It was April 6th, 2015, and I had just been booked into Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde and was waiting to get shipped off to the Arizona Department of Corrections, for the second time. For the past year and a half, I had been fighting a case which consisted of: Aggravated DUI and Prohibited Possessor (convicted felon in possession of an unlawful firearm). Both were felony 4 convictions, and I was looking at 6-15 years, due to my past convictions. I was looking for a way to die during that time, but I just never had the balls to do it. I had even had a plan to die by suicide by police officer! Shit was bad! I didn’t see it then, but God was already there and setting me up for an epic comeback.
April 7th, I woke up in a cell, sober and feeling quite hopeless. Here I am: a 40 year old man that has made a complete mess of his life and lost everything due to a love affair with meth for over 10 years. Not to mention, I was a heroin, cocaine, and benzo addict for the first 10 of my 20 years of addiction. I had no idea what recovery was or that it was even a possibility. I was a shot out, intravenous drug abuser for 20 years, with 4 felony convictions and 1 still pending. NO HOPE!!!
Incarceration, coupled with the emotions of coming off a 7-year meth binge, has a way of making the gravity of this consequence very real and crippling. There was nowhere to run anymore. Overwhelmed with guilt, regret, and fear of going to prison again, I reached for a bible and opened it up. It opened to the Book of John and my eyes fell upon 12 words that touched parts of me I had not felt since before I lost my innocence. (John 8:36 – “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”) Needless to say, I broke down crying and asked God, why He left me? His presence filled that cell as I heard His voice speak to me, “Son, I have been here the whole time”. That image of Him reaching for me and hearing those words is forever burned into my mind!
In that split second in time, I felt such an overwhelming love and peace fill my soul. I was laughing and crying simultaneously and quite hysterically. God had revealed Himself to me! My fear was replaced by love. My shame was replaced by forgiveness. My guilt was replaced by redemption. My regret was replaced by faith. All within the blink of an eye! So many things were revealed to me that afternoon. One thing He made very, very clear to me that day was that everything was going to be alright. He said, “give me 3 years and you will not recognize your life”. That revelation filled me with the strength and confidence to face myself and any obstacle that lay in front of me.
I knew with every fiber of my being that everything was going to be alright. I knew I didn’t have to fight this battle alone anymore. In fact, I knew I didn’t even have to fight this battle, at all anymore. How did I go from a hopeless drug addict, to a confident and faithful man in the blink of an eye?
Stay tuned for part 2 of Frank’s story…