks. This was one of the lowest points of my life. I called my parents for help. I had no clue what to do. My mom worked with this lady who knew about the Mission. Walking up that sidewalk to the Mission, I was hopeless, homeless and fearful.
I’m so grateful for the Westminster Rescue Mission. It has changed my life!! I’ve met many people who wanted to help me. This was a huge turning point for me. This was new to me – people who barely know us men, just want to see us do good and get closer to Jesus!!
One of my life verses is Luke 12: 22-26. “Then Jesus said to his disciples: Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your LIFE, what you will EAT, or about your BODY, what you will WEAR. For life is more than FOOD, and body more than CLOTHES. Consider the ravens, they do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you, by worrying, can add a single hour to your life?”
It seems funny to me now that the first few weeks, while on housekeeping, I would WORRY about what we would eat for lunch or dinner. Worrying was a big problem for me before learning about God’s love and how he always provides. Also, I have learned the power of prayer, which helps.
I learned so much. Like in chapel, we learn the way we THINK, affects the way we FEEL, which affects our ACTIONS!! This makes so much sense to me! I learned quickly how to change the way I THINK, which did change the way I feel!
In reading my daily devotional, I learned plants absorb nutrients and show beautiful blooms, we are like that as well. We absorb what is around us, and we reflect it back in different ways, good or bad. The things that you take in often – like the Word, ALWAYS comes out in your words, your attitudes, your habits. So, I have learned to be careful about what I take in – this has helped a lot.
I would like to encourage anyone who needs help with addiction to come to the Mission; it works. I was not sure I was going to stay the nine months in the beginning, but the longer I stayed, the more doors opened up, and the more I learned. One thing I learned is always do the next right thing, even if no one is watching – it’s called “integrity”.