Lifeonthewagon has turned 3 years old! In celebration, I decided to freshen the look of lifeonthewagon.com (when you have a chance, look around and see what’s new), but more importantly, I decided to do a series called: testimony. I asked several friends to share their stories. I am praying you will be inspired by their courage to share. I will be posting their testimonies over the next few days, so be on the lookout for each one. You will not want to miss the blessing of hearing their stories! To God Be The Glory!
The first testimony comes from Kevin, a graduate of the same ministry program my husband attended. You can leave comments on this post for Kevin if you feel led. I am thankful for his honesty and willingness to share….
I am honored to share with you my testimony and story of how God has saved me and restored my family. I am a native of Boone, born and raised by hard working parents.
My battle with addiction began in my teenage years, though I did not see the signs early on. A verse comes immediately to mind in John 10:10, “The thief comes not but to steal, kill, and destroy.” It all started with alcohol, but quickly moved on to methamphetamine abuse shortly after high school. My father owned several tractor trailers, so the natural progression was to follow in his footsteps and become a driver as well. Being a long haul truck driver for many years really enabled me to be someone else while on the road. Those years took a huge toll on my wife and children. The physical and mental abuse that I bestowed on them was completely out of control. I would frequently have thoughts of suicide, becoming so fed up with the direction my life was heading, and I blamed everyone except myself.
I attended my first 28 day secular rehab program in 2001; and sobriety lasted for a short time before returning to the hog pen, as I call it, again. During those years of sobriety, Tracie and I built a new home; and we were blessed with a third daughter. Of course, these blessings came with their own set of stressors which led me back to drugs again, because I didn’t possess the tools I needed to deal with the problems that arise every day.
In 2010, I attended Hebron Colony Ministry for the first time. Life returned to normal again for a short time, but I decided that my family needed more money to live; and I found myself missing the road. The opportunity presented itself to buy another tractor trailer and I jumped at it feeling this was the right move for our family. All along I believed this was Satan’s plan to pull me and our family back into his grip, like the thief he presented himself again.
Things went fine in the beginning of my newest venture, but then I became tired from the high expectations and long hours that are required to be successful in the logistics business. I began using drugs again to enable my body to stay awake and deliver the loads in a timely manner. I justified my drug use by comparing myself to King David, telling myself I was making money for my family. Brothers and sisters, was I wrong! Over a short six month period, I was deeper in that hog pen than I had ever been. Our home that we had worked so hard to build ten years earlier was foreclosed on, my wife and children left me and moved to a small apartment while I was left living in my car. One day, driving into Boone, God saw His opportunity and took it. He had brought me to my lowest point in order to save me from myself. I cried, begging God to help me and fix the mess I had made of the life He had given me. I knew it was time to go back to the Mountain of Miracles, Hebron.
I made my way to RD Hodges’ office, a man who now I am proud to call my friend and brother in Christ. I was ready for a lasting change in my life and the staff welcomed me with open arms. They had prayed that I would find my way back and those prayers did not go unheard. Though my wife had left me and was so fearful of me that she had a restraining order in place, she agreed to be my sponsor and drove me to Hebron that Saturday morning. She knew the man I could be and longed to have that godly man back in their lives. The last portion of John 10:10 “I have come that you may have life abundantly” rings true and I have not looked back. I graduated on August 18, 2012, and then God blessed me again, allowing me to extend for an additional 12 weeks and then 6 more months as volunteer staff assisting Gene Dooley in the kitchen. The pastors laughed, telling me I was the first student to actually request to be assigned in the kitchen and I was blessed to have godly men like Gene in my life.
Our lives are now full of happiness and joy. My wife and I have a closer relationship than ever before, and although two of our daughters now have homes of their own, we have an exceptional relationship with each other. Our youngest daughter Maggie is now 9; and she trusts me and my decisions. I still go to Hebron every Saturday where I enjoy helping the ladies in the office and meeting the new men. I also enjoy doing the sound for each Saturday graduation service. Maggie goes with me and enjoys the services as much as I do.
I have said all this to say that when I truly surrendered everything in my life to God, He gave me an abundant life right here on earth and the tools I need to maintain this life, being in His Word. God gave my family back to me, a nice home to live in, a great job that I like and a heart to help other men who are just like me. I praise God for the life he has given me because without Him my life means nothing. God can take a mountain of mess and turn it into a mountain of miracles like me.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13