Looking back on his childhood, Brandon recognizes how easy he had it. His parents worked hard to make his life worry-free. And he grew up believing that “whatever [he] dreamed to be would come true, and [he] had infinite time to do it.”
So, when he found himself crying in a jail cell at age thirty-six, he wondered how he had gotten there.
When he was twenty-four, Brandon got married and started raising a blended family with his wife, her two children and, eventually, children of their own. “I loved being a husband and a father,” he told us.
Brandon had a good job, and his future seemed bright, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. “There was a giant hole that I thought I was filling the way it ought to be filled,” he said.
In his search to fill the void, he allowed darkness to creep in. He wrote, “My love for women led to porn addiction and adultery. My mind became consumed. Right or wrong became inconsequential; my choices were based on what was most exciting and pleasurable at the moment. I grew to be disgusted with myself and was too proud to admit I needed help. It’s like I was drowning in a fast-moving river, and my fight to survive was failing.”
In 2014, he began to acknowledge that he was in over his head, and he reached out to the only one he knew could save him: Jesus Christ. “I prayed God would hit the reset button in my life. I wanted to be clean, but I was captive to my sinful nature, and we would not let each other go,” he reflected.
The answer to Brandon’s prayer came when his wife discovered the affair he was having with a seventeen-year-old, a relationship he had been praying for the strength to end.
The shame of the situation overwhelmed him, and after his wife discovered their relationship, he confessed the truth to everyone. “In turn, I lost everything—I died to my old life,” he said.
In jail, he turned his life over to Christ. “I didn’t know what that meant, exactly, but here’s what I did know: after taking His hand, I was no longer drowning. I was standing on firm ground and living!”
Over the past six years, Brandon has been growing in his knowledge and love of God. A few months after he arrived in prison, Brandon was looking for Bible study programs and discovered Crossroads. “I was desperate to learn for growth, and I was desperate for fellowship,” he said. “Your correspondence would always lift my heart.”
Brandon recently started the Tier 2 course 10 Men You Should Know, and he looks forward to continuing to grow in faith and fellowship as he studies alongside his Crossroads mentor.
“I am a sex offender—I mean, I am treated as scum of society, yet ‘there is therefore no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1). Jesus has built and been the center of new relationships I have made over the years,” he wrote to us.
Deeply remorseful for his actions, Brandon recognizes the true power of grace. “Jesus paid the penalty for me. He drank my cup of wrath—I deserved to die. My ex-wife has forgiven me because of grace.”
As Brandon has grown in his relationship with Christ, he has felt called to care for those who feel unloved and lack hope and purpose. His relationship with Christ has given him back the hope he experienced as a child, and he wants to share that hope with others.