I grew up in Lake Elsinore, California, and started using methamphetamine at the age of 13. In my addiction I started running with a group called the Black Triangle Punks. I was looking for something to belong to and they were just as angry and frustrated as I was. Through the years of the punk rock scene, I began to associate with a number of hate groups and before long I was following their beliefs.
I met my wife Kathy when I was trying to score some dope; she too was as addicted to meth. Our marriage didn’t last very long, maybe a year and half or two years. My wife left and continued in her addiction apart from me due to my addiction becoming more and more the focus of my life. Through the five years of separation, I began to sink further and further into the hate movement and my addiction. I was stabbed twice during those years and eventually I was homeless living on the streets. I reached a place in my life of being so low that all I could do was look up.
In 2005, I enrolled in Teen Challenge in Southern California. I’ll never forget looking at the man working at the front desk. His eyes seemed to glow. I leaned over to the man who had brought me and asked, “Hey man, what’s up with this guy’s eyes?” “His eyes,” he said, “what’s wrong with them?” I answered, “They seem to be glowing.” He laughed and said it was the Holy Spirit. I said, “The Holy what?” I gave my life to Christ in October 2005 and I have never looked back. The hole in my heart I was trying to fill with drugs, alcohol and women was filled by Christ. I’ll never forget when the truth hit me that I had truly been forgiven and Jesus took the punishment that I deserved. WOW! I had been forgiven.
In my studies at Teen Challenge, I took a class called Marriage in the Home. I started to pray, “Oh God send me a woman who loves You more than me.” I prayed this over and over again, and when God finally spoke to my heart, His word was “Kathy.” Fear came over me as I cried out, “I said a woman of God, Lord! Not Kathy!” Anyway, I got her number and called her. At this time she was living in Arkansas and had just lost her job as a bartender. I explained that I had given my life to Christ, how He had delivered me and the freedom I was now experiencing in my life. I then asked if we were still married and she said we were because she never filed for divorce.
Through a period of five to six months, God began to restore our marriage. After Kathy gave her life to Christ in 2006, she has undergone such a radical change it could only happen by God. I had prayed for a woman who loves Jesus more than me, and He answered my prayer.
Here at Heartland, I work with men at the Heartland Men’s Recovery Center and I share with them the hope that Christ has given me and my wife. To see the men’s lives radically change through Christ is what it’s all about. If He can save and restore my wife’s life and my life, He can do it for anyone. If there is still breath in your lungs, there is hope.
Click to listen as Jeff shares his story on video. →