People You Should Know: Dave

“Sir, have you been drinking?”

Earlier that night, I sure had been. Now it was 12:30 a.m. and snowing. I had driven past my house and pulled into the parking lot of a bar. But I decided not to go in. I just sat there in my car for 15 minutes, looking at my phone. When I decided to drive home, I forgot to turn on my headlights. That’s why the officer pulled me over.

“I’ve had a few,” I told her.

But what I was thinking was: “Thank God it’s over.”

This was not my first DUI. For the past 20 years, I’d thought,

I don’t have a problem. I just have to figure out when to drink and when not to drink. Limit it. Pain pills had also become a problem. I thought I could handle those, too. But that night, it was like God said, “Enough, Dave. I’m going to get you to where you need to go.”

I spent three weeks in jail, and was facing a long stay. Then a family friend in the court system told me about the faith-based program at Rockford Rescue Mission. I decided to give it a shot.

When I got to the Mission, I started reading the Bible. Things didn’t click right away, but with the help of staff members, I kept at it. I read the gospels all twice, and the book of Job. In Romans, I found the place where Paul asks why he keeps doing what he doesn’t want to do. It helped me understand my addictions and know there was a way out.

The thing about the Mission is, you come here and you feel alone. But you’re not alone. You meet people and you start seeing the light. Today I’ve finished the Life Recovery program and I’m working in maintenance at the Mission. I love it. It keeps me around guys who can really use my help. That’s how I look at life now: Keep God first and live a life of giving to others.