By the time Robert was 30 years old, drugs were a controlling factor in his life. His addiction had destroyed three marriages and robbed him of over 40 years of his life.
“When you consider all I’ve been through, it’s a wonder I’m still alive,” said Robert. “I accidentally hung myself at seven; at 14 my dad accidentally shot me while we were hunting; I’ve had two near drownings and one seriously bad car accident; all of that plus my struggle with addiction. I’ve been told many times by many different people that God had a plan for my life. I didn’t believe it for a long time. But today, at 63, I know He still has a plan for me.”
God opened a lot of doors for Robert following his graduation from the Mission’s Life Recovery Program in 2009. He found a good church home. He was on staff at the Mission for almost three years. It was also during that time Robert had another experience that changed the course of his life—he got married.
“I will never forget the day I saw this young lady who bore a startling resemblance to someone I dated 30 years earlier,” said Robert. “I knew it couldn’t be her, but without thinking I instinctively called out … ‘Deborah.’ She turned around with a puzzled look and said, ‘Deborah’s my mother, I’m Tia.’ I’m still stunned that God would work out details like this. Life doesn’t happen that way. Or at least I didn’t think so. But God had a plan, and He used this situation to reintroduce me to someone I loved long ago. After such a long time, I wondered if she would still have a place in her heart for me. We did reconnect and today, Deborah and I have been happily married for over six years.”
Robert found hope and healing in many areas of his life since that first day at the Mission. “At 55, I was finally able to let go of some trauma from my childhood because of lessons I learned while at the Mission … I was now able to cope and trust God to heal.” Robert has since reconnected with his father, grieved the loss of his mother, who had passed away in 2000, and is now able to minister to others who are in need of hope. For the past five years, he and his wife Deborah have been working with men and women who are incarcerated, offering them the same encouragement and hope he received at the Mission.
“Addiction took away my ability to cope and connect. At the Mission, I learned how to care about others. Instead of taking, I now want to give back. I am so thankful for my life today. None of this would have been possible without Nashville Rescue Mission and the people who faithfully support the ministry,” said Robert. “All I can say is thank you. Thank you for not giving up on me and showing me that it’s never too late to start over.”
With you help, Robert and others like him are finding out it’s never too late to have a new beginning. God’s hope and healing is for everyone, regardless of a person’s past or circumstances. Thank you for your generous support of this ministry.