Trusting the King
“I had a pretty normal childhood as far as childhoods go,” says Brian. His parents were divorced when he was in sixth grade, which was a difficult event in the life of Brian and his younger brother. His mom tried everything to make life as positive for her children as she could, despite the difficult circumstances. “She worked really hard to make things good for us,” remembers Brian.
After graduating from high school, Brian moved to Virginia Beach. Now aged 18, he discovered that he was above the legal drinking age of his new hometown. “I thought I had died and gone to heaven,” says Brian. “I lived there for a while and I partied all the time.” His party lifestyle resulted in him spending three nights in jail after getting into a fight. One morning, after waking up having slept next to the toilet all night, Brian decided that he was ready for a change.
He moved back home and got a job washing cars. He was now 21 years of age. “I did drink, but not out of control at this point,” explains Brian. As time went on, he began smoking pot and drinking every day. “My life went up and down and through the years, beer had always been there,” he says. “So what I’m saying is that I was an alcoholic and I did not even know it.”
Brian was determined to keep working, despite his regular alcohol and drug use. He still showed up at work every day. Drug testing was not something that was required at his work place, so he was able to scrape by. “But I came to the realization that I was a pot-smoking, beer-drinking mess,” says Brian. One thing led to another and soon he was a regular cocaine user. He smoked crack every weekend for a couple of years, with all his money going to fund his habits.
One day, Brian’s mom called him and asked if he would take her to Mass that evening. Religion had never been a big part of Brian’s life, but he did talk to God often. He was just never sure if God was listening. He decided to accompany his mom to Mass, which renewed his desire to pray and talk with God every day. These daily conversations with the Lord helped Brian overcome his addictions. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Brian stopped his cocaine use cold-turkey. He was now able to see that God had been listening and watching out for him all along. “After all the things I had done in my life – the drug deals, driving when I really should not have, etc. – God was protecting me,” he explains.
Seven years went by with Brian growing and prospering without the need for alcohol or drugs. But suddenly, his life was flipped upside down when he suffered a heart attack. The recovery process was long and strenuous and Brian’s “old friends” came back into his life. Brian explains the temptation when he says, “The devil would say, ‘You’ll be okay. You can drink and smoke again.’ So, I did.”
“It finally caught up with me,” says Brian. “My drinking was out of control.” He was kicked out of the home he was living in and tried to blame everyone else, except himself, for his downfall. It only took four days of Brian being out on his own before he was charged with a DUI. “That was an eye-opener…for a day or two,” he says. Things continued to get worse, and Brian finally reached his breaking point. “I ended up in the hospital, waking up with a catheter and not knowing anything. That was the final straw,” Brian explains.
His sister helped locate the Peoria Rescue Mission and brought him to be enrolled in the recovery program. “The first week (at the Mission) was agonizing,” says Brian. “And then I realized something – I was sober. I had not had a drink in a while and I thought that maybe, just maybe, there was something better than a Vodka bottle.”
Brian has now successfully graduated the Peoria Rescue Mission’s recovery program and has even transitioned into the role of a valued employee of Peoria Rescue Ministries. Looking back, Brian recalls the value of the program when he says, “Now as anybody knows, Peoria Rescue Mission has a strict structure, and guess what? It works. God is back in my life and I love it.”
“So the moral of my story is this: God is real and He will answer you,” Brian says. “Believe in Him and He will protect you. And trust Him, because He is the one true King.”
Brian's story was featured in "the Hope", peoria rescue ministries' newsletter.