Hi. My name is Michael. Please take time to consider this testimony of how God has used the RU Recovery Program a faith-based recovery program to bring freedom to my life. I am truly happier and more blessed than ever before. On the inside, my cup is running over with love, joy, and peace that only He can give. My desire is to be His servant by helping others find their way out of the snare of addiction.
When I was 41 years old, I landed my “dream job”. I longed for this job since I was a college senior, twenty years earlier. I had worked hard climbing the corporate ladder and had become nationally known in my field. People noticed. Hey, I was a professional! At the prime of my life, I relocated my family to Research Triangle Park, NC, moving into a new large custom home.
Once we were moved in, I decided my wife and I should reward ourselves by doing some “powder” cocaine. We hadn’t had any street drugs in like 20 years. I thought we deserved a little private party. All of our hard work and long hours had paid off! For years I had been a “law-abiding citizen”. One little party wasn’t going to hurt anyone. This is actually what I thought.
I became a Christian when I was a 21-year-old college senior. I gave up cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol and served God for 10 years with my young family. Let me say right here, that being a Christian doesn’t mean you can’t become an addict. Christians can become entangled again with the yoke of bondage. I should have kept my focus on God, and not turned away to serve self and material wealth.
As I entered my 30’s, my career and my desires became the god I worshipped. There was no longer time for the true and Living God. I turned away from Him and started drinking a little and taking a few harmless pain pills. A little became a little more and then more…
In the process of time, I reached my 40’s. I was a functioning drunk and opiate addict. But hey, alcohol is legal, and we had prescriptions for the opiates. Everything in moderation, right? I had it all under control, and everybody fooled. No street drugs until I decided we should get some cocaine and party. And, I thought we could “handle” a little powder. I was a fool. That decision led to us to trying crack cocaine for the first time that night, and to a way of life that ended with us both in jail.
By the time we were arrested in the Summer of 2012, we were homeless, living under a bridge for nearly two years in St. Louis. IV drug abusers for six years. We existed only for heroin, cocaine, and alcohol. Everything we had worked so hard for was gone. Thrown away to feed a crippling and deadly addiction. We were still alive, only by the grace of Almighty God. The criminal justice system was the institution He used to save our lives.
Fast forward to the present, June 2017. Next month, my wife of 30 years and I will celebrate five years clean and sober. And, I mean “clean”. No methadone, No Suboxone. Nothing. Just clean! I have been made free of my addictions and related behavior. John 8:32 tells us; “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” There is a cure for the snare of addiction. His name is Jesus Christ! You don’t have to struggle with cravings and be haunted by thoughts of using drugs the rest of your life.
Personally, I haven’t thought about getting high or had a craving in years. I don’t even remember the last time. I’m not that man anymore. Track marks on my arms are now scars. They serve to remind me of two things: 1) The evil that has destroyed so many, and has much, much more, held captive. 2) The love of a savior that freed me from that captivity.
John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
My probation officer required me to attend “meetings” for 90 days when I was released from jail. He recommended RU a faith-based recovery program. I agreed to apply myself to the program for that three-month period. After the first month, I experienced a profound impact in my meditations and thoughts. This change made itself evident in how I interacted with others. God’s word was changing me from the inside out! I am still a part of my RU local meeting today! He is still working in my life and in the lives of my family members. I have so, so much to be grateful for! Faith-based recovery works!
You see, there’s no magical cure the folks at your local RU meetings have under lock and key. The powerful cure for today’s addictions is the Living God of the Bible! RU materials teach you how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, to study and meditate on His Word, resulting in a renewing (renovation) of the mind. Changing the way I think, changes the way I act.
Many resist this faith-based recovery cure only to remain bound by addiction. We don’t like talking about our sin, and we don’t like to hear others talking about it. It makes us feel uncomfortable and ashamed. Don’t let a little discomfort keep you from a lifelong lasting cure. God doesn’t bite! In fact, He loves you. He loves you so much, He has already paid the cost of your recovery. This freedom in the verse above wasn’t free. It cost Him everything!
There were consequences for my decisions. I accept responsibility for all of them. My drug use was a willful act on my part, and I alone am responsible. Addictions make a huge mess of lives and families. I had no idea where to even begin starting over. The Lord Jesus Christ has used the RU program and faith-based recovery in my life to help me put it all together. He made it easy. I just started walking. He is the way.