As a young child, my grandparents had a great influence on my life, especially when it came to a religious lifestyle. They instilled in me that I should go to church on Sunday morning and evening, and Wednesday night. I wanted to grow up and be like my grandfather.
My parents were divorced when I was about 7 years old. My mom being stuck in her addiction and guilt was absent for the majority of my adolescent years. My father was a great provider and I would say I grew up a privileged child.
I’ve always been a big-hearted individual that wears his heart on his sleeves. I tend to set myself up for either getting hurt or for failure. I tend to always see the best in people ad always try to lift their spirits up. I do this by giving people my undivided attention, and just listening to their problems. In doing this I end up putting my personal issues on the back burner. And this causes me to fall back into my struggle with addiction. I would go back to self-medicating with the illegal use of marijuana, benzodiazepines, and opiates (the one I had the most struggle with).
I was introduced to illegal substances (marijuana) at the age of 14. I was at a high school party where all the popular kids would drop in and congregate to recreationally consume drugs and alcohol. As we walked down the driveway, the aroma of marijuana and alcohol entrapped my nostrils with the smell of a good time. As soon as we entered the party, our intentions were doing the exact opposite of the way our parents had raised us. I made a beeline for the alcohol and knew that “tonight would be a night to remember.” One cup turned into copious amounts of beer and that was the night my life took a turn that led to an everlasting, revolving door known as ADDICTION.
In addition to being addicted i had begun to sell marijuana. At the time it seemed like the best “get rich easy scheme.” This led to numerous nights when I had to sleep with one eye open for the fear of the Narcotic Taskforce team.
At the age of 19, I had been indicted on 16 counts of felonies which came from the distribution of narcotics. I was held under a $350,000 bond, but went right back to what I’d been doing and awaited trial. I was sentenced to 27 months in the North Carolina Department of Corrections and was taken to Polk Youth Correctional Facility in Butner. After serving my sentence I returned home in search of a new beginning; but faced the same struggles and demons. Before I knew it my old life had a grip on me again.
In 2015, I had retained some new charges due to the distribution of illegal substances. At this point, I was trying to fill a void in my life with money, power, and women. I was making a lot of money, but I was never truly fulfilled with happiness or peace in my heart.
I remember staring up at the ceiling as I sat in the county jail and thinking that I was tired of living a life consumed with jail stays and periods of being on probation. I picked up the Bible that I had received from the chaplain and began reading the book of John and Matthew (only because my name is John Matthew Davis). As I read, the Holy Spirit began convicting me of the life that I was living. I dropped onto my knees and began to pray and bargain with God. I promised to give my life to Him if He helped me through the trial this time. The next day, I was placed on probation for 15 months and also had to attend a year-long program. I chose to attend the Durham Rescue Mission.
I’d heard about The Durham Rescue Mission for the first time while I was an inmate in the Orange County Jail. Allison, a caseworker, told me about the men and women who had been able to turn their lives around with the help of the Mission’s victory Program. I knew I needed a spiritually-based program because I knew only God could fix and change my life forever. I was released from jail on 9th of July 2018 and was very eager to begin my new path in life, one that would better my life for my friendships and relationships.
I was riding with my job assignments supervisor, Joel Dedic, one day; when he asked if I wanted to be 100% sure that I would go to heaven if I were to die right then. He then began to share the Gospel with me. I prayed out loud and right there in the parking lot of Home Depot in Durham on the 21st of August, 2018 I became a new man and was born again. The things that once weighed me down and held me back from moving forward in my life had departed, and I felt like I was walking on clouds because of the insurmountable weight that had been lifted from my shoulders.
Because of the rumors I’d heard around campus, I thought the Victory Program was going to be very tough. As time went on and I finished the first module, I realized I was getting the hang of things. The module from the book of James answered a lot of my questions about why I wasn’t getting along in life. Through the Victory Program I learned to not ask God for things in vain, it helped me self-evaluate myself and figure out the key to my problems (MYSELF), I realized that I had to make God everything and myself nothing, and I also learned how to submit myself to God’s will for my life and become the ambassador he has called me to be. I was also convicted to go back and ask for forgiveness from the many friends and family relationships I had destroyed.
I’m so thankful for the way God has blessed me through the Durham Rescue Mission and for giving me another chance at life. I am so grateful for all the people involved with the ins and outs of this program. This program has strengthened me to saturate myself in the love letter and instruction manual God has given us, which is the BIBLE. My life went from living for the things of this world to living for God’s will for my life.