When I think of grace, my mind automatically goes to something I didn’t or couldn’t earn or deserve. It’s God reaching down from the splendor of Heaven into the mess I’ve made and offering me the free gift of forgiveness and salvation.
I also think of second chances. Aren’t we all glad God doesn’t give up on us after one failure? I know I am. And I believe He would have us treat each other the same way.
In every “Story of Amazing Grace” at Faith Refuge and Faith Mission, there is that point-in-time realization that “something has to change.” It’s not just behavior, but it’s also attitudes, ways of thinking, relationships, and sometimes even appearance. It is our privilege to serve those who enter our doors for help and watch God do His transforming work.
For some, the results are spectacular. Many have victory over addiction, restored relationships, new jobs, permanent housing, a driver’s license ― all these things along with a new sense of purpose and a confidence that God has a plan for their lives.
However, in some cases, the change is slower or never happens at all. Does that mean grace is lacking? Of course not. We continue to offer the resources and the loving acceptance in hopes that someday it will happen. In the meantime, we know that God’s grace never runs out and it never fails.
John (not his real name) relapsed twice while in our New Beginnings Recovery Program. After the second time, he left and through a series of events ended up at the Salvation Army in Fort Worth. There, God got a hold of his life and did a miraculous work. He called us later to tell us that he was still alive and “better than ever.” He is now employed full-time and has been sober for over two years.
Some might see that as a failure on our part. I see it as planting a grace seed that someone else watered, and God gets the Glory. Over the next several months, you will read some pretty amazing stories of grace. I hope they will encourage you and remind you that “Every Story Matters.”
Below is the first story I’d like to share with you.
“I feel like God has given me another chance to man up,” said Myron. His addiction journey began when he started working to make a living for his family. One night Myron told a co-worker, “Man, I’m tired.” His co-worker told him, “I have something that will wake you up.” This first pill-popping moment led to Myron taking 300 pills a day. He was literally eating pills.
Embarrassing his family became a regular occurrence. In 2005, Myron’s wife divorced him because he was choosing his addiction over his family. Myron threw his hands up in the air and said, “To the heck with it.” For about a year, Myron turned to meth and weed.
In 2007, Myron got off of drugs but turned to alcohol. Then he stopped the hard liquor and switched to beer. During this time he rationalized his behavior by telling himself it was only beer. However, Myron experienced morning shakes every day and could not function at work without drinking alcohol. Then one day he told his brother, “I don’t know what to do. I can’t quit on my own.” Myron’s brother gave him a surprising suggestion. His brother told him to go to Faith Mission. “I was like ‘THE MISSION?!,’” stated Myron.
Myron read the brochures for the New Beginnings recovery program and decided to give it a try. Myron wasn’t homeless, but he needed Faith Mission’s help. “It’s been the best thing I’ve ever done. The Mission is different from what I thought it would be like. I got to know the homeless people and became friends with them. It’s humbling to see the struggle these people have.”
“With Ruthann is where I’ve seen God’s Amazing Grace,” shared Myron. When Myron’s wife Ruthann filed for divorce in 2005, he begged God, “Don’t take her away from me.” Myron talked about how God never took Ruthann totally away from him. They remained friends over the years, but nothing more due to Myron’s addictions. While overcoming his alcohol addiction at Faith Mission, God started writing Myron’s story as no one else could write it. Ruthann would drop off cookies or other things to encourage Myron while he was at the Mission. They were sometimes able to visit in the dining hall during lunch. God was writing a new chapter that not even Myron dreamed possible. “I feel like I can see a new start with my family and me.” Myron and Ruthann are working on starting anew.
Please pray with the staff of Faith Mission that this family will be forever reconciled. Also, please pray Myron stays sober and drug-free for the rest of his life.