Those words may seem so common to someone who has been following Christ for a long time. Certainly longer than myself.
but they still remind me almost daily of the new things with this life.
I will never forget the day. It was October 2nd, 2013. As I approached the Rescue Mission, I knew that this was what I needed to do. And yet at that exact moment I stopped walking. I sat down on a concrete wall and started to think to myself “this isnt what I need to do”
Certainly there is a friend’s house I could go to
I don’t need to go to the mission
I have someone I could call for help
And it was at that very moment that I had realized I was at, what we call, rock bottom. I had no one. I had no money, no phone, no home. I was carrying a backpack and pulling behind me a suitcase. All I owned was with me at that time.
Then, it finally happened. I finally realized the state of my life. I had burned every possible bridge. I had played the addict game for too many years and it finally caught up with me.
When I walked in the front door I was greeted with a smile. I waited for a short period of time and then made my way back to the Men’s department to do my intake. I was greeted by the manager of the department, who quickly walked me over to one of the Bible study classes. After the hour passed I was given more information about the discipleship academy and took the rest of the day to decide what I wanted to do.
I remember later in the evening calling my Mom and being excited about the opportunity. “Mom, they have this great academy here and I think I am going to join it!!” I’ll never forget her reply.
You see this wasn’t the first time I had decided I was going to get clean. That I was going to leave that old life behind me and move forward as a new creation. It was actually the 4th time in the last 3 years that I made a decision to enter some sort of program and turn my life around. “What’s going to be different this time” was the statement my mom said. And she was right. Why should she think that after so many failed attempts and so many years and so many lies of the same thing, why would this time be any different. For a moment on the phone with her, I believed that there would be no difference with this time.
The next day came and I officially signed up for the discipleship academy. I remember the excitement. I remember the hope. I remember the first time I truly believed that this time would be different.
The Bible says that all who are in Christ are new creations. Slowly, over the next 8 months, that verse became real to me. I learned that the drug addict in the past was no longer who I was. I learned that the boy who lied to his Mom and Dad to score money for my next hit was dead. I learned that Christ was making all things new.
With the new creation He had made me into, He gave me new desires. A desire to deny self and follow Him with all that I have. It has now been 3.5 years since I first entered the Mission. I have my struggles. Fortunately, they are new struggles. I don’t struggle with the temptations of the past. Never did I return to my old ways. Christ, according to His Word, has made me new. I never will forget that day in October, where I experienced His grace upon my life and was introduced to 2 Corinthians 5:17.