Living free from addiction

I would never do drugs to fit in, that’s messed up. 
I would never steal to support my drug addiction, that’s messed up.
I would never spend hundreds of dollars a day for drugs, that’s messed up. 
I would never go to jail, that’s messed up.
I would never need rehab for my addiction, that’s messed up. 

Those were thoughts that once filled my head, so when each of those things became my daily reality, I couldn’t help but believe that I truly was messed up. Me, a great kid, raised in a Christian home… super messed up… or so I thought.

I was raised knowing who God is and I had two amazing parents who loved me. Unfortunately however, I was bullied a lot when I was young. I carried a lot of hurt and pain, which made me so badly want to fit in and prove that I was worth knowing. I made a vow early on in my life that I would do whatever it took to fit in. 

And so I did. I started drinking, and before long I started smoking weed. One thing led to another, and before long I was experimenting with harder drugs, and finally I found myself injecting opiates. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror because I was so disgusted with who I’d become. Not only did I feel like I had disappointed myself, but I knew I was letting down my family and friends as well.

I had no joy left and after trying to kick my addiction countless times, I was completely hopeless.

I had tried to turn my life around and quit the drugs many times. The problem was that the physical, mental, and emotional withdrawals were too much to bear in my own strength. I believed what a lot of people say: once an addict, always an addict. I figured this would be my ultimate reality and identity. 

I ended up at Teen Challenge after a series of God ordained events. I walked into the first worship service feeling like complete dirt. I have never really struggled with depression but that night I felt like garbage, like scum. I had just overdosed and got kicked out of rehab. How much more pathetic could someone be? I had no joy left and after trying to kick my addiction countless times, and never succeeding, I was completely hopeless.

But then God showed up. The truth is He was always there, He actually saved me from death a few times, but I couldn’t see Him. My heart only became aware of His presence when I agreed to get help and and surrender my will to Him. During that first worship night I finally decided to say “yes” in my heart to God. When the music started playing and I was in the midst of my brokenness, God MET me. I began to worship and as I did, all I felt was wave after wave of His love. I was completely undone. He made me feel better than any drug ever had or could hope to. He was pouring His love out on me more than I have ever felt in my life since that moment. He was loving me more than I could ever express in words.

The little yes, that little spark in my heart, rapidly turned into a forest fire that consumed me.  It was a process of me saying “yes” even when it was hard. But God was faithful and gave me strength for every “yes.” As I reached out for help, he flooded me with people to help walk out my freedom. And now I live as someone who defied the odds. I am FREE, both from drugs and from the lies.

I am His son and He is PLEASED beyond measure with me.

I am free from believing that I was a failure. I now know this ONE truth - I am His son and He is PLEASED beyond measure with me. I now have purpose for my life and am filled with unspeakable joy.  All the years that the locusts had eaten, God has given me back ten-fold! (Joel 2:25). 

The statistics say that 80% of opiate addicts will never be free from their addiction. But I am FREE - GOD defied the odds and showed me the path to freedom.

There is hope even if you feel hopeless. God’s love is the one thing that can release the hold of any addiction you have. You are enough, you fit in - you are a son or daughter of the most High and that is your identity. If you are struggling with addiction, and unsure of your true identity, here’s what I suggest for you: 

1. Talk to God
2. Talk to someone
3. Let God talk to you
4. Reach out for help
5. Know that you are not alone
6. Know that you are worth it
7. Know that God has a better life for you


Love, Daniel