Mike, 47, Missouri, USA
Three years ago, my life was falling apart. My wife and I were both addicted to prescription pain medication. As with most addicts, everything was fine when we had the pills, but things got ugly when we did not. We were like children, throwing tantrums when we couldn’t have what we wanted. Once you add the stress of shared withdrawal to the mix…it was a mess. The last year of our marriage was especially rough. My wife spent that year in a mental hospital, away from me and our three kids. That same year, I lost my job and an accidental fire destroyed our home. When it became clear that we would never be a happy family, my wife left for good.
Struggling to handle this gigantic upheaval and desperate to fill the hole in my soul, I turned to chemicals. I began with alcohol and quickly graduated to drugs. I took pills by the hundreds and bought as much meth as I could afford. I even said yes to the occasional crack pipe.
The combination of these drugs and my heavy usage were deadly; unfortunately for me, my desire for an escape far outweighed any fear of death. Sure enough, in 2016, I had a massive stroke — a stroke that could’ve killed me. The doctors initially told my family that I would be completely paralyzed forever. When I started regaining feeling, they said I’d be totally paralyzed only on my left side. When I started regaining feeling on my left side, they said I’d never walk again. But, then I walked! God proved them wrong again and again! Even the doctors called it a miracle.
I was a nonbeliever at the time, but I couldn’t ignore the obvious supernatural healing I’d received. I had a lot of time to think during my recovery, and it was then that I finally realized that God had been with me all along! There is simply no other explanation for my survival; I am not heroic or extraordinary in any way. Between my drug-fueled lifestyle and the stroke itself, I should have died — fortunately, God had other plans.
I walked out of the rehab facility a new man, having surrendered my life to Christ. The hypocritical, lying, sinning, foolish me is dead. He died when he had his stroke — and good riddance! I now live in the comfort of God’s grace. It’s a blessed life that I cherish all the more because I don’t deserve it. By His grace, I now get to see my children grow up — and hopefully, they’ll eventually make me a grandpa!