Addiction, cigarettes, identity, alcohol, marijuana, rebellion

“I grew up in a pretty ideal home where we were in the church every time the doors opened. I am able to peg the exact moment that life changed for me. An unfortunate situation came about with the pastor of our church and we quit attending. I went from being a good student, focused on academics and Christ to a lost and vulnerable young adult on the search for his new identity. This search lead me to cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana and, ultimately, rebellion.

I clung to these vices as I faced my parent’s divorce, my cousin’s suicide, and failed relationships, one of which gave me my first child. Addiction had its hold on me and I couldn’t shake it loose. I eventually met my wife and we have three children together.

Though I was holding down a job that took care of my family, allowing my wife to stay at home and take care of our children, looking back I realize that I was a functioning alcoholic, functioning just enough to tell myself I didn’t have a problem. I wasn’t the husband, or father that God wanted me to be.

As my family began to fall apart, my Christian roots called me home, back to church. God was moving, helping keep my family together, and then our church started a CR. My wife and kids began attending, and as I noticed the positive changes in them, it prompted me to think this may work for me too. The control I thought I had on this addiction showed its ugly face when, after gaining 2 months of sobriety, I woke up in a jail cell, unaware of how or why I was there. In that moment I knew I had to surrender, that God had to be the one to deliver me from my addiction. I got home and became as involved as possible at CR, starting a step study and serving. Through the power of God along with CR I have been able to overcome my addictions, my relationships are restored and I am a new creation. Satan had me thinking he had stolen everything from me, but God has redeemed it all!”

Jesse