Fighting Addiction and Finding Peace
Married at age 16.
A dad at 17.
Divorced before turning 18.
That’s a lot of life to process over 2 years for an adult with a fully-developed sense of self, a rock-solid support system, and a lifetime of experience to lean on, much less for someone who wasn’t even of legal age. For Chad, it was a reality that was too much too soon. “After all that, I went off the deep-end, doing anything and everything that would even remotely ease the pain that was dominating every second of my life.”
He had been prescribed mild pain relievers, but those quickly stopped numbing his pain. “I quickly spiraled downward through every mind-altering substance known to man. At the end, I was spending about $350 every day on drugs, and injecting enough methamphetamine and heroin every day to kill a horse.”
At just 24 years old, Chad overdosed for the second time. He couldn’t face the reality of his life. “I was not equipped or ready to deal with the pain that flooded back in without my use of chemicals. I did several half-hearted tries at getting sober, mostly to get the parents off my back. I went on to have several more overdoses and terrible infections from the needles I used. I also had numerous hospital stays because of injuries from being so high that I would blackout and faceplant onto a concrete floor.”
Chad used drugs for 20 years without being charged with using or possessing an illegal substance. Then, in 2017, his luck finally ran out. “In 2017, I was arrested and sentenced to probation for a drug charge. I violated that probation soon after it started and was arrested for a second time. It was around my third day in jail before I sobered up and realized that I was on my way to prison. That was October 8, 2018. I fell on my face, and pleaded with God to save me from the life I had been living. I knew I had caused so much pain for everyone who had been dealing with my lying, cheating and stealing, and I prayed that God would save them from any more pain because of me. I was born again that very moment and started my personal relationship with Jesus.”
Chad was placed on house arrest and court-ordered to attend recovery meetings. The Most Excellent Way meetings held at Olive Baptist Church were the closest meetings he could find. “At my first meeting, I discovered I was going to have to stick around for an hour and a half to get my sheet signed, and I thought, ‘These people must be crazy!’ I could go to an NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meeting for 45 minutes and get my sheet signed without having to listen to any sermons. I was saved, but I was still holding on to my old ways of wanting to be in complete control. I decided in the first 15 minutes that this would be my first and my last MEW meeting. But as the meeting went on, I saw that these people had something I wanted – true peace and happiness.”
Chad discovered what so many who have walked through the doors of a Most Excellent Way meeting have found – hope. MEW meetings offer overwhelming support, companionship, gratitude, and hope. Hope for the future. Support for the strangers seated around the room. Hope for the lives each person so desperately wants to live. Gratitude for the day completed. Hope for the next day. True peace and happiness that can be achieved by keeping eyes firmly focused on Jesus and feet planted in His Word every day.
“I am eternally grateful that the Holy Spirit began to work in my life during that meeting. Before I knew it, months had passed by without me missing a meeting. I will celebrate 2 years next month. I’ve developed many very close, lifelong relationships with a group of believers who pour into my life as well as the lives of my wife, my children, and others who I meet and tell about my testimony and about Jesus.”
“For anyone struggling with addiction, I plead with you to not give up on yourself. That hole in your heart that you fight to fill with anything that can temporarily make you feel better – instead, try filling that with the only thing that will actually bring you peace – Jesus. And if you have a family member fighting this war inside of them, pray without ceasing. My mother spent 20 years praying for me before she got the miracle that she hoped would happen. So, please, don’t give up on someone before the miracle happens.”
✅ Most Excellent Way meetings are held each week at the Olive Baptist Church Main Campus (Tuesdays and Fridays from 7pm to 8:30pm). Meetings are open to anyone struggling with addictive behavior, as well as the family members and loved ones of those struggling. There is no charge to attend meetings.
🙏 Volunteers interested in working with MEW can provide encouragement, a listening ear, and prayerful support to those who attend our meetings. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering with MEW, or if you are interested in participating in a Friends and Family support group through MEW, contact Scott Heald at SHeald@ministryvillage.org or by phone at 850-475-1112.
✅ To donate to Ministry Village at Olive, click here. Your donations support the programs of Ministry Village at Olive – Tender Hearts Caring Hands, Charis House, Most Excellent Way, the Ministry Village Early Learning Center, and the Ministry Village Bargain Center – and will make a difference in the life of someone in our community.