My name is Anthony, and I am a life that was changed. I grew up in a Christian home and went to church every Sunday and Wednesday for as long as I can remember. However, when I turned sixteen, I found myself with more freedom and made choices that did not reflect my upbringing. My attendance at church decreased as my participation in the things of the world increased. By the time I graduated high school I had already developed a gripping and life altering drug addiction that destroyed any hope for a promising future.
The years to follow are riddled with incarceration after incarceration, in and out of rehab with only small periods of sobriety in between. No matter where I went or how long I was sober, I always found myself back in the grip of addition. After 15 years of struggling with addiction I found myself separated from the loving family who raised me better.
Almost three years ago I found myself once again incarcerated and this time I was facing a lot of time. No family to call, no one else to blame, and no hope to speak of. This was it. I had chosen my path and now I would have to deal with it. As I sat in my cell, I had one thought that continuously ran through my mind. “How could this have happened? How does someone with my upbringing find himself in this position?” The fact is, addiction is not a respecter of persons. The good news is, neither is our God. Tired, broken, and hopeless, I found myself AT A POINT OF SURRENDER.
Little did I know this was all a part of God’s plan. In 2018, because of the reputation of Adult & Teen Challenge, the courts decided to allow part of my sentence to be spent in their care. At Adult and Teen Challenge I found myself surround by Godly men. Not only did they teach me the principles and ways of Christ, but they demonstrated them every day in the way they acted, loved and sacrificed for people like me.
At Adult and Teen Challenge I learned a new way of life and as I continued to live this life I began to experience the power and promises of God that comes with living an obedient life according to God’s word. This led me to the realization of where I went wrong in my past. See I knew God, and I even believe in God but at Adult & Teen Challenge I learned how to follow God. I spent most of my life relying on the relationship my parents had with Christ, but I found power and freedom when I developed my own personal relationship with Christ.
Out of all the rehabs and treatment centers I have been in and out of the one thing they lacked is the one thing that matters – to be discipled. This is the key to freedom and victory, and this is what separates Adult & Teen Challenge from any other facility I have ever been to.
I graduated in February on 2019 and since then God has restored every relationship in my life. I have joy, peace and hope! This coming Spring I will be graduating college with a degree in construction engineering and work in my field of study as a project manager. I am also a youth leader at my church of over 20 wonderful 6th grade boys who I get the privilege of pouring into the things that were so unselfishly poured into me by the staff at Adult & Teen Challenge.
The fear of relapse does not exist because my God did not give me the spirit of fear but of love, power and self-control. There is a power inside that I now have that is greater than anything else in the world. He has called me out of the darkness to be a light unto the world around me. I have found purpose, position and power and God used Adult and Teen Challenge, as part of His Will, to achieve this. Today I’m not only free on the outside but on the inside as well. I am a life that was changed.