Your gifts saved this father’s life
“I had no idea how sick I was until it was almost too late,” says Dewayne.
Dewayne grew up on a tobacco farm. His parents divorced when he was seven and he was shuffled between his mom, dad and grandparents. Instability and lack of structure gave way to using alcohol on a regular basis.
“I was an alcoholic and a drug addict,” says Dewayne. “I tried rehab. I’d stay a week, a month, only to leave and return to my old ways. My wife divorced me and took our three sons with her.”
Dewayne continued to drink and use drugs for many years, not really caring about anyone but himself. “Things changed when I met a wonderful woman named Shannon. I quit using drugs and alcohol,” says Dewayne. “We got married and had two girls, two years apart. I was working on a farm and life was great. But in 2009 everything fell apart.”
While jumping off a combine at work, Dewayne injured his back. “All it took was one month of being on pain medicine and I was addicted,” says Dewayne. “I would get paid on Friday and the money would be gone by Monday. I was spending over $1,000 a week on drugs. I lost everything.”
He contemplated ending his life. “I remember praying, ‘Lord, I’m as low as I can get. Please help me.’ I didn’t want to die, but I didn’t want to live like that anymore. It was like the Lord said to me, ‘I’ll help you, but you’ve got to do what I tell you to do.’ So I did.”
Looking for Help
He packed his bags and headed to a treatment center. After reading a verse out of the Bible during a group meeting, Dewayne was told to never bring his Bible again.
“When I told my pastor about what was going on, he told me to pack my bags…that we were headed to someplace where God was present. When we arrived at Nashville Rescue Mission I wasn’t surprised. I knew the Mission had a reputation for helping people and changing lives.”
Dewayne’s first day in the Mission’s life-recovery program was on his birthday. “In retrospect, it was like a new birth,” he says. “There were birth pains. I missed my wife and I missed my kids. It was hard and I was completely humbled by the experience. But I had a lot of heart pain and the Mission gave me a chance to start over.”
Brand New Life
While at the Mission, Dewayne participated in Bible classes, individual therapy, group counseling, computer classes, marriage counseling, work therapy and physical exercise. “My little girl had a hard time understanding why I had to be away for so long. After explaining it to her, she came up with the phrase ‘God’s Hospital.’ In her own way, she knew God was at work, trying to make her daddy better.”
Dewayne graduated in May 2012. He’s started his own business and is a Discipleship Trainer at his church. “So much good has come out of this experience for me and my family,” says Dewayne. “There are lots of people who have more than we do, and yet they are not content. I can honestly say we have God and He’s provided us with everything we need.”
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