The combination of grief and shame led Marcus through four years that “seemed like so much longer.” Marcus was raised by a single mother, and his dad played a significant role in his life. However, when his mother died from cancer in 2005, Marcus didn’t know what to do with his grief. He had never caused his family trouble, and because he wanted to be the strong one in the family he bottled his emotions.
Turning in on his emotions and ignoring his feelings, he became sus ceptible to the influence of others.
“I began to drink, drink, drink and smoke pot to deal with the sadness. I’ve never had financial need, and although I knew about God too, I didn’t think He was enough either.”
He enjoyed work more than college, and since the money gave him freedom he would only take classes as they fit his lifestyle.
“When I would stop and think about life and the things that mattered, all I could think about was my mom, my mom, my mom. Then I was introduced to crack. I remember it clearly. When I realized how it felt I said to myself, ‘Bye, bye, cocaine, pot, and alcohol.’ Then when I went out and bought my own for the first time everything changed. I knew this was beneath my family and the way I was raised. I was embarrassed so much that I would only use in places where others used – places where I had no business being. I was so far beneath my family’s standards. I stole, lied, and burned so many bridges. Everything was failing.”
Some time later there was a short time of sobriety followed by another time of increased use. In 2010 his sister called and said, “Marcus, something’s not right with you.” He recalls, “She was right. I called my cousin, a pastor, who told me the only place he knew that could make a difference for me was WCRM. He introduced me to a man who had recently successfully completed the program, and after we talked, I agreed to come to the Ministry.”
“I struggled to stay the first nine days, so making it nine months has been amazing to me. I don’t want that old life anymore.” Marcus admits that living in a homeless shelter is totally different than any life he imagined for himself. It was a healthy wake up call. “This place and God’s work here have transformed my mind, body, heart, and family.”
Marcus’s life proves the truth of 2 Thessalonians 5:17. He is a totally new creation. “I didn’t dream of being the guy on the cover of a newsletter talking about my drug addiction, but I am willing to share my story so others can be reached by God’s power.”