‘This is not a fairy tale. It’s the story of a broken man’

Jeremy’s story | Overcoming addiction

“Five years ago, I had a Damascus Road experience … except it was on a Mosman Road [in Sydney]. At the time, I’d been battling addiction and depression. No matter how long I stayed clean or sober, I inevitably fell back into old habits. I couldn’t stop. But that was when the Lord intervened. It was a Saturday night and I’d finished work. I met up with some mates, and then I began the short walk home. I hadn’t got far when a voice called my name, saying, ‘Stop.’ I looked around and there was no one, so I kept walking and the voice said it again. It seemed to speak to my very core, so I stopped. Then my legs went weak and I had to sit down. With tears streaming down my face, I knew this was God. The last 10 years flashed before my eyes, all the terrible things I’d done. And the voice became comforting, saying, ‘It’s okay.’ My tears slowed … and I felt peace. It was as if I was basking in the presence of God. I felt so joyful, I began to dance … but then I thought, what will I tell my wife? When I got home, she called out, ‘Are you okay?’ All I could say was ‘I think I saw God.’ She lay on the bed with me and prayed for me, for a long time. I had a real certainty that this was God. I couldn’t fight him, I was powerless. So I handed myself over. I said, ‘I’m all yours. Do with me what you will …’ And it’d be nice to say that from that moment on everything was different but this is not a fairy tale, it’s the story of a broken man. Over the next six months my life felt like a contradiction. On one hand I now went to church because I wanted to and I joined a bible study, but at the same time I continued to fall into my old habits, behaving at times like nothing had ever happened. One day, I cried out to the Lord and he said, ‘Go read your Bible.’ I had no idea where to start, but ‘Romans’ popped into my head … so I began to read and it was like I could finally see. I read chapters 1-3 slowly, at times unable to drink in all that it offered. It brought forth floods of tears as well as exclamations of joy. It gave me the answers to every question I was asking and showed me why I am the way I am, why the world is as it is, but most importantly that God in his mercy had solved these problems through his son Jesus Christ! This was the living and active word of God, and it’s changed everything for me …”

Jeremy’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.

Bible verse Romans 3:23

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