After a lifetime of guilt, shame, and drug abuse, Keith needed to change. He needed forgiveness.
I’ve spent most of my life paralyzed by guilt and shame. I just could never forgive myself. How could anyone else?
One day, when I was growing up, my brother and I set a couple of fires. There’s no excuse for what we did. But shortly afterward, child services intervened. Me and my 13 siblings were taken from our home and split up — and it was all my fault. My entire family was torn apart because of what I did.
How does someone deal with something like that? I ended up turning to cocaine and heroin . . . for decades. I held steady jobs, but I spent all my money trying to numb my pain.
For me, life was like a big revolving door — in and out of jail, or off to work and then home again. I had two sons, but I was such a bad example, they both grew up and joined gangs.
I finally reached a point where I was sick and tired of living that life. It was 1 a.m. in a hotel room, and I just said, “This has got to stop.”
The next morning, I went to Atlanta Mission . . .
Ready to change
I was an addict, homeless, and spiritually bankrupt when I came here, but I was ready to change. I wanted to get back to God.
From day one, this place started to change me from the inside out. It was the start of my journey toward a complete spiritual transformation.
The first thing they taught me was how to establish a relationship with Jesus. But to do that, I had to repent and ask for forgiveness for everything I’d done. I could never forgive myself — but Jesus could. When that happened, everything changed — my thoughts, my attitudes, my behavior toward others, everything.
Transformation is a journey, but over time, I began to say, “Now I have a purpose. I have value. Let me put my best foot forward in everything.”
Now I’ve completed a life-changing program at Atlanta Mission, I’m living independently, and I have a full-time job. Better yet, my sons have seen me change dramatically, and they have both decided to give up gang life and become solid citizens with real jobs. That’s amazing to me.
Today, I’m a deacon-in-training at my church. I’m fully in pursuit of God. And I’m thankful to Atlanta Mission for that kind of transformation!
Stories like this are a direct result of your kindness and generosity. Thank you!