Even when I was young I’ve always had a sense of God but I never accepted him. My father was abusive and my mother was suicidal. When I was young one thing I would always think in my head was “God, help me.” When I was 17 I was able to move out of house and to the [Washington] coast. I became addicted to drugs and eventually spent 4 years in prison. I got out of prison in 2014 and still thought about God but never accepted him.
I was able to find a job at Columbia Cedar. There was a situation where a woman who was hired onto our crew basically told me that she wanted to hook up and that if I didn’t she could get me fired so fast it would make my head spin. I told her that I couldn’t, that this job was really important to me. Whenever someone like me is brought from a place like that all you’re told is how hard it is to get a job, how difficult it is going to be. So, that night I was laying in bed shaking, sweating, sick, and completely nervous thinking that everything I work for, everything I had been through was just thrown away. At about 2am my dad sent me a text saying “Son, don’t worry about it. Let the armor of God protect you.” Immediately after that my worries were gone and I fell asleep. I still wasn’t fully accepting God at that time and I didn’t really understand what had just happened.
In 2017 I was diagnosed with a rare, nasty brain cancer. The tumor was growing right on my brain stem and got to be about the size of a ping pong ball. During the first surgery they were able to remove 30-40% of the tumor but then it was growing back faster than it had the first time. So they sent me to a specialist in Portland. The specialist was able to remove 100% of the tumor. Unfortunately it did come back after a few months to about the size of a pencil eraser. So we started radiation treatment. After radiation treatments the only thing left on my brain is some scar tissue from that tumor.
While going through the medical procedures I became addicted again to pain pills. I would make deals with God. I would say “Lord, put me in remission and then I’ll quit the pain meds, it will be done.” Four months later and I’m in remission. I was able to 100% kick everything about 2 weeks before my 6 week check-up.
I remember going to the Thanksgiving service at the Ag Center and it really opened my heart to God. I was doing good, I had a decent job, I was working hard, I was buying new things, I was advancing my position in life. But there’s no advancement without God. Everything can fall away. I realized that we need God. Now that I’ve accepted God into my life the person I was before, trying to find fulfillment in relationships, women, spending, things that don’t really matter, is gone. I’m happy with what I have - our Lord and Savior.