By the age of 12 I was smoking a pack a day of cigarettes, using drugs & alcohol, was very racist and had my first tattoo (the Nazi “SS”) on my forearm. I had been arrested for drunkenness in public and spent a month in juvenile hall. Also during that year I drank so much whiskey one day I was home puking in the toilet and lost consciousness. My head fell into the bowl and I would have drowned in my vomit if my little brother had not found me and pulled me out. I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance with alcohol poisoning and my heart stopped a couple times and I had to be resuscitated. I can still see the EMT over me fading in and out and saying, “Don’t leave me Bobby . . . don’t leave me Bobby!”
I had a father who was physically abusive when he was not in prison. He tried to kill my mother in front of my brother and I. You know, all the standard stuff. As time went by things continued to get worse. By 17 I had “WHITE POWER” tattooed across my shoulders and a big swastika on my back as well and was running around with the Hell’s Angels and using meth every single day. That went on for 25 years with all the crime and things that go with it.
As I look back there are several times that I thought I got “lucky” and should have died from overdoses, near motorcycle wrecks at 120 mph +, and violence including armed robbery. Now I know my Savior wrapped His loving hands around me to spare my life.
I have a daughter who went into the Teen Challenge recovery program with a pill addiction. I was so happy for her and did not want her to live a life in bondage as I had all those years and wanted to support her in every way possible.
The girls in the program have a choir and go to a different church each Sunday and sing and give testimonies to raise money. I was at every single one. I had an extremely hard heart and my dad would have beaten me if I cried even as a little boy so I was not the crying type. But every week I would hear those girls sing and tell their stories and I would sit and sob (while trying to not draw attention).
My daughter wanted me to go into the program but I would not. At one point she was going to leave the program (she was there voluntarily by the way) and I told her if she stayed and I was not clean by the time she graduated, I would go in. She stayed in and on October 21, 2012, I showed up for a choir outing at a local church. I had an incredible panic come over me like I had to get out of there but I knew my daughter was counting on me to be there so I stayed.
God delivered me that night. I went through hell physically and it was a rough road, but He took away any desire to use meth. My girlfriend got saved also.
I slept the majority of the time for nearly 5 months. My now-wife Coleen would stop by on her way to work and wake me up to feed me. On her way home she would wake me up to feed me again and she would go home. The only other times I would get up was to shower occasionally and go to church and watch a little TV.
He changed my heart overnight too. When I was able to get up and around I started going to the parks to witness to the homeless and pass out food gift cards my church supplied. I have a huge love for the people that are still in the bondage and it is only by the grace of God I didn’t end up homeless too.
Coleen and I were married shortly after we got saved as we didn’t want to live in a sinful relationship any longer. We began to pray for unsaved family members and as of today 9 family members have gotten saved and are faithful church members!
All of those people were saved and I was miraculously delivered because my daughter was in a Christ-based recovery program and they were all praying. Only God could do that. I have a heart for people going down that road (especially kids). I have been there and can identify with them. I went to a bunch of counselors as a kid as part of probation and would never talk to them because they were from a different world than mine.
I would love to find a way to take what the enemy intended for my destruction and use it for the glory of my Savior. These kids have no idea that they are robbing themselves of their future here on earth as well as what God wants for them in eternity. As the saying goes, “Jails, institutions, and death are the three destinations of abuse.”
Sorry to go on so long. I just love to tell anybody who will listen what Jesus the eternal lover of my soul has done for me! We are to tell everybody and never be ashamed.
For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his glory, and in his fathers, and of the holy angels.
Sorry to go on so long but it’s hard to fit 32 years into a few paragraphs.
II Corinthians 5:17-18