My name is Nathan and this is my experience. I’ve struggled with addiction since the age of fifteen. I was an average kid who enjoyed and excelled at many things. At this age I badly fractured my leg in an accident. Without knowing what would happen from being prescribed narcotics for pain, I did what my doctor instructed. This was the beginning of the end for me. It shot me forward into a life of running from pain and discomfort. Had I known I was an addict even then I might have explained my situation to the doctor, but unfortunately understanding and acceptance comes later in my story.
If time had a physical sensation, I would wager that it would be unpleasant to say the least. My past does not define me anymore, but I chose not to shut the door on it in hopes that I may improve my present life by applying the lessons I learned from my past experiences.
I’m currently 28 years old. I live at the Washington City Mission in Washington, PA. Last week I completed my drug and alcohol outpatient and am now looking for volunteer and work opportunities. I have four months clean, working the steps with a sponsor and applying spiritual principals in my life. I have a real relationship with Jesus and I attend Legacy Church. I started fanning the flame set in my soul by Jesus early on in my stay at the mission and he is bringing a daily revival to my body, mind and soul.
I’m about 3 months into my stay at the mission. I’ve found people who I trust and genuinely care for who have helped me grow not only in my recovery but in my walk with Christ. Recently I’ve set a goal to attend Shiloh Bible College which I intend on doing while working; something that would not have been possible in my life if not for the mission and all the support I have gained since I arrived here.
There is not a tangible word I can use that would quite give justice to the level of blessing I feel I’m receiving at the City Mission. From the first interview with Doug Bush after coming in directly from Twin Lakes Rehabilitation Center to the present time I felt the true love and devotion the mission shows without discrimination. I feel the needs of the men and women sheltered here have and will always be met.
My perception and understanding of Jesus and the life I was meant to live have come alive and are still increasing. I see him working through the mission and the employees of the mission. It’s so rewarding seeing him restore not only me but my fellow brothers and sisters to sanity.
The future used to seem bleak and out of control. I knew God and 12 step programs existed but I was ignorant to the proper use and acceptance of either. I had clean time in another county, working steps with a sponsor but I was young and was not done with my run. In the last 2 years I had created a new bottom for myself. The physical pain and mental anguish that my addiction caused was overwhelming. However the spiritual bankruptcy was what brought me to my knees. For so long as I remembered I had been trying to fill the God shaped hole in my heart with whatever took up the most space. I was like a child trying to shove the square peg into the round hole. It has taken me this long through the repetition of insanity to learn that the square peg will never fill the emptiness inside of me.
I understand that God is love, and I love because he first loved us. Where love exists fear cannot stand and where fear stands love cannot exist. On a daily basis I am honest, open-minded and willing to do whatever I have to do to stay sober and in the favor of my father in heaven. I seek today to be of maximum value to those who surround me instead of unrealistically sprinting toward a distorted image of success. I do not feel afraid today and that is definitely new for me!
I would like to thank Washington City Mission for their continued support and daily guidance. There is a special something about the mission that I could feel from the beginning. Whatever it is I know God gave it to them. I am grateful for every single man and woman who works there, volunteers or donated to such a spirit driven cause! I often thought if I could see the supernatural dimension that Jesus operates in I would have my faith in him affirmed. Instead he gave me a natural example of his sovereignty and grace in the form of a Mission and I thank him for that.