01 Feb Mark’s Story
My name is Mark. I am 28 years old and I’ve been clean for 8 months. I used to be miserable. I had a lot going for me; a beautiful wife, a good job that I enjoyed, two houses, and four awesome dogs. From a worldly perspective I should have been happy but I wasn’t. I felt lonely, isolated and unloved. There was a hole in my life that I couldn’t fill. I thought my wife could fill it but she couldn’t. I tried to get satisfaction from work and material things, however, that didn’t work! I was miserable and I just wanted to be happy.
I used drugs. I had been using drugs for most of my adult life. I tried to find happiness or at least cover the misery with drugs. Instead of helping, the drugs ruined my life. My marriage fell apart as did my whole life. By the end of my using I was ready to give up on life and die.
I felt unwanted and unloved. I honestly thought I had been created for destruction and that there was no hope for me to ever be a good person, or a clean person. I felt like the clay pot made for garbage that Paul talked about in Romans 9:21.
God didn’t leave me in my despair forever. In His love and mercy, He rescued me from myself. This came in the form of jail.
As I sat in jail detoxing and contemplating my life, I was given a Bible to read. It was a beat up KJV jail Bible. I opened it to Romans 6. I can remember reading it over and over, just crying. God was telling me that I had a choice, that I could be free from sin.
I felt love!
My parents sent me an NLT Bible and I began to read the Bible with a real thirst. God revealed Himself to me through His word. I also began to develop an active prayer life. The craziest thing happened to me while I was in jail. The two things that I had been wanting were given to me. God showered me with love and gave me the ability to love others. He even put love back into my marriage. God also showed me how to be joyful.
True joy is the result of a choice. To be joyful, you must submit your life to God and choose to obey His laws. You must also decide to be thankful in every circumstance. This second part was really hard for me at first. I had to acknowledge two truths about God in order to be thankful. 1. God is in control of everything. If He wasn’t then why would I thank Him? 2. That God loves me and wants good things for me. Even seemingly bad things would be worked out for my ultimate good.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in every circumstance for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Through my wife God led me to Teen Challenge upon my release from jail. Here at the center I have been learning how to live with Christian principles. God has been using this time to train me to live a life for Him. God has also been restoring the relationship between my wife and I; the one I just about destroyed. He has been teaching me how to love and how to put her needs before my own. I feel closer to my wife now more than ever before.
The lessons God has been teaching me over the last 8 months have given me hope for the future. I am happy and I am looking forward to the next 7 months at Teen Challenge. I know that God will use the time I spend here to equip me to live for Him and bring Him glory.
We hope Mark’s story impacted your life in a positive way. We can’t wait to see what God is going to do in Mark’s program and the rest of his life.