Finding My Way Home

“The Salvation Army church has become essential to my life because the wounded and broken are welcome without judgment. The church holds your hand and walks you through becoming yourself again. The love the people show can overcome any background or situation.”
Author: An Overcomer

I come from a pretty average family. Because my dad worked out of town to provide for our family, and my mom worked full-time, my grandparents raised me. Although drugs were not a part of my childhood, my granddaddy drank a lot. Because I grew up around the behaviors that followed his drinking, I stayed away from alcohol growing up.

I was the first in my family to graduate High School. I married my high school sweetheart, we had a daughter, and I had a good job working as a supervisor for a plant.

I was devastated when my wife left me for someone else. I didn’t know where she or my daughter was. I kept trying to reach out to my daughter with phone calls and cards but never received a response. I felt more pain from losing her than I’d ever experienced.

Things worsened when I ran into an old high school classmate who introduced me to Meth. I was immediately hooked.

It impacted my job performance, and after 18 years, my employer finally let me go. With no income and an expensive addiction, I began to make the drugs myself, leading to multiple arrests and jail time. I was facing a twenty-to-twenty-five-year prison sentence. My court-appointed lawyer gave up and didn’t see a point in fighting for me. Even my house was ultimately seized as a drug home and finally condemned.

Then, my judge ordered me to join the recovery program at The Salvation Army.

After my six months in the program, it was time to appear before the judge for her to read to the court my fate, my prison sentence. Instead, she read aloud the multiple letters sent on my behalf just the night before.

Without my knowledge, the people I met while completing the program had written letters on my behalf to the judge, about me, about my character, about the time I had spent at The Salvation Army.

With tears in her eyes, the judge read the heartfelt letters written by The Salvation Army staff, employees, and volunteers.

That’s when she decided to take a chance on me. Rather than give me a prison sentence, she put me on probation at The Salvation Army. The judges’ verdict gave me hope because I knew I could do this!

After settling back in at The Salvation Army, I reconciled with my daughter and even got to see her get married. We both thank God every day that we have a relationship again.

Upon completing my probation, I opened my business while living on The Salvation Army’s property in their transitional housing. The company was picking up, so I stayed busy. But I often visited and encouraged the men in the recovery program because it felt right.

While everyone else judged me and gave up on me, The Salvation Army took me in without judgment, supported me, and even stood behind me in my court appearances.

That’s when the commanding officer for The Salvation Army Officer at the time offered me a position. He asked me to pray, but I already knew my answer. It’s the ministry that I want to give and offer to others.

Now, I work for The Salvation Army for the individuals that walk in feeling similar to me on my first day- down and lost. I work for these people because most of them have been judged, rejected, and shamed, and I want them to know there’s hope because I was able to go through the program myself.

Do you or someone you know battle addiction? Our free programs provide housing, food, counseling, community, and employment as we work to address the symptoms, and ultimately the root causes, of prolonged alcohol and drug dependence.

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