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A Matter of Life or Death

 Chris“I came to the Nashville Rescue Mission in early 2006,” says Chris, “straight from jail.”           

Chris’s drug use started with marijuana, then progressed to cocaine, which he used recreationally for over 10 years. Somehow he managed to keep a job and stay out of trouble with the law.
Do Not Pass Go, Go Directly to Jail
Everything changed in 1996 when Chris was caught passing off counterfeit bills at a convenience store. “It seemed like an easy way to make money,” says Chris. “It was an easy ticket straight to jail.”
Since it was his first offense, Chris spent just 2 weeks in jail and 2 years on probation. Shortly after that, Chris was in a horrible car accident. “It pretty much scared the ‘death’ out of me,” Chris says. “I started going to church. I thought I was ready for a change.”
Making Meth
After his probation was over, Chris had slipped back into his old ways. But this time, cocaine wasn’t so readily available. “Everyone was doing methamphetamine (a.k.a. meth),” Chris explains. “I had friends who were cooking it, so it was easy to get.”
By 2001, the law had come down hard on meth manufacturers. With his supply drying up, Chris started making meth out of necessity.
“Cooking meth is a dangerous business,” Chris says. “I have at least 15 friends who are now dead because of it.”
“In 2004 I got caught cooking meth and spent the next year and a half in jail.”
Chris 2Michael, Angel in Disguise
It was while in jail that Chris received a visit from Michael.
“Michael was from my hometown and had also been involved in meth. I knew he went through a program and had been clean for 4 or 5 years. My family asked him to come and tell me about the program he went through at the Nashville Rescue Mission.”
During the visit, Michael told Chris about a dream Chris’s niece had shared with him. In her dream, she saw Chris in a casket.
“Call me crazy, but I knew right then, if I didn’t change things in my life, that dream could easily become a reality.”
The day Chris got out of jail, he came straight to the Mission. Seven months later, Chris came out a new man.
The Flesh is Weak
“I thought I had this drug thing whipped. And for a year, I did. But I moved right back home after graduating,” shares Chris. “I was too close to the people and places that were a part of ‘that’ life. I went through some tough times and found myself easily tempted. I kept thinking, I can do this, and no one will ever know.”
Chris was so ashamed, he went into hiding and for the next couple of months no one knew where to find him.
“One day, out of the blue, I heard the words ‘Nashville Rescue Mission’ in my head,” explains Chris. “For the next week, I kept hearing that over and over. I knew I had to make a decision. A friend took me to my parents and I called Currey Womack (his counselor while at the Mission).”
The next day, Chris was headed back to the Nashville Rescue Mission to start over.
Choosing Life
Two weeks later, Currey told Chris that a week before Chris had returned to the Mission, his (Currey’s) wife woke up from a dream and told him if Chris doesn’t come back to the Mission, he’s going to die.
“The folks at the Mission welcomed me back. There was no judgment or condemnation, only grace.”
“I believe my mess brought my parents closer to the Lord,” shares Chris. “In Job chapter 33, it talks about God speaking to us through dreams. I believe the dreams my niece and Currey’s wife had were the result of my mother’s prayers. Never doubt the power of prayer.”
Today, Chris lives in the Mission’s transitional housing, but is in the process of building his own house with the help of his 90-year-old grandpa, a preacher of over 50 years. He worked for Exodus Tree Service for almost 2 years and now works for Stockwell Construction, with his brother. He’s also been reunited with his 10-year-old son Dalton.
Because of you, Chris and others like him have new lives. Thank you for your support.


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