Welcome to Fearless Fridays, where people like you share amazing stories of fearlessness.
Finding Freedom From Drug Addiction – by David Harrison
Tonight I got a text message from a friend from my hometown that read, “Did you hear Danny was stabbed twice in the stomach and is in ICU?” I was thrust into past memories of another life, my old life, a lifestyle of sex, drugs, and violence. I get one of these texts or phone calls every few years to let me in on the news that a friend from the past has lost their life. My twenties were filled with funerals and heartache. I am now in my early thirties and the loss of friends is still taking place.
I carried my riddled thoughts along with my two boys, Judah and Rowan, up the stairs to start the bedtime routine: potty, teeth brushed, three books, prayers and cuddles. I held my boys a little tighter tonight with a heavy heart. I prayed over them that they would never know anything in their lives but God’s goodness and always desire to follow Him.
Twenty years old, without a care in the world, other then getting high everyday and getting through a week of work to party hard on the weekend. That is, until the day that everything changed. I was filling my truck in my hometown Estevan, Sk. When an acquaintance drove up to me, rolled down his window and said, “Hey did you hear that Dana drown last night? He fell through the ice on a lake in Brandon, MB while he and some buddies were partying.” Utter shock… I had no grid to process this information. Dana? Dead? I felt like I was in a dream. I had a flood of thoughts rush through my mind like a hurricane. Dana and I had played soccer together for over ten years. I could not believe I would never meet #23 on the field again.
After some long minutes passed, the sum of the inevitable thoughts of a Pastor’s kid began to gather. ‘If he’s left this earth, then he’s either in A or B.’ So terrified of all the sermons I had heard about B, questions and agony filled my soul. As much as I wanted to reject thoughts of eternity, I could not. I went to the only person who I felt could possibly understand everything I was going through. The black sheep of the family entered the church for the first time in a long time searching for his father, the pastor. I found my dad in his office and told him the news I had just received. “Dana is dead”. My dad wrapped his big, broad shoulders around me and my dam of emotions erupted. I wept and wept from a deep place in my soul. There was a scared young child, an angry teenager, and a lost twenty-year old weeping in the arms of my father at the crossroads of life.
I had abandoned my family mentally and emotionally at an early age. I was experimenting with marijuana and alcohol by the age of thirteen. I was tightly bonded to a group of friends whose lives revolved around getting high. In my later teens I started using harder drugs like LSD and Cocaine, but Ecstasy was my drug of choice. I don’t tell you this to try and paint a picture that I feel I was, ‘Oh so bad to the bone.’ I tell you this because unless you have been a part of drug culture, you cannot understand how intimate your relationships and experiences can be. My friends were more than just friends; they were family.
When I was thirteen I had an undeniable encounter with God during the Toronto Blessing revival of the 90’s that was sweeping the land. I was baptized in the fire of the Holy Spirit at a youth conference in Melfort, SK. During the worship, the fire of God overcame me and I found myself singing songs in other languages, having received the gift of tongues and a revelation of the greatness of God.
In all the years that I played the role of the prodigal son, I never had a doubt in my mind that God was real. I was just too angry and confused to make sense of a Christian life for myself and I wanted nothing to do with the church. So there I was sitting in my dad’s office with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, trying to pull myself together. I knew life would never be the same again. Having never thought much about my friends knowing God, I now had to face a harsh reality.
Some months later I re-committed my heart to the Lord. I did my very best to remain close with my friends but, I had trouble staying clean from drugs. I was on and off drugs for several months before I made the biggest, bravest, decision of my life: to pack up and leave everything and everyone who was so dear to me, and head into what would be the hardest, loneliest, most misunderstood years of my life.
I loved my friends too much to stay with them. I knew I could not stay with them and stay clean, and I knew I had to pursue God. Sometime as believers we can tend to tell people to follow God, and join the church, and life will be all peaches and cream. Sometimes people need to know the cold hard truth: they may have to leave everyone and everything behind. But God is worth it, and the loved ones we leave behind are worth it. It is worth it to leave, let your light shine, let God rebuild your life and your loved ones will watch you shine from afar.
Thanks be to God, loneliness and being misunderstood was not the end of my story! As I walked out of death and into life, I worked with God to re-write my story. With a re-claimed identity I have gone from drugs to dreams.
Finding The Courage To Leave Drugs Behind Thanks be to God, loneliness and being misunderstood was not the end of my story! As I walked out of death and into life, I worked with God to re-write my story. Click To Tweet
David Harrison was living a life dictated to him by the expectation of failure. He was lost in a private Christian school system and felt inadequate, all the while harboring a hidden trauma from his childhood. Substance abuse dulled the pain but left him feeling hollow and hopeless. The young man was heading toward suicide—and he knew it.But an unexpected spiritual encounter changed Harrison’s life. From an adolescence spent in despair, he would find himself in Thailand helping missionaries rescue those trapped by the country’s sex trade. Doing so helped Harrison confront his own pain in order to heal and reclaim his identity—a process that left him stronger and happier.An inspiring look at how one man’s life was transformed, this memoir reminds us to peel back the pages of our life scripts to see not what others have written but what we can write for ourselves.
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