A New Addiction

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Our friend Sam, shares with us his struggles growing up and living a life filled with alcohol, violence and drugs. However, God was relentless and faithful in His pursuit after Sam and ultimately giving him a new heart and addiction for Him.

I was born in Ajax, Ontario. I grew up in a broken home, my father was an alcoholic and upon my mother coming to Christ he became increasingly hostile and abusive. I was three or four years old when they divorced. I grew up going to church all the time and my mother lead me to Christ. She was a devoted follower of Jesus and taught us the Bible, led us in prayer and taught us how to pray daily. As a boy, I knew that I wanted to be a preacher and professed it with enthusiasm. Although I had attended church and had a godly mother, the devil got a hold of me. I had a horrible temper and found the worst companions one could have wherever I was. I began to drink, smoke, view pornography, do drugs and commit crimes at the age of twelve. Things got worst after my mother died from a car accident when I was fifteen. I was plunging head long into drugs, sex, drinking and associating with gangs or you could say “gangster” type people. Before I could finish grade nine, I had already been charged with extortion and banned from the public school system. My mentality during this time was just to remain numb; when I was high, life seemed good for just that moment – I had no cares or pain. I eventually dropped out of high school at seventeen. Over the next three years, I would find myself in temporary homes, whether it be my own or a friend’s, on the streets or in a homeless shelter. At the age of eighteen or nineteen, I found myself at a house party one night. A fight broke out and a guy tried to stab me but ended up stabbing my brother instead. He almost died that night. I called on God that night and prayed for him to live and he did. However, things did not change in my life. It was not until after I was beaten up by a friend whom I disrespected. My face was beaten and battered when I woke up the next morning.  I resolved to leave this lifestyle and my friends. I eventually did leave my friends but not my lifestyle.

I was continuing to get by on welfare and had a destructive lifestyle. One day my brother, of all people, convinced me to go to church with him. I remember crying when they started to worship, I had no idea what was happening. I prayed that day for God to give me a job and if he did I would give him my life.  The next day I had a job interview and I got the job. Once again, God answered my prayers but I did not keep my end of the bargain. But God did not give up on me and continue to pursue me. It was at this job that a lady took interest in me and began to talk to me about the Lord Jesus. After many conversations she dropped the question, “will you give your life to Christ?” I wanted to but I was reluctant. I did not want to let Christ down by being unfaithful to him. She told me that it was not my job but Christ’s to change me, I can come to him and he will transform me. I went with her and her family to church that Sunday and I gave my life to Christ the following night. At that very moment,  my ten-year addiction to drugs was broken and I threw it all away and have never returned to it.

The first thing I wanted to do upon accepting Christ was to be baptized. My heart was filled from that point on with love for Jesus, the Word, the brethren, the Church and especially the lost. The Church, Bible reading and prayer became my new past time. God changed my career direction from music production to attending Bible College, responding to his call to ministry. God gave this dropout, drug head, sinner, a new addiction for ministry and his kingdom, a love to study and read and most importantly, a new heart! My family has been blown away with my transformation, recent graduation from university and my continuing pursuit of education for God’s glory.

Although it has been nine years now since Jesus saved me, and how glorious that has been, the road has not been easy. We still live in a fallen world and struggle with the fallen flesh that we remain in while we wait for Christ to come and transform us, giving us glorified bodies without sin, which is our hope! Yet the joy is that I am not alone in the pain, trials, and struggles of life. I have the Holy Spirit within and Christ with me every day. Because of Christ I have hope and my hope is in Christ.

Photo Credits: Scott Darbey

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