David smoked marijuana for the first time when he was 10 and graduated to hard drugs after high school. He has overdosed nine times. He’s taken four ambulance rides. But he’s still alive.
“The Lord said, ‘No. There’s something for you.’ And it took a long time for me to say, ‘OK, Lord, I’m going to step into your light. And I’m going to stay in your light as long as you allow me to,’” David said.
David grew up in a large family, with four brothers and three sisters. His father died when David was 3 as a result of alcohol abuse. Despite that loss, David said he had a good childhood.
“My family has been so supportive and just good to me, always,” David said. “I am so blessed. There’s nothing I can blame any of my bad choices on. I’ve always had family support. They’ve always stuck by me, no matter how bad my paths were.”
David started using cocaine after high school. “Before I even knew it, I was doing it every day,” he said.
“I was hooked on it. I’d go to work, come home, use. I was using all weekend. Next thing you know, I’m 18 and I’m addicted.”
David has sought treatment before, and he gained some biblical foundation in past Christian-based programs, but it was not until he came to the Mission that he felt a shift.
“Even though I say I was saved in 2004, and I believed, these last five months, something’s changed,” David said. “I feel like I’m all in—wholeheartedly, mentally, spiritually.”
He said he’s learned a lot since he came to the Mission. “The knowledge that I’ve gained here, the bible studies here, it’s amazing,” David said. “I haven’t missed one since I’ve been here. Any class they offer, I take it. And I put effort into it. … Since I’ve been here, I try to live by the word. I’m doing my best to sin less every day. I understand now—it doesn’t stop with believing.”
David talks about working in construction, leading some spiritual counseling, or even becoming a preacher.
“I just hope I can stay close to this place, and see what the Lord has for me as far as serving him,” David said. “I’m just beyond thankful. There are no words for me to say how thankful I am. But the Lord knows. He knows where I’m going. And I’m just going to give it all I got while I’m here.”
His main focus is bettering himself, one day at a time. “Every day we could do better,” David said.
“Every day we could sin less. It’s a never-ending battle. It’s a spiritual battle. I’m getting the weapons here to win that battle.”