The Breaking Point

One gentleman who graduated from our Life Change Recovery program had his innocence taken from him at the tender age of 6. James grew up in a home with no father. Not only that, his mother worked three jobs and was rarely home to take care of him and his siblings. He spent most of his free time at his aunt’s house but she was usually “passed out drunk.” He didn’t know anything different than the adults in his life abusing alcohol or being absent. As a result, James started drinking alcohol when he was six years old…and things went downhill from there.

By eight years old James was already hanging out on the streets. His role model was a nineteen year old drug addict and gang member. Young people are always looking for someone to admire and look up to. In healthy homes, a child can look up to a parent or guardian…but James couldn’t. With no father around, that troubled young teen was all he had and James eventually joined a gang when he was twelve.

James felt the pain of rejection not only from his father, but his mother and grandmother too. His mother would tell him that she wanted to get rid of him when he disobeyed or got into trouble. James buried and masked that pain by experimenting with drugs and continuing to drink. He started smoking marijuana in middle school and by age thirteen he was selling it.

After high school, James got a girl pregnant. That little baby would evoke something powerful in James’ life in the future. But not until he had been in jail two hundred times and convicted of multiple crimes. James’ life was moving very quickly on the road to destruction and spinning out of control. He tried to go through multiple recovery programs but nothing ever really stuck.

James’ breaking point came not too long ago when his wife decided to leave him and his mother stopped talking to him. He became so depressed that he would drink all day and didn’t want to live anymore. He didn’t love himself and didn’t feel like anyone loved him, even God. James was ready to give up…but something amazing happened. A friend of James’ older brother had come to Bread of Life and told James he should go there to get help.

In the past he had entered programs but always with the plan to keep on drinking and not really change. This time was different though, he knew that he couldn’t continue living with all his pain.

The first night here at the mission, James lay on the bed and God put a thought in his head. If he was going to change on the inside, he would need God to change his surroundings. He prayed and asked God to help him make those changes. He also remembered his son, who was now ten years old. He didn’t want him to be ashamed of his father or not want contact with him…James wanted to stop the cycle that he had experienced in his own life.

It was over eight months ago that James walked through our doors and entered the LifeChange program. Since then, God has begun to do something beautiful in his life. He has a growing relationship with his healer, Jesus Christ. While in our Recovery Program he worked with our catering company Heroes and got beneficial on-the- job training too. He graduated in May of this year and is pursuing higher education now. James “feels alive” again and has a hope for his future.