I was brought up in a Christian family. We used to worship at a Catholic Church but I used to just go to church because it was expected of me by my family. Then I got the age of about 16 And church and faith didn't have no meaning in my life. My name is Joe and this is my story At the age of about 19 I got involved in substance misuse and that was my life for about 20 years. I tried numerous times to get out of addiction I'd been into rehabs, come out and continued to use. I'd been on methadone prescriptions. In the end I felt like I was just a failure addicted to failure, so in the end I was just desperate - I just wanted out of my situation. You know, cause I'd been brought up in faith and knew God from them times. And I just sort of like, I'm just going to try something different. You know, and just cried out to God just begging him for help. If there is a God, then I need you now, sort of thing. Within several weeks of calling out to God and God answering my prayers and placing people in my life who were there to support me and encourage me. I found that I'd detoxed myself within a few weeks I gained a strength, quite quickly, that I'd never had before. I thought I was unemployable. And I now work within a detox centre, where I went through myself. So I'm there now, I can share my experience of how, you know, and I do, I share my faith within my work and show, you know, that was a big impact of how I became abstinent from drugs. I'm in the process of becoming a member of an Eden team and I'm running a men's group from my flat, and people are coming and getting saved, you know, and now I know what God was calling me to do at that time. It's just, its just amazing. Yeah I was recently given an overcomers award through The Message Trust. I'd never won anything in my life. For someone to see that I deserved to be awarded something for my, for overcoming my dark times and being brought into light since I gave my life to God, was just, it just took me back. It was a real privilege. For me Jesus is love. It's just to know that no matter what I've done in my life and where I've come from, that Jesus forgives and he wipes my slate clean You know, he doesn't judge me. He's just there to support me and no matter what, he loves me And so I would just. yeah, yeah that's what it means to me. My future just excites me. I've got a life now and I just want to make the most of it. I get chills when I think about it like that.
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