“God is the only one who could release me from my alcoholism.” – Scott O., a Crossroads student
As a child, Scott did well in school and attended church regularly. He lived in a two-parent household and grew up with the confidence that he could “be anything [he] put [his] mind to be.”
From the outside, his life may have seemed happy and stable. But behind closed doors, it was a different story.
“I had pretty much a normal childhood except for the physical and mental abuse from my father when he was drinking,” he said. “I never knew real love from my father, only [my] mom. Mom was the one who held the family together. Smoothed over the bumps and made everyone feel loved.”
When his father drank, he became a different person, doling out beatings and broken bones. Scott was afraid of him.
Sadly, Scott decided to escape by using the very same vice that consumed his father.
“Alcohol and drugs came into my life at sixteen,” he said. “That’s how I escaped all my hurt—and celebrated also. Alcohol has always led to disaster for me.”
After graduating high school, Scott joined the Navy, where his drinking problem grew even worse.
“Alcoholism had taken over my life,” he said. “I was a binge drinker. When I was sober, I was good. When I drank, it was bad. I had a lot of friends in my life [and] great girlfriends whose parents liked me because they only saw the good Scott. I blew those relationships because of alcohol and being self-centered.”
Eventually, six DUIs and a burglary sent him to prison.
After his release, he started to rebuild his life. He got married, had two children, moved to England, and started a business.
“But lo and behold, I patted myself on the back and picked up a drink,” said Scott.
Just like that, alcohol reclaimed its control over him. His behavior caused his wife to leave him, and he moved back to the United States to run from his problems. But, as he learned, “No matter where you go, you have to take yourself with you.” And he landed back in prison with another short sentence.
“I got released again, got established, good job, apartment, all the material stuff, but I still hadn’t changed,” Scott said. “Well, you know the story. I drank and lost it all within a year. All the promises I made, I broke. Another thing I got, though, was a thirty-year prison sentence because society got tired of me.”
Scott was tired of himself too. “This is where I finally had enough,” he said. “I became teachable. Asked God into my life. I was determined to learn a new way of life.”
He asked his mom to send him a Bible, and he signed up for every program available at his facility.
“But something was still missing,” he said. “I found it in 2003 at a four-day Walk with Jesus [event]. God showed me what real love is. I wanted that. I put my faith and trust in Jesus from that day forward.”
Through the power of God and faithful attendance of AA meetings, Scott finally won his battle with alcoholism.
“Programs are great, but without God, they are just temporary,” he said. “God is the only one who could release me from my alcoholism.”
In 2015, he learned about Crossroads from Our Daily Bread and signed up as a student. He is currently studying in Tier 2. Reflecting on his Crossroads journey so far, he wrote, “I always liked the comments and the letters from the mentors. I got to see others’ thoughts [about] things in the Bible. I hope to learn more about Jesus and a better Christian way of life.”
Today, Scott serves God by facilitating a faith-based program in his prison, using his life experience to encourage and guide others.
“God has taken away the want and desire of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and many other character defects I had. I know I went through what I went through so I can relate to others and help them see that we, together with Jesus, can overcome anything,” he said. “I am still a work in progress. God isn’t done with me yet. But at least I have a chance now to be that good person who is in me once again. I have faith Jesus will continue to use me for the rest of my days.”
Many people in prison are searching for a new way of life, desperate to leave their old selves behind. Will you help them discover that new life is possible only through Jesus Christ? Learn more about becoming a volunteer mentor through Crossroads.
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