“A life that was going nowhere”

Jody's Story

Jody was raised by a mother who was not only an addict, but also sold drugs.

The worst part is she introduced her son to drugs while he was still in his teens!

Having been introduced to drugs at an early age, Jody never got beyond an eighth grade education. At age 14 he moved in with his father, who was also an addict. That home didn’t provide the structure or spiritual guidance he needed either.

“I went to church a few times. I had a childlike faith when I was really young, but once I got old enough to make my own decisions, I dropped it. Eventually, I tried to convince others that people who believed in God were fools.”

Jody’s addiction only worsened. At one point he enrolled in a faith-based recovery program, but didn’t stay more than three months. He left the program early to work for a traveling carnival group.

After his mother, father, and grandmother all died within a matter of months, Jody ended up living in a house with no utilities. Other addicts moved into the house with him. With the drug use and poor diet, he became malnourished and unhealthy. His life was going nowhere.

Then last October, something happened.

“One Sunday morning, I woke up and realized for the first time in my life that I had lived a sinful life. I actually thought I was going to die. That morning, God told me, ‘You need to ­flee from here. Leave everything behind. Don’t take anything with you.’ I knew I had to get out of there.”

Jody went to a nearby church and slept outside on their property. He attended a morning service and stayed inside the church all day.

“I was too scared to leave the property. I just knew God was real, and I knew that spiritual forces of darkness were real so I wanted to stay close to God.”

Trying to find help, the members of the church pursued different options, and Jody ended up at the Mission.

“When I got to Memphis Union Mission, the preacher that day was telling me I should come to God as I was. Every time someone preached, it was like they were talking right to me. When I would hear the Word preached, I just knew it was the truth. I couldn’t have been in a better place.”

Within a day of arriving, Jody enrolled in the Mission’s Iron-On-Iron recovery program, and his life began to change.

“One day this guy talked about God’s love, and I just started crying. I had been dealing with a lot of self-condemnation up to that point. God showed me that he had always been there. Since that day, I’ve never looked back.”

“I read as much as I could. I took my devotional life very seriously. I can see how all that time spent in the Word is really paying off now. God was constantly communicating with me through various pastors.”

Now a program graduate, Jody is working and living at our Wright Transitional House. He also has a desire to help other people struggling with addiction.

“Getting into ministry is now an objective I can achieve. It might not be as a pastor, but I want to be a part of helping people heal from addiction.”

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