Arthur is a New Life Center resident whose life was changed. Enjoy this powerful story of God’s restoration!
Most of us think we can handle our life alone, thank you very much.
We don’t need nothing from nobody.
A Criminal Past
I was like that, too. I thought I had it all figured out. As a teenager, I thought I discovered a great way to have a good time – with a little help from alcohol and drugs.
That was the start. I thought I was living it up, I didn’t know I was actually going down. I started hanging out with guys from the underworld.
Pretty soon I was robbing and stealing, just like them. I would lie to people closest to me only so I could get my hands on some monies for alcohol and parties. As you can imagine, it wasn’t long before all my stunts landed me in jail.
Now, I was young, but I still had to spend over two years behind bars.
When the doors finally opened, I thought, “I got this. I need nothing from no-one.” Unfortunately, in a few months I fell off the wagon again. Before long I got into another penitentiary.
My best years, you could say, were spent in jail.
That time I did nine years. I actually managed to do something useful while I was there, I even graduated from high school. And again, once I was on the outside, I decided, “It’s going to be different now.” But that didn’t last long, either.
Determined to Change Myself Without Help
Again, I got into a vicious cycle of alcohol and drugs.
In 2000, my world collapsed. The one person I loved most, my mom, passed away.
At first I got along with my father. Then I took up drinking again, this time out of complete misery and heartache. I blamed everyone around me for what her death. At that point my father just had his breaking point. He ordered me out of the family home. I went out into the streets – and I stayed there.
Life on the Streets
I moved to a new town and touched base with some of my old prison buddies. We ended up living on and off of trains.
One day I met Andrew, a Christian street worker who was in charge of a Teen Challenge coffeehouse. He got me into one of Teen Challenge rehab centers. I spent five months there.
At that point, I was really desperate. I was trying to find God, but the center just wasn’t working out for me. One day I got out on a pass, and before I knew it, I was on the bottle again. I hit the streets again for a month or so.
Admitting My Need for Help: Asking God for Guidance
Then, one day, I remember very clearly, it was a Sunday. I was lying in some drug-infested dump with a massive hangover. Out of that total filth, I asked, “God, what should I do next?”.
I took out a phone, and I messaged Andrew. We met the next day, and he told me about ITMI’s New Life Center. He was like, “You really want to do this?” And I said, “I’m in one hundred percent”.
Opening My Heart to Jesus at the NLC
I came to NLC December 5, 2013. Every day, I thank God He steered me here! At NLC, I finally opened my heart to Jesus Christ and confessed all my sins to Him. All my helplessness just came pouring out of me when I was reading the Bible. I said, “Lord God, I just can’t do it anymore. I don’t want to live like I did before. My life was just so sad!”
Now I know I can always turn to Jesus Christ when I have a problem. There’s no shame in leaning on Him for help!
After all, all we humans do is botch things up. Now I can ask Him for anything, and I know He’s listening. He’s my best friend, and there’s no one like Him.
I know one thing for sure, I want to follow Jesus forever and be his disciple. The Bible I carry around with me is a guidebook for my future travels.
Everything I need, I’ll find in there
Carolyn Zaremba Carolyn Zaremba is a translator and editor. She is currently working on the Polish Bible Translation Project along with her Dad, Dr. Piotr Zaremba. At the same time, she is learning the ropes of living in a small Exxon town in the heart of Texas.