Photo by Matias North on Unsplash


PART 2 God’s Providence

In God’s providence, I read a book about his power to deliver drug addicts before I developed a drug problem. Even though my twelve-year-old mind did not comprehend The Cross and the Switchblade was a true account about the ministry of a pastor, the power and presence of God was inherent in its pages. I could not tell you what it was, but I knew there was something different about that book. If I had not read The Cross and the Switchblade, it is questionable that it would have been in my consciousness to ask God for help. David Wilkerson will never know how his obedience to God touched my life. His book went places he could not go and turned the course of my life down a path leading me to a storefront church, where God made himself known to me.

God answered my prayer to find people who knew God as I did when I walked into the Assembly of God church, but I wasn’t free from addiction. I wanted to be free from the consequences of addiction, but I loved smoking marijuana to the point of worship. A green weed had eased the stress in my life. I wanted both. God and the escape from reality being high offered.

For month’s I vacillated between God and drugs, knowing I could not have both.  I had avoided drugs for weeks when my parents went out of town for the weekend. Several hours after they left, I heard a car horn and stepped outside to investigate. The door on a blue van opened. The friend who invited me to the Jesus Rally shouted, “We are going to a party. Come with us.”

We had barely left the trailer park when a young man lit a joint, inhaled deeply, and passed it to the next person. When I became the next person, I inhaled, and then stared at my feet in despair. A loud, dilapidated car pulled in front of the van. I looked up and read the bumper sticker. JESUS IS LORD. The message emboldened me to tap the driver on the shoulder and say, “Bring me home.”

Irritated by my request he made an illegal U-turn and sped back to the trailer park. He stomped the brakes in front of my trailer, and I hopped out to be covered in a cloud of shell and dirt as he sped away.

I called my pastor and confessed I had taken drugs. He sent the couple who ministered to the youth to check on me. A long rambling and pointless conversation followed. Perceiving he was getting nowhere, he stood and said, “Teena, you must choose. God or drugs.  I can’t help you until you do.” He strode toward the door with his wife.

The minute his hand touched the doorknob, I cried, “STOP!” Falling to my knees, I said, “I want God.” The moment the last word left my mouth, it felt like a stream of water entered my back and washed something out of me as the stream exited my chest. Addiction never held me in bondage again.



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