God redeems broken things if we allow Him to work
Born addicted to cocaine into brokenness, Chris’ dad left, so his mom moved… he got saved at seven and truly believes God was with him ever since… even though he walked away from God.
Chris found brotherhood in youth football and followed that as long as he could. He was raised in a church that made him feel church was all about “Perfection or Punishment”. At 12 he realized he wasn’t perfect so he gave up on church.
At 12-years-old, he moved into a tent at his aunt’s house and started smoking speed. He justified drug use by thinking “at least I’m not drunk like my family”.
Bitter and angry about being poor. And mad that his father left him, Chris left football and dropped out of high school. And when he lost sports, he lost his identity.
At 18-years-old, he stole two cars and went sent to prison. Prison gave him the path and brothers he thought he needed. He was taken into a White Power gang and told who he was going to be and what he was going to do.
At 25, Chris looked in the mirror and hated who he had become. He got out of prison, got a job, got married and thought life was good. But when things got bad again, he thought smoking speed would fix it. He lost his home, cars, kids… everything. He even found out his wife was cheating on him. So, he dropped his kids off at his mom’s house and binged on drugs & violence for two whole years.
Chris then moved to Arizona to get clean. But instead, he relapsed, was arrested and ended up back in prison. However, according to Chris, “It was the best thing that ever happened to me”.Chris “Came to the end of himself” and cried out to God. He was sent to a new prison, where he was called out by an older inmate. This guy told Chris that he was not living right, so he started getting mentored by the old guy.
After his sentence, Chris got out of prison for the last time and joined Along Side Ministries. He was mentored and walked with for a full year. Along Side helped transition Chris from prison life to civilian life. He was challenged to do the right thing after doing the right thing. “Don’t ever forget what chased you up in here.”
Then, he moved back to California and moved into his mom’s house – finally back close to his sons. Chris ended up living in the house of a friend that he had actually robbed years earlier. The family friend told him, “You are forgiven and we can see the change in you.” This family showed true grace, forgiveness and love. Chris finally found the church that would love him and accept him.
Today, Chris wants to go into ministry and started pursuing his ministry degree. He volunteers at his church’s high school ministry. Also, he is working as a drug and alcohol counselor and a detox technician.
Chris’ life verse should be no surprise for someone who has faced death like he has: My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
As Chris puts it: God redeems all broken things as long as we allow Him to work. God is doing something with your past pain. And, God is a Good Father, if you have no dad… God can be that Father you desperately need!