I tried so many times to be the good dad, the good husband. I really wanted to be there for my kids and for them to scream, “Daddy!” when I walk in the door, but most of the time my wife had kept them shielded from me so they wouldn’t see how I was acting. I had overdosed so many times on Methadone and Xanax. That went on for so long. I would steal my kids’ toys or video games and pawn them to get whatever drug I wanted. It was pain pills, anxiety pills, meth, cocaine. It was whatever I could get my hands on. I would steal money out of my wife’s purse. She was working a full-time job, had a part-time job, going to school, and taking care of the kids at the time. Other than the grace of God, I have no idea why she stayed with me.
My little sister invited me to a revival at North Cleveland Church of God. I didn’t go to the revival because I was seeking God or because I wanted to quit doing drugs. I went because I wanted my little sister to feel good about inviting someone to church and them going, so I went to appease her. I brought my oldest daughter with me the first night. I thought it was good the first night. I then decided to go back the second night. The second night I took both of my daughters.
So I’m sitting in the front pew, and I prayed, “God, I have both of my daughters here, and I know the right life to live is to follow you.” What you have to understand is that at this point I had completely written myself off. I knew that I couldn’t make it. I was probably going to be a drug addict. I was probably going to overdose and die or be one of the guys you see on the side of the road with a sign begging for help. The only reason I say that is there was a guy who did this, and he was the same guy I would see where I would buy morphine. That’s what I knew I was going to amount to.
I’m sitting on the front pew praying, “God, show my daughters how to follow you. Send someone into their life. Do whatever you have to do to show my girls how to follow you.” I think at that time they were six and eleven years old. I prayed for ten of fifteen minutes. When I opened my eyes, both of my daughters were at the altar with their hands raised, worshiping God.
I can’t say that there was one specific moment that week that I felt an electric jolt or anything. Nothing really crazy happened. All I know is that by the end of that week something was different. Something on the inside of me was different. God had come in, and it can only be attributed to God. I’d been to rehab twice. Rehab is where I found more dealers. I’m not discounting rehab. It works for some people, but it didn’t work for me.
God has restored my marriage. My wife and I are stronger than ever. He’s restored my relationship with my girls. I walk in the house now, and they both scream, “Daddy” and give me a big hug.