Brad’s Story

My name is Brad and this is my testimony about how I thought that the real world would never get the best of me and that I could do anything and everything on my own.

I am 35 years old and I grew up spending most of my life in Martinsburg, WV. I came from a strong Christian family which allowed me to accept the Lord as my Savior at 8 years old. I attended church every Sunday, I was involved in youth group until the Teenage year when I began to get very busy with friends, girls, and playing sports.

I was always very responsible and respected the authority of those around me. I followed all of the rules and tried to do the right thing because thats how I was raise. I didn’t smoke, drink, or even go to parties. I kept to myself and spent most fo my free time playing sports.

Immediately after high school I was blessed with a wonderful job, working in the law enforcement field with a government agency. I started to grow up very quickly and at this time, I felt as if I never had a true identity, at least in my eyes. I just wanted to be accepted so I started searching out into the world on my own. Only wanting to fit in and in an effort to be cool I found myself fading further away from God and putting church and religion on the back burner.

With the new job I noticed that all of my new friends were smoking and drinking so I occasionally began to do this with them to fit in. By 21 I was begginning to move up the employment ladder at work and began to travel a lot, as time passed my occasional drinking turned into a regular habit for the next for years.

By 2001 I started to drink daily and was introduced to cocaine. I has also began gambling heavily. To support my habits I started selling drugs while aslo using credit cards, both personal and government to sustain the addiction. Pretty soon this debt turned into a mountain of around $100,000. I was simply going through the motions during the day and trying to make it through the turmoil of work while living the “Street Life” at night.

By 2004, I had been convicted of my 1st DUI and was in all kinds of trouble with my employer and their Internal Affairs department. I made an attempt to save my job and entered into a 28 day reahb program only to be sent home after 14 because the rehab saw that I had been cured. In 2005 I lost my job and in doing so severed many close relationships with my loved ones and the vast majority of friends,

For the next 5 years family and friends would try to reach out to me but my selfishness had peaked to a new level: I didn’t care about anyone or anything by me and would listen. I bounced from job to job, all the while wearing my self down through self-abuse. I felt totally depressed over all that I had done and last. My drinking had become an every day, all day ritual.

Two days before my 35th birthday I hit my rock bottom after being severely beaten by a group of 10 men outside of one of my local watering holes. It was time to get help, I reached out to my Mom, Dad, and my Cousin Tracy and after being released from the hospital from the severe injuries I had sustained I entered into a local detoxification center for one week. While in this detox center arrangements were made to enter Shenandoah Valley Adult Teen Challenge.

In conclusion I would like to thank my cousin Tracy for always being there for me. I would like to thank my parents for never giving up on me. I would like to thank Shenandoah Valley Adult Teen Challenge for opening my eyes to a new way of living. And most of all, I would like to thank Jesus Christ for dying on the cross for all of our sins. At this point I have the chance to continue to grow spiritually and spread his Word.

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

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