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Restoration Stories

I gave myself back to God

 

I used to think everyone’s book was already written. Mine was always going to be about a rough childhood, a prison term, broken relationships and decades of heavy drinking. One night I looked around the cheap hotel room where I was living and thought: This is my life? Really?

 

I wanted help, but only on my terms. When I came to Rockford Rescue Mission on the advice of a friend, I knew it was a faith-based program. But I didn’t realize how faith-based it was. I was here for an addiction, but most of the classes were about faith. I thought, When are we going to start talking about recovery?

 

I said some harsh things to staff and was on my last chance before being asked to leave. One day, (staff member) Mike Hedrick said to me, “I don’t think you believe in yourself enough that you can do this.”

 

Believe in myself? Didn’t he know that God was the one I had trouble believing in? I walked away from Him after something terrible happened to me in prison. That was my life’s story.

 

About that time, a Christian song came into my head that I hadn’t thought about since I was a kid. The song was “Through It All.” I thought, Wow, this is weird. And then every day, I was hearing stories from residents and staff. All of those conversations seemed to blend into one. I couldn’t deny that I was here for a reason.

 

That’s when I gave myself back to God – and took Mike’s challenge. I finished the Life Recovery Program in February. I also work at Kids Around the World – something I got interested in last year when we helped them pack meals for kids in Ecuador.

 

I can’t thank Rockford Rescue Mission enough for having patience with me, especially during my rebellion. They helped me walk back to God. Now I want to give people the same blessing and hope that the Mission gave me.

 

Read Charles’ story in the current issue of The Rescuer.

Through It All

I’ve had many tears and sorrows,
I’ve had questions for tomorrow,
there’s been times I didn’t know right from wrong.
But in every situation,
God gave me blessed consolation,
that my trials come to only make me strong.

 

Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
I’ve learned to trust in God.
Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

Music and lyrics by Andraé Crouch
© 1971, renewed 1999 by Manna Music, Inc.

Help the Mission continue to serve

Our Crisis services provide food and shelter to those who need it most. Our Life Recovery programs exist to help men, women and children in the Rock River Valley find healing. Will you help provide this help to others?