This is part three of my story that spans back 25 years. I was inspired to write about my road to recovery and the people that I was blessed to meet along the way. They were angels sent from God to encourage me and guide me along the way with their wisdom, love, and compassion. I hope you are inspired and blessed by reading this.
I got an apartment off South Lamar and Barton Springs, a one bedroom which was off the bus line. This was convenient for me to get to work. I live there for a month or two when one of the guys that was in treatment with me got in contact with me. He explained that he did not have anywhere to go so I let him come and live withe for a little while. That turned into a challenge. I came home from work one night and found him and another of my suite mates from the Stratford House using cocaine in the bathroom. I was upset about it but still did not have enough confidence in myself to stand my ground. I was still a work in progress. Once again I found an easier, softer way and let him stay. In the the chapter “Into Action” of the Alcoholics Anonamous book on page 83, last paragraph and page 84, first paragraph it reads:
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
I said all that to say that I was still in the developmental stage of my life and this promise came true in my life. To my amazement God had plans for me far beyond anything that I had ever imagined. Today I am able to realize that God has truly done for me what I could not do for myself and He continues to do things far beyond my ability. If you are reading this you are participating in God’s plan for my life. Ok, I went on a little bike ride.
One night I was home alone, I decided to go to bed because it was getting late. I had discovered that if I read my bible before I went to bed that I would get sleepy faster. So, I read my bible a little bit and did not get sleepy. So, I pulled out the old guitar and played some thinking that it would help me go to sleep, but still I was extremely restless. Because I was a musician and had been since the age of 14, I decided that I would walk to 6th street and listen to some bands, mind you it’s around 11:30pm.
I started my journey to 6th street for what I thought was going to be just a routine trip. Walking surely helps me expend some energy but I was not getting sleepy. When I got there it was packed as usual. It was like three lanes deep on both sides. It was people everywhere. While walking on the north side, closest to the street, I saw someone waving at me so a paused to see who it was. Over the pass weeks I had been running into people from my pass so I thought that it was someone else who knew me. (As I am writing this I just remember that this situation is similar to how I got arrested.) So, I fought my way through the crowd to greet the person who was waving to me. When I get there, the stranger with a big smile quickly went into his conversation. In a friendly manner he began to share that he was on 6th street sharing the gospel to all who would hear and quickly ask me if I had a relationship with Jesus. Now, in my mind I’m thinking”Oh Lord, I have been trapped by one of those Christian Goru’s”. I had to carefully plan my escape. As he kept talking I was slowly moving backwards so that maybe I could get caught up in the crowd of people and get swept away so that I did not have to hear the rest of the pitch. Suddenly, I heard a voice in my head that said”If you be ashamed of me before men, then I will be ashamed of you before my Father”. Wow! This stopped me dead in my tracks and spoiled my plan of escape. I stopped and engaged in a conversation with the young man which turned into one of the best decisions I have made to date.
The young man turned out to be a college student who was attending a local church and they were out doing evangelism on sixth street. After we talked for a few minutes and I made the decision that I could not walk away without accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior we prayed. The crowd seemed to disappear and all the noise from the busy street quieted as though it was on mute. All I could hear was ” repeat after me”, in a confident voice. “Father, I come to you, in the name of Jesus. Confessing that I am a sinner and that my life is separate from you, I ask that you come into my heart and save me.”
As a result of this encounter, my life would never be the same. After we finished praying, he hugged me and asked if I had a church home. I said no because at the time I was not going. Remember I grew up in a God fearing home and had to go to church on a regular basis. I asked him “What do I do now?” He took me to a different person, a tall man with a deep voice. He introduced me and explained that I had just given my life to The Lord and that I wanted to know what to do next. The tall man looked down on me and with his deep voice said,”Go home!” so I did.
The young man who witnessed to me, was a student at the University of Texas named Rodney. The tall man with the deep voice was a man by the name of Lew. I will forever be grateful for meeting them on sixth street and for Rodney stopping me because what most people don’t know about this story is that it had been on my mind for some time that I could sneak a drink while out on six street listening to bands. It was something that I had done quite often and in my mind I had planned out how I was going to drink. On that night, I was going to try it but God had other plans for me. I couldn’t sleep because I needed to meet Rodney and Lew. The two men would play an import role in my life for years to come.