Life-changing events are commonplace enough when we always seek the ways how God works, and if we know where to look. Even in the darkest of places, His light will shine most. Take for example the case of Bill, a long-time drug addict who found his personal salvation story when he was in prison.
An Unwanted Child in His Formative Years
Bill was, in the basest sense of the phrase, an unwanted child. He was born to a single mother, who was 16 years at the time.
His father was at a penitentiary when he came into this world. He felt lonely; even at a young age, he has already experienced rejection.
He was eventually adopted by two loving Christian parents who even took him to Sunday school. However, it seems that he cannot easily get over the feelings of being unwanted, which has been ingrained in his mind and sprung at a very young age.
He thought about his biological mother, of how she could not “tough it out” for him. This led him to think that he was worthless; he just cannot accept the fact that even his very own mother could not do anything for him.
It was irreconcilable in his mind.
This translated to his being at outcast in school, and in his other social connections. It became so hard that even the love and attention that his adoptive parents have been giving him was not enough anymore, and he started to find acceptance somewhere else.
Finding ‘Acceptance’ in the Wrong Places
He eventually found a sliver of acceptance in a friend who smokes marijuana. He joined that person’s group, and that was where he started to smoke cigarettes, take drugs, and cause other problems that go along with the activities such as petty theft, among others.
He continued along that life until in high school, he got arrested for possession of illegal substances. Hoping to scare him of the consequences of this crime, his adoptive parents let him go to jail even just for a day.
However, this has had quite the opposite effect. Instead of scaring him, being in jail seems to have given him a sort of odd satisfaction.
He felt more accepted by the group he was in, which in turn egged him on to do more of these things. In his mind he is finally getting attention, so he continued along this path.
Deeper into the Clutches of Addiction
For the next year, he just drifted deeper and deeper into this addiction. He spent days in juvenile detention, his crimes escalated to car theft, and even breaking and entering and burglary.
His habits also got worse; when he was just smoking marijuana before he eventually got into cocaine and crystal meth. He even confessed that the high was “too short” — that he was always chasing the “high” when it was gone.
He was utterly bound to this cycle o slavery to drugs. Once, his adoptive parents have urged him to go to rehab and while he complied, it was doing him no good.
The Worst Part of Your Life Could Be Your Turning Point
Eventually, he came to a point where he had drained all of his resources and he needed his next fix. He saw a nearby bank and there was nothing else on his mind but to get money for drugs.
He went it, demanded the cashier for money and ran away. He thought he got way clean, but the FBI showed up at his doorstep days later, and he got in prison again.
He thought that this was a good thing, actually, as he hoped that being in prison would “straighten him out;” a sort of forced rehab. But being in prison was worse, and he described the evil in there as being on “a different level.”
The drugs still followed him, and the urge was there. Finally, he got so tired and with no one else to turn to, he remembered all those lessons from Sunday school that his parents were taking him to.
A Miraculous Personal Salvation Story
Bill called out to God, begging to save him from this awful predicament.
The answer came in the form of a fellow inmate who invited him to go running. He felt that this is it, the turning point he was looking for.
He followed that person, and as it turns out, his running buddy was a Christian. The person shared to him more about the story of Jesus Christ, and his running buddy became his friend and mentor.
Bill eventually got released in 2014, and he testified that he never had the urge to smoke cigarettes or do drugs ever again. He is now happily married, and he recently ran the Boston Marathon.
In his willingness to share his personal salvation story, he wrote a book called Behind the Wall to the Boston Marathon.
“I know for a fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. And my testimony, I’m hoping, will touch somebody in a profound way,” Bill said.
Truly, his personal salvation story is a remarkable instance that God is willing to forgive us and change our lives — even in the darkest of places and situations — if we only knew how to call out to Him.
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