JOY Stories



A Story of God’s Grace

Drug addiction looks different for different people. For me, I could get high and still work successfully as a chemist. I loved my job, but what I truly loved was that it helped fund my addictions. I had a great life with a wife and a young child, but drugs and alcohol made me willing to throw it all away. I did absolutely everything that I could to screw up my life. I was an addict in every sense of the word.

I did suffer consequences along the way, but because addiction is bondage, even bad consequences did not bring repentance. I was unable to see the connection between my addiction and its consequences. I harmed not just myself but all those around me in the process. For all appearances, it was like I did not even care.

I did not arrive at this place of darkness overnight and things didn’t begin to change for me until I got caught stealing drugs and lost my job. I was angry and riddled with guilt and shame. Still, I only agreed to go to a support group to get people off my back. That’s when I heard other people share their stories and I realized that I was just like them. I walked away from that meeting feeling for the first time like I wasn’t alone.

I grew up going to church, but I was a functioning atheist. I believed in God. I just thought that God wanted nothing to do with someone like me. I was sober but not free. I shared with a friend about all the many people I had hurt in my life, and he looked at me and said, “You just beat yourself up one side and down the other.” It was at that moment that God pierced my heart with the truth that even though He knew all my wrongs, He still chose to love me. That truth set me free.

Today I am a research scientist working for a top-tier government laboratory. I just celebrated sixteen years of marriage with my wife, and together we have five wonderful children. I get to play music at my church and also with local bluegrass musicians. This should not be my life. Most people like me end up in jail or worse. I get to see God using my life to help others in their journey to pursue Christ and put their addictions to death. My story is the story of God’s grace.

Photos for Jonathan


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