On August 15th, 2005, God began to change my life and my life needed to change. I was 25 years old, married with two small children. I had a good paying job, a great family, and I was involved with church. I thought I had it all together, and so did everyone else. But underneath all this, I was a selfish and prideful man. I began using drugs to deal with pressures in life. No one knew, and for months I was living a double life and destroying everything at the same time. Finally my addiction came out.
On August 15th, my wife and I went to our pastor and told him what was going on. God led him to find a Reformers Unanimous chapter in Milford, almost an hour from where we live. Honestly, we really didn’t have a whole lot of confidence in this because all week different doctors were saying this is something I’d fight the rest of my life. At this point I was scared, I hated what I had become, and I was afraid that I was going to lose everything that God had ever blessed me with. I knew that I was saved but I was not right at all with God. During those first few days, I begged God to forgive me and to hold my family together. I had devastated my wife with who I had become, and I hurt the very person that I love the most. I had failed as a husband, a father, a church member, and I failed to be a good child of God.
I was truly at the lowest point of my life and I didn’t know what was going to happen. The first Friday at RU (August 19th, 2005,) my pastor, his wife, my wife, and I went together. I don’t remember every detail but I know God began working in my heart. I remember Jay Griffin saying words that went against everything I heard from doctors earlier that week. He spoke of freedom and victory over whatever it is that brought you here. Oh how I wanted that, I wanted victory in my life and through God’s amazing grace, He was starting that in me and my family.
We came back the next Friday and this time we came just as a family (myself, Leah, and our two boys – age 1 and 2 at this time.) This week was when I believe I knew that this is exactly what God wanted us to do. I went to group the first time and I had a tremendous leader named Joseph Jones. He had a passion and excitement that at first I thought he was a little off! Oh, how wrong my judgment was and looking back it shows just how far I was from God! He was a great leader and he had something I desperately needed and that was a deep personal relationship with Christ! I knew I was saved but I never experienced a close intimate relationship with Him. Every Friday night, we would come and God was just working in every part of my life. My pastor had advised me to quit my job that first time we met with him, and I did just that. My job kept me out of church a lot and we knew I needed something different. Knowing I needed a new job and realizing we were going to close on a new home in a week, we just figured we’d lose the house. I praise God so much for my greatest support which has been my wife, I remember her saying at this time, “I don’t care where we live as long as our family is together.” I can never praise or thank God enough for Leah being there to encourage me after I hurt her so bad. I witnessed from my wife true Christ-like love. I found a job making half of what I was making but working days and no weekends. We could now attend church every time the doors were open. God just kept providing and meeting need after need. It was so amazing seeing all that He was doing. Month after month, we hung on to our house. God just always provided in so many different ways.
God was working even harder in me. I had no desire for doing drugs, but God began a much bigger work in me than I thought I needed to be done. I was doing my challenges and journaling each day, I made it a priority to get up an hour before I needed to leave for work and do my Daily Journal. What a tremendous habit I formed and how it has changed my life each day putting God first. Through my journaling and working on my challenges, God began to change me as a person. I believe when God really broke me on such a deeper level was when I studied the fruit of love. Up till this point I was learning and trying to grow closer to God. He was blessing and things were going good, but what happened when I started in the fruit of love was God started breaking my outer man by showing me that a drug addiction was the smallest problem that Caleb Schmidt had. He showed me my biggest problem was ME, MY SELF. God convicted me so much in this: studying the definition of love vs. self-love, I realized I was all self-love. How can I be a good husband, or a father or child of God, I didn’t even know how to love in the right way. I was so convicted and God broke me at this point and began to work on conforming me to the image of His Son. A verse I read while studying the fruit of love was I Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
Oh, how childish I had been in my life! How much I had wasted! But praise God for His mercy and His grace and for His chastening hand. God started chipping away at my outer man one fruit at a time, as I would start a new one I realized I was more the work of the flesh than the fruit! I could go on and on about the many, many things that God has changed in my heart and in the actual makeup of who I am. I wanted to make special mention of what happened when I got into the fruit of love because that was when my relationship with Christ grew so much deeper. I want to praise God that He has molded me into a man that I like – none of me and all of Him! I know what God has done in my life and He has done it all!
My heart’s desire is to serve the Lord in any and every way that I can to bring Him honor and glory and to be the best husband and father I can be – these are my daily desires!
I never imagined just all of what God was going to do. I just look back in amazement, over how awesome my God is! I guess the greatest lesson I’ve learned is just Who owns it all and Who owns me: and that is My Lord, and My Savior, Jesus Christ. He died for me so that through me accepting his free Gift, I would in turn yield my life to Him, a vessel He could work through. I desire to be used to bring my God and my Savior honor and glory with my life. I praise God for the new chance I’ve been given in my life and my desire is to live I Corinthians 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
I would like to thank God for some notable blessings along the way. Both my boys have accepted Christ as Savior and have been baptized. Also, my wife and I just celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary!
I believe with all of my heart God can take a mess and make a miracle! I praise God for His mercy and grace for 6 years of victory. I know, I know…ONLY THE TRUTH MAKES FREE and there is VICTORY IN JESUS!