In February 2011 I came to the Durham Rescue Mission. I had come to the realization that I needed help with my addiction to alcohol. I was using alcohol to self-medicate … but since alcohol was legal, it was okay (or that was my excuse).
When I was 7 I accepted Christ as my Savior and served Him faithfully for many years. When I was in my 20’s I slowly began to get away from church. I went on active duty in the military and it became easier to find excuses not to attend church. The military is in no way to blame for my not attending church … it was just Satan’s way of getting his foot in the door. My excuse was I did not know the area and when I would go to a church it was not what I was looking for. So soon I just stopped going all together.
I married someone in the military and for a long time everything was fine. We both would go out and have a great time partying with friends (it just seemed to be the normal way of life). Everyone was doing it so what was the problem. My drinking got worse as time went on but I didn’t really “need” it…I could go for days without drinking so I didn’t think I really had a problem. When I retired from the military it steadily got worse. My already shaky marriage got worse and soon we separated and I left and went to live with my parents.
Everything was fine for a while but I started hanging around old friends and falling back into old habits. I began to drink alone in my room… first at night to help me sleep and then just as a way to cope with my life. God was working on me and I kept telling myself I was too unworthy, after all I had done how could He still love me. I knew deep down that no matter what I did He loved me still and all I had to do was ask for His help and He would be right there.
When I attended church, I went to Florence Memorial Baptist Church. My pastor Rev. “Buster” Florence (deceased), a friend of the Mission for many years, called and asked if they had room for me and was told that they always had room for one more. So I had my mom bring me to the mission and I checked in. One of the first people I met was Rebekah Allred and when she told me her story and how the Mission had helped her turn her life around and get back to God I knew there was hope for me.
Through Bible study, the Victory Program and attending a great church (Fellowship Baptist) I slowly found my way back. At one time I thought I didn’t need to be there anymore that I had it all together and left but was back within a few days and was welcomed back with open arms.
Because Dr. and Mrs. Mills listened to God and cared enough to “lend a helping hand”, people like me are able to once again get their lives back. I now have a great job working for the Fire Marshall’s Office and I have moved out of the Mission and I own my own home in the community. God willing, in a few months, I plan to move back to my hometown, live in my grandmother’s house (that I own), fix it up and then retire in a couple of years.