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THE LONG ROAD HOME

Just then God said to me: "It's now or never"




As a boy, I was fortunate enough to have Christian grandparents
who were very active in the church and a mother who had had
an upbringing in parochial school. Had this not been my
background, and in the heart of the Bible belt too, I would not
have made it through what I am about to tell you.
Up until about seventeen years of age, I felt that I had a good relationship
with God, but once I left home, I left God.
Oh, I went to a Christian college, but I dropped out after a year to return to
Atlanta. I got a great job and did quite well for a while, but I
ended up too near the night life. After drinking like a fish
every chance I could get, one thing soon led to another and very
soon, I uncovered an addictive personality. Drugs along with all
associated wordly things were next.
I began seeking the "new me". As a man of the world the drugs
and all the sin and sickness associated with them became worse
and worse. I regularly sought the night life so; I then needed
more drugs to get up, go to work and get me through the day then
I could start the vicious circle all over again each night.
After 3 years of this I went even farther into the big time, I
moved to New York. Madison Ave. Wow...this place was for me!!
But drugs really gained control of me here. After a wild time
there, I moved back to Atlanta to be closer to my family, but
not so close that they would notice my habits. I took a
new job holding off a few days at a time as my habit became too
costly. Finely I had to sell drugs in order to sustain my habit.
Meantime, still searching for this "new me", I opened my own
business. Yea, yea a new business takes a lot of time, but I
certainly didn't let it interfere with my night life! Using
more and more, all during the day and night, I became more
distant from family and friends. I sold my business, and just
quit working all together.
The so-called new me found it's self a prisoner of the world. As
an addict I shut myself off from everyone and almost died from
an over dose and exhaustion. God sent someone to pull me out,
give me back my self esteem & encourage me, or so I thought.
Now I just knew I would make it ! I prayed to God to help me,
and He did, but I never trusted Him. Bottom line..the nightmare
started all over again. I moved into the city to be closer to
the night life. Three more years of the same continual abuse,
then hallucinations, blackouts and deep depression. I just knew
God didn't hear me when I cried out to Him in despair and I
wasn't strong enough to clean myself up on my own so, very soon, the
devil won again.




Once again, I quit still another job. I then moved in with my
brother and his family in South Carolina. There I surely would
be able to escape the drugs and all that went with them. But it
was there that I blacked out and scared his family to death.
This was my end. It was then that God spoke to me and said


Its now or never"
If you don't ask for help you will never maske it past tomorrow"


I somehow picked up the phone and called my mother. I said
mom, "I need help NOW!" I have heard from God and it's now or never.
That night, they came for me and took me be back home to Georgia.
Although I tried every kind of rehab, nothing worked. I finely
realized that God just wanted me to trust Him that He wanted to
heal me of my addictions. I began by praying, reading His word
and then just trusting Him and only Him to get me through. I
prayed "Lord please use me to glorify You and to be a testament to others."


It has been 4 years since then and I can honestly say, God
answers prayer. He worked a miracle in me and continues to do so by
blessing me with another day to live for Him.

Praise God!!

Rick

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