By Jeremy Reynalds, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ANS-August 20, 2016) — While the harsh realities of life and the political season give us a lot to pray for, sometimes it can all get a bit overwhelming and we need some good news.
There are many wonderful things happening around us that don’t draw media attention, and they include some of the lives being transformed at Joy Junction.
With that in mind, we asked some of our shelter guests about things they hated doing – their old addictions – and how God gave them victory. Here are a few.
Ginger told us she is trying to stay on the right path with God. She said the enemy would throw her off course, but God sent her just the right people to help her overcome what she was facing.
Stephanie used isolation and daydreaming to cope with the physical, mental, verbal and sexual abuse she had experienced. She described herself as someone lacking self esteem and not allowing anyone to get close to her.
However, that all changed. “God has helped me overcome these situations by showing me His word, and in prayer, and sending Godly people in my path. I have gained confidence that I am a child of God and God loves me. I am truly loved and God cares about me. God is changing me daily as I continue to seek his will for my life.”
What a great story!
Kimberly used to hurt herself because doing so helped her feel better. However, at the same time, she hated herself because that addiction took away her family and everything she held dear.
God saved her life. She added, “This time in CIPP (Joy Junction’s Christ in Power life recovery program), it really showed me so much. I have tried to get clean so many times, and this time I actually want to get and stay clean. I have given it up to the Lord, and He is showing me more and more daily to do the right thing. The CIPP program does work if you work it.”
Yes it does, Kimberly.
Julie was an alcoholic, and used to isolate herself so neither her family or friends could see what she was doing. However, despite her attempts to mask her addiction, they knew anyway so she ended up losing her kids, and everything she owned, including her nursing license.
However, things are looking up. Julie said, “God has filled me with love, joy and happiness. I no longer have a desire to drink. I walk with the Lord all the time and He protects me, provides all my needs, and is restoring my relationship with my children. God has allowed me to work on getting my nursing license reinstated. Without God none of this would be possible.”
Edith, a self described former alcoholic who said she drank all of her life until 2012 when she “hit bottom” and accepted the Lord into her life, said she knew what she had to do.
“I had a problem and I needed the Lord in my life. I … cried out to him. I said, ‘If you are for real. please help me and take this addiction away from me.’”
Edith admitted herself into a rehab program for a couple of years. There, she said, the Lord was with her and continues to be through her sobriety.
“Today I have been set free, and without the Lord walking with me I would not be able to have the peace and happiness. Without going through the trials, I would not be where I am today. I give all the glory and thanks to Jesus Christ my Lord, for showing me that He is real because of my sobriety.”
Tammy, formerly hooked on crack, got “sick and tired” of using. “So I walked to the park and prayed to God to answer my prayers. God has brought me from rock bottom. I have now been clean for six months.
Michael’s addiction was meth.
He has been clean for nine months, said his relationship with Jesus is awesome and that Joy Junction is the best thing that has happened to him. He wants to tell everyone about his success, and give others hope in their lives.
“God is awesome and He answers prayers,” Michael said “Have faith in God and in yourself; that’s what I’ve been taught and now I believe.”
Frank lost his mom to cancer, and was “full of anger.” He said while initially he thought doing drugs was helping alleviate his pain, that didn’t turn out to be the case.
“The pain and the problems were still there, and now so was an addiction to cocaine. I knew I was hurting myself, but couldn’t stop.”
He continued, “I found myself stealing from my family, and begging strangers for money – anything I had to do to feed my habit. I … knew (it) was wrong … I just had no idea how to stop any of it. Once you start … you sink faster and faster.”
However, that began to change when he found Joy Junction.
Frank said, “I found out that I was really sick, and had no place I could go I didn’t want to die on the streets. Joy Junction is helping me get my life straight, and lets me be with my wife. I am on the right path now, and have learned how to deal with my problems.”
Joy Junction is all about sharing the possibility of a changed life through Jesus Christ. He did it for these folk, and He’ll do it for you.
If you know anyone who needs that help (or perhaps you do personally), visit us at www.joyjunction.org
And never forget, that while good news may be harder to find with all the negativity and partisan politics of division dominating the media and flooding our social news feeds, it’s there. Jesus is still giving hope and changing lives.
Photo captions. 1) Illustration of Things I hated to do. 2) Jeremy and Elma Reynalds.
About the writer: Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico’s largest emergency homeless shelter (www.joyjunction.org). He has a master’s degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. One of his newest books is “From Destitute to Ph.D.” Additional details on the book are available at www.myhomelessjourney.com. His latest book is “Two Hearts One Vision.” It is available at www.twoheartsonevisionthebook.com. Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife, Elma. For more information, please contact Jeremy Reynalds at email@example.com.
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