The Light: July 2019
Charlie lost his father to cancer at the age of 16. He started smoking marijuana, and over time, began using painkillers and cocaine. “I was holding down a job—I was a functioning addict,” he says. But he was spending most of his paycheck on drugs. Then one day his boss drug-tested him and insisted Charlie get help. That’s when Charlie first found out about Atlanta Mission.
But after 24 hours, Charlie left, going right back to getting high. By then, Charlie’s sister, whom he was living with at the time, had had enough. She had young boys, and Charlie knew he needed to set a good example for them. That’s what led him to The Shepherd’s Inn.
“Once I started actually dealing with my problems instead of running away from them, I realized there’s so much more to life than just worldly concerns.”
One of the most remarkable outward manifestations of Charlie’s transformation is his weight. When he entered Atlanta Mission, his weight topped out at 375 pounds. When he left just over a year later, he was at 290, and now, he’s at 250.
After his time at Atlanta Mission, Charlie continued to focus on losing weight and achieving his goal of getting into the National Guard. Unfortunately, he didn’t get in at the time he wanted. Even though he was upset, he knew God’s plan and timing. If it worked out the way he originally had planned, he wouldn’t have met his wife and wouldn’t have his beautiful daughter. Now, he has his class A CDL license and works as a local truck driver which allows him to be home with his family every night.
August will mark four years clean for Charlie. Even though his time at Atlanta Mission has ended, he has routed himself in his faith and his relationship with God. He now gives back to the community by speaking at church functions and is working toward speaking at schools as well.
“God’s purpose for me is to let people know what he brought me through. I know that even if my story helps one person, I’m doing what my purpose is.”
The everyday moments that Charlie shares with his family – seeing his daughter grow, his family prosper – are what he cherishes the most. “Without Atlanta Mission’s help, none of this would be possible. What you’re doing to help means a lot to everyone who is there. I pray that God teaches me to be a good husband for my wife and a good father for my daughter.”
You can read more of Charlie’s story here.
For more stories of life transformation like Charlie’s, click here.
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