By Elizabeth DeGroot, Crossroads Intern
In describing the worst moments of his life, Brian, a Crossroads student in Louisiana, mentions drugs and darkness. In describing the best moments of his life, Brian mentions Jesus. He shared with Crossroads, “God saved me from drug abuse, death and hell. . . . I live with Jesus, and He gives me life.”
Brian’s battle with substance abuse began in the aftermath of his parents’ messy divorce. He wrote that, after his parents split, “I stayed with my dad, and I watched him struggle and hurt. It brought a lot of pain and sorrow on me.” To ease the pain, Brian, a young teenager at the time, turned to drugs and alcohol.
At first, Brian was “just experimenting and having fun.” But soon, things spiraled out of control. Brian dropped out of high school, tried and failed to work with his father at a roofing company and strained all his close relationships. He wrote, “I couldn’t pick myself up. The only time I felt good was when I was high, extremely high. So, I used drugs to cover up a broken heart and pain. But I was just making things worse for myself.”
One night in 2016, after an explosive argument with his mother, Brian was confronted by the police. “Super high, I had been up for days, weeks, and darkness was closing in on me,” he wrote. “I left [home], not knowing what to do, where I was going or even who I was.” That night, Brian was arrested for the possession of illegal drugs. He received a life sentence and was sent to prison.
A year later, his conviction was overturned, and his sentence was vacated. But, Brian shared, “My drug use didn’t stop there. It got worse. . . . When I got out of prison, I went right back to my old ways with more drugs. . . . I was a mistake that made mistake after mistake.” Within a year, Brian was rearrested for drug possession, and his life sentence was reinstated.
The realization of life in prison began to sink in as Brian sat in his new home: a prison cell. He wrote, “I realized I was in too deep. I was powerless, and my life was over. So, I called on Jesus for help. He was the only one that could straighten out all this crookedness. He was the only one who could fix all of this. . . . I poured my heart out to Him. . . . I asked Him to clean me, to remove the drugs, to give me power over my addiction. . . . I begged Him for another chance.”
Brian’s prayer was answered. In 2019, he became a Crossroads student. “This is one of the first things I’ve been faithful to besides drugs,” he wrote. Brian has seen incredible changes in his life and his sobriety since then. He continued, “I have been clean and sober for over four years. . . . I’m thankful for my sobriety and that God removed the desire to use drugs from my heart.”
God provided for Brian in another powerful way: due to a change in legislation, Brian’s life sentence was reduced to twenty years. He will be eligible for parole this year.
Amazed by the Lord’s enduring love and benevolent provision, Brian wrote, “The Lord answered my prayers! He provided a way when there was no way. He allowed the laws to be changed, and they changed in my favor. . . . Thank You, Jesus, for Your love, mercy and grace! . . . Thank You for shining Your light through my darkness and changing the desires of my heart.”
Would you like to journey alongside men and women, like Brian, who are discovering the transformative love of Christ? Consider signing up to be a mentor.