Editor Nov 01 : 21:53
I have been a user of drugs and alcohol most of my life, starting at the age of 15, when a friend and I raided my Dad's closet for his selected favorites.
I have been a user of drugs and alcohol most of my life, starting at the age of 15, when a friend and I raided my Dad's closet for his selected favorites. As a result, we both ended up in hospital. My friend having to have his stomach pumped. Not only did I steal but I also lied as to how we became intoxicated. Thus began 20+ years of lying, stealing, crime, violence, gangs, guns, bad associations and bad choices.
From there I began to abuse cocaine. I was introduced to it through a girlfriend I met at an after-hours club. She was an insurance attorney for a well-known city agency. She always had a wide array of friends; some were connected with the Westies (an Irish mob on the West Side of Manhattan), some with the Mafia. Some were ATF agents and members of the FBI. Before long, I found myself using so much that I needed to deal in order to cover my habit. The allies I formed enabled me to slip deeper and deeper into degradation and sin. I became involved with buying and selling guns and fund-raising for certain illegal organizations. None of these groups realized my involvement with drugs and alcohol. This path took me into the world of terrorism and the groups that supported it. Finally, my world came crashing down when I sold drugs to an undercover police officer.
After being arrested, I discovered I had been under investigation for over a year. My girlfriend went to her friend at the FBI and before I knew it, I was been interviewed, trained and put on the street working with undercover police as a special agent because of my connections. My girlfriend and my family were devastated and I broke my mother's heart. I was looking at 15 years to life in prison and I was out on $100,000 bail. My legal fees alone were about $25,000. I was scared, lonely, heartbroken and I felt so, so hopeless. I really had no choice but to work with the police. I was responsible for seven major arrests, but the DA reneged on his agreement and I had to serve six months in prison. After my release, I went to Ireland to let things calm down here, as there were death threats made against my life. I returned to the States after several months up to my usual illegal activities in Ireland.
While in Ireland, I had met an Irishwoman who followed me back here. We lived together for ten years, and then it happened that God called me, because I sought him out. My relationship with my girlfriend went sour, and I believe God's hand was against us. I asked her to marry me but she was not interested. She was a weekend alcoholic, but I still loved her and wanted to save the relationship and our souls. She did not want to follow either me or God, however, so I left her. I walked away with nothing but my clothes. She got it all: the money, the furnishings, everything, as after finding God I knew it would be wrong to take any of the sin-tainted savings which we had accrued over the previous ten years.
Months later, I was reading my Bible in a deli and a woman approached me. She shared with me about God in her life. She invited me to a midweek service and I went. I began to study the Bible and approximately six weeks later I was baptized into Christ. I am so grateful to God and the Kingdom. There was a time when I would try on a coat or jacket while shopping and check for a large inside pocket and think to myself: "Great! My gun can fit into this pocket." Now I think: "Great! My Bible will fit in here." I can't believe that this is my life. Two years ago, I baptized my brother-in-law into Christ, and this year my friend of 20 years. I was also asked to lead a Chemical Recovery (CR) group as a former user and graduate. It is such an honor.
I stopped praying for a girlfriend but instead prayed that God would hone me, mold me and shape me into the man that Jesus would have been if he did not have to die on the Cross for my sins, the husband and father that he would have been if he had lived to become so. God blessed me in such an incredible way that not only did I receive a girlfriend, but we were married this year. She is so amazing, so spiritual, so beautiful and wise. God is so merciful to those who love him and obey and fear him. I know I will follow God and serve him always because any worldly things like money, careers, friends, or lifestyles are far outweighed by our spiritual gains. I thank God for the CR ministry, which has helped me immeasurably to be comfortable with not using drugs and to be alive and free to serve and help others to be free. Praise God.