John was on a search throughout his childhood. “I had the material things I wanted, but I never felt I could please my father. I never heard him tell me he loved me. My father was my hero, and as a young boy that distance was devastating.” Before long, John discovered that he could get his father’s attention quickly if he misbehaved.
“I gave up trying to be good,” John remembers. “Getting into trouble gave me more contact with my father than I had if I did well.” Just as John was entering adolescence, a family member abused him sexually. “I lost my innocence. That little secret drove me into isolation.”
As a teenager, John was still having issues creating healthy relationships. He began to numb himself with alcohol and marijuana – a habit that continued through high school and into a promising career in auto body repair. A few years after he’d launched his career, John found himself divorced with the custody of an infant daughter and back living with his mother.
Wanting to make a fresh start, John joined the National Guard. During basic training, he became sober, healthy, and excelled as an infantryman. He returned home ready to make positive changes.
A job he was counting on fell through. John experienced long cycles of falling apart, then doing well, then falling apart for years at a time. He added crack cocaine to his addictions. John’s drinking cost him his CDL. He wasn’t always in a good place, but a miracle unfolded: John and his dad reconciled in the months before his dad died.
John went into another downturn after his father’s death. He fell back into the cycle of addiction. His part time restaurant job barely covered his expenses. But it was there that John ran into David Eischeid, an Open Door Mission staff member. “Just being around Dave woke me up. And he was patient, consistent with me. He reminded me how much better life was when following our Heavenly Father, and he asked me to think about coming to Open Door Mission.
“I came to the Mission. I got here, I got sober. I’ll work to get my CDL back. My daughter and her family just moved into town. I’m blessed to have the chance to get to know my grandchildren.
“I’m thankful I made peace with my earthly father before he died, but it took my Heavenly Father to show me how to love. This is a safe place to take time to reconnect with my Lord God. God bless everyone who works with me here, and thank God I found Open Door Mission.”
Thank you for providing a place for John and so many others to find the love of our Father in heaven!
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