This is a very small version of my testimony. I began smoking pot when I was sixteen, looking to “experience the world,” I felt that I needed to try everything possible, so as to expand my knowledge. This was the beginning of a horrible affair; my reality slowly became the pursuit of altering reality. I chased stupidity with recklessness, gradually fostering a serious alcohol dependency, and eventually a pain killer addiction. I somehow graduated from college, only to seek jobs that would pay cash quickly to feed my addictions. Countless nights of insane drinking and self-prescribed medicating resulted in completely blank memories and bank accounts.
After about five years of killing myself slowly, and destroying my family almost completely, God moved in my life. He allowed for my car to be stolen, which I was basically living out of, due to my drug-fueled existence. This was a critical point in my life, blatantly exposing the condition I had allowed my world to sink…also forcing my hand to a decision. I would either have to ask for help, or crawl further into the gutter I had dug.
Behind a hotel in Vestavia Hills, I had wandered into the woods because I had no other place to go. I had no money, no car, no job…my family, thank God, had become strong enough to show me tough love. My parents learned to not give me any financial assistance, the hardest thing they had ever done as parents. I say financial assistance; because my father told me that if I wanted help, they would take me to The Foundry…they were still willing to help, just not with money. My father later told me that he, “Wanted to leave one door open for you.” That was the door that would save my life. That was a door that led to Jesus.
Behind that hotel I debated taking my own life. It was a fleeting thought, a flicker of horrible emotional fatigue. I was lying in a storm drain, literally in a gutter, trying to figure out my next move…trying to figure out if I even had another move. It was a perfect day, a brilliant endless blue sky, not a trace of a cloud…the weather was the exact opposite of the climate in my life. I was lying on my back, looking through the trees, thinking about how much I used to love these moments with nature. Simple, peaceful, beautiful moments…earthy moments…close to God moments. I thought how far I had gone from the person who could actually savor this moment, how distorted I had become, how polluted I now was. I saw a dead branch jutting out from the tree to my left and thought how easily I could simply break it off and end my life. This thought lasted about as long as a ball takes to bounce off a floor…that is, very quickly…almost only an instant. This was the moment when everything changed. I call this moment “The Bounce”. I knew I did not want to die. I asked myself why. I knew that I missed the truly happy moments in life. The Christmas mornings, the sunsets on the beach…falling in love…the parts of life that make death seem unfair and unexplained. I wanted those things back…but I had no idea how to restore anything of worth. That was when I asked God, “If you are real…if you are really out there, I need you now. Please help. Come into me…help me Father.” I whispered those words through trembling lips…for the first time in my life. I laid there for about three minutes, my mind not really processing anything…I had given up…then He spoke to me. Not with words, but through a series of thoughts…like dominoes falling in my mind (I cannot explain this any other way)…God spoke to me. He told me that He had been there the whole time, right beside me, protecting me…leading me to this point. He told me to get up and never return to that place. He told me to not fear, to walk away and never even look back.
That walk led me here, to The Foundry, where God has continued to do an amazing work in my life. There is so much more to tell; I am leaving out huge parts of this story, but the meat of it lies in the fact that Jesus will change you if you let Him…God will fix your problems when you call on Him, and truly believe that He loves you enough to do so. But I tell you this with a warning, God will not stop with the problems you ask him to solve in your life…God calls us to walk perfectly and created us to be perfect…He will not just fix the scratches and dents…He will completely rebuild you if you let Him. -Pelham Morris
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