Drugs took a lot from my life

Johnny's Story

“Drugs took a lot from my life.”

Being raised in a good family is no guarantee that you’ll make the right choices.

Especially if, like Johnny, you’re raised by loving grandparents who give you “a lot of freedom” at a very young age.

“I got in with the wrong crowd.”

Johnny started using marijuana when he was 12. By 13, he was buying it regularly. “My family, my mama, my grandparents, they all loved me and took care of me. But they gave me money…they didn’t realize [what was happening], they thought they were just loving me.”

In his mid-twenties, Johnny was introduced to meth – an easily-manufactured drug that’s one of the most addictive substances on the streets today.

For nearly 30 years, Johnny used drugs every day – a horrendous addiction that cost him jobs and led to time in jail.

He would find jobs, then lose them because he was trying to keep up with his addiction. “Drugs ruined a lot of my life,” he admits.

He finally ended up in jail facing several years of prison time. “I’ve always known the Lord was present in my life, so I cried out to God, ‘You gotta help me Lord, You gotta do something to get me out of this lifestyle.’”

It was while he was in jail that Johnny met a man who would lead him to a changed life – the pastor who told him about Memphis Union Mission!

“It’s hard to explain what God’s done in my life.”

Johnny started out at our Men’s Emergency Shelter, living with others who were homeless. Then, he moved to Calvary Colony for our long-term, Christ-centered recovery program.

In addition to working to maintain their community, men attend classes, do Bible study and receive counseling.

“I’ve learned new skills, so I don’t have to go back to my old jobs and the old people who encouraged my drug habits. Now, I can redo my life completely.”

God has answered Johnny’s prayers by putting him back in touch with his six children who range in age from two to 24.

“God has changed me for the better and it’s a humbling experience,” Johnny says. “I want to live my life and be a good influence on my children. As long as I leave here with Him, the rest is going to fall into place.”

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Johnny’s story of hope and healing is inspiring. Our long-term recovery programs exist to help other men, women and children in the Mid-South find healing.
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