Out of the Darkness of addiction and into the light of recovery….

“Hello, my name is Jordan and I am a drug addict.”  That was the first sentence of this young man’s story that he sent to me.  He went on to tell me how for years that was how he identified himself.  A two sport all star athlete in high school, Jordan received a college scholarship to run track and play football at a university in Kentucky.  But during his sophomore season, Jordan broke his ankle.  That is when he received his first prescription to Oxycontin.  He wrote about how addiction quickly took a hold of his life and sent him spinning out of control.  After two failed drug tests, the university kicked him out and removed his sports scholarships.  Jordan had lost everything he had worked for.  He landed at a place called Teen Challenge in North Carolina.  Teen Challenge is a Christian rehabilitation center in the business of restoring lives with the hope of Jesus Christ.

Jordan said it was during his time in Teen Challenge that he began to realize that God wasn’t done with him yet, and that all of those defeating titles like “addict,” didn’t have to be attached to his name the rest of his life.  His story is far from over.  He told me that in the years since his recovery, he went back and got his master’s degree from the very college that kicked him out.  Now, he is a teacher and a coach and a newlywed.  And he has recently felt God calling him into full time ministry.

He closed his story by saying, “These days I introduce myself a little differently than I used to.  Hello, my name is Jordan and I am a child of the one true king!”

What a powerful example of God at work in someone’s story.  I read Jordan’s story and couldn’t help but wonder how many people in the world are walking around defined by the defeat and the regret of past mistakes, believing the lie that they will never be able to kick an old habit or move on from yesterday’s mistakes.  Jordan’s story is powerful proof that we are not defined by our past.  God can restore, redeem, and renew our hearts and lives.  He can set our feet on a new path that will lead our lives to a destination far greater than where we used to call home.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old is gone and the new has come!”  Jordan is standing in the light of a new beginning, forgetting what is behind and taking hold of his new name.