Making a difference
I came to this program in 2012, with an addition to opioids and alcohol due to a severe back condition. I learned that my condition was worse than I thought.
Although I was already saved, I didn’t truly have the benefits that come with knowing Christ. I only received freedom from addiction when I started an intimate relationship with my Savior.
I’ve had an addiction most of my adult life. Only that relationship has freed me from that bondage.
This program teaches men how to have that relationship.
I was raised in church and received Christ when I was 14 years old at a summer basketball camp.
Although I was saved, I began to rebel against authority at the young age of 17. My choices quickly led me down a path of destructive consequences, and in turn, made living my life very difficult: not only for me, but for my family as well.
I always knew in my heart that God was calling me back to Him; however, instead of heeding, I simply became increasingly steeped into my lifestyle of sin and addiction to drugs. This vicious cycle continued on for more than a decade. There were several times the Lord could have called me home, but He always seemed to save me, somehow.
My life began to change for the better the day I began to submit to God. I recall the first time He gave me clear direction, and for the first time ever, I followed.
I was severely malnourished and very sickly due to my addiction. As I laid there, I began to pray earnestly, with tears in my eyes, to God. I asked Him for the strength and guidance to lead me out of the destructive lifestyle that consumed me. I promised Him that any door He opened, I would run through.
The next morning an acquaintance I met some months prior, came to the hospital to visit me. I will never forget the first words he spoke to me. There was no, “hello,” nor, “how are you doing?” nor , “hang in there.” Instead the first words he said to me were, “Mike, I know just the place you need to go!”
He began to tell me about a faith-based recovery program located in Ripon, CA. (I immediately knew this was the answer to the prayer I had just prayed a few hours prior.
Within a few days, I was on a plane headed to a program called Freedom In Truth Ministries. On the plane ride there, I promised God that unlike all the other programs I had been through, I would not put a time limit on this one, and I stayed true to that promise.
Looking back on this now, I realize that, that was the first time in my life I truly submitted to God and from that moment forward, the more I submitted to Him, the better my life became.
I believe God uses faithful men to guide other men who have lost their ways, and with the FIT Ministries director, that is exactly who God used for me. The greatest truth that I have learned is that I must draw nigh to God, then He will draw nigh to me, and the only way to draw nigh to God is through His Word and prayer. I now faithfully serve Jesus, and in doing so, I am no longer overcome with every temptation this world provides. I know I am not perfect; but, with the strength the Lord provides me,I no longer have great falls, but rather smaller stumbles. Knowing this, I realize I could quickly relive the sins of my past, if God is not first and foremost in my life.
A hole is created when a drug addict removes the drug. (Believe me. I know!) That hole must be filled with something, or they will continue to feel incomplete. FIT Ministries taught me how to fill that void with Godly actions. I have now become a better friend, brother, and son, but more importantly, a more productive Christian. I owe the life I now live to none other than Jesus Christ, and I thank Him for using FIT Ministries to help me realize that truth.