01 Jan Carlos’ Story
My name is Carlos and I’m 24 years old. I had a very normal childhood and was brought up in church knowing God. I have an amazing family that has always been there for me, with two loving parents and three awesome little brothers. I excelled in school and sports, but even though I had all these positive things in my life, I still wasn’t happy. There was still a hole in my heart that I couldn’t fill. Instead of turning to God for help, I turned to drugs for that easy, temporary fix to my anxiety.
I started at a very young age and that went on through my teenage years and adult life. I’ve been to jail and prison multiple times repeating the same cycle over and over again. God had revealed Himself to me on multiple occasions throughout my mess but I simply chose to ignore Him. I thought I could do everything myself. The more drugs I sold, the deeper my addiction became. Money, drugs and girls wasn’t cutting it anymore. I started resenting life and the world!
I should be in prison for a long time for some of the things that I’ve done. But God has always been there for me giving me chance after chance – so has my family. They never gave up on me. So in October 2015, I gave up trying to do it on my own and put my trust in Christ with the help of my parents. After serving a year in jail, in October 2016 I came into Teen Challenge and it’s been a 15 month journey of good and bad times, lessons learned and growth. God and my family have been there every step of the way with the addition of our leadership team – Phillip, David, Pastor Justin & Pastor Ashley. They have been such a critical component in my recovery and personal growth. Every time I struggled, they were there mentoring me. I’ve matured a lot physically, mentally and spiritually. I want to thank all of the guys in the program and to encourage them to stick through it.
“If I did it, so can you!”
God has called us for something greater.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans that I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.