I saw a video of Caleb awhile back at church telling people about how the Lord changed his life and his story really impacted me. Since I had grown up most of my life a "good christian" in the eyes of so many, his story really brought me back to the reality that grace is from Jesus alone, not from me being "good". His story of addiction shows that God can break any chains that entangle you. I am so grateful God can bring the dead to life and make us into a new creation. Here is what Jesus did in Caleb's life!
Let me start by saying this is not me. I don't do the long social media posts (side note excuse my writing style I have never been a big writer) and honestly if you know me you know this is my pet peeve, but it is funny how the Holy Spirit asks us to do things that are out of our comfort zone. I have had people come up to me the last few months and say, "I had no idea you walked down that path and had no idea that you went through those things." So I decided I should probably put it out there the best way I can. Two years ago today I had been on a drug binge for 5 straight months (this was after being in treatment for a year and a month). In that time, I experienced things that I had told myself my whole life I would never do, I was around people I never imagined I'd be around, and I was in the darkest, emptiest place of my life. I had no idea who I was, where I was going, or what my life had become. In 4 years I went from being the kid that was going to play college basketball to a strung out druggie who no one wanted to associate with. It all started with just the normal partying college scene, to a daily bound up struggle where I was hurting, stealing, lying, and manipulating to and from the closest people in my life. I'm sure everyone in some way can relate to addiction, because every single person I talk to either says they went through it, their family went through it, or they were close to someone who went through it. Let me say the thing that has proved SO good for me and my family is exposing it. Do we sit there and scream out, "HEY I DID A BUNCH OF DRUGS AND WENT TO TREATMENT!" No, but I really do not hide my past and try to share with every person I talk to. The reason I do this is because my story is not like most. I had been on a 5 year addiction off and on to drugs and nothing seemed to work. I went to counseling, treatment, mentors, camps, Christian programs, you get what I'm saying. I tried everything and my family tried everything. So back to those 5 months. From the time I got out of treatment, it was one week and I was full on using drugs again. This time was different though. I cut off all ties to my family and they would tell you there were days, weeks, and months where they had no idea if I were even alive. I battled depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and drug addiction those 5 months on a level I couldn't even stand. Something in that time though began to show me this was not the life I was supposed to live (well, obviously) but this thing was different. I was at a point in life where I would tell people God was a fairy tale, and that he was no more real than the tooth fairy. And this is the place where God began to pursue me. I walked into church for the first time in months maybe years, and the love of the Father absolutely overwhelmed me. I was sitting in church weeping, and I had no idea why then everything hit me like brick wall. There is no way I should be alive, and at the very least I should have been in jail or a hospital. The Lord began showing me how much He had protected me, loved me, and was pursuing me. 3 days later I decided to give my life to Jesus. In that moment, I was completely delivered from my addiction. I had no withdrawals (if you know addiction you know this is impossible), I had to cravings, and suddenly in ONE MOMENT all I wanted was Jesus. Since then, God has continued to change my heart. I am by no means some holy roller who thinks I have it figured out, but I do know I am in a relationship with the One who has already figured it out for me. I share my story for a few reasons. It is in no way to say I'm some great person, because as you can see from my story I literally did nothing but say YES. I share this because I know there are people out there hurting. Whether it be parents, family, or someone in addiction there are people hurting from this, and I share so that someone will hear hope. I share because I believe someone needs to hear this, and that someone might know that if they need a friend I will listen and be there without judgment. I share this ultimately so that someone would know the power of the Holy Spirit and how he changes and sets our feet on a path to walking freely with the Father. My heart has hurt so much this last year when I hear CONSTANTLY of people in this addiction and even not making it out. My heart hurts not only because people are literally dying from this, but also because I know there is hope. I know there is an answer, and the answer is saying yes to Jesus. Please hear me when I say this is in no way about me. I literally did nothing but say yes then day by day try to love and live in and with Jesus. Me and my parents are completely open arms when it comes to this and I hope that through me sharing people will reach out. Our culture especially in the South is to hide and to keep up our great image. We didn't necessarily choose for my past to be exposed to begin with, but we are so thankful that it happened now. We are thankful to share what Jesus has done and continues to do. I could tell you story upon story of little and big things God did, and most of what He was doing was through prayer. There is hope and I promise I can attest to his promise in Ephesians 3:20 that He will do EXCEEDINGLY, ABUNDANTLY, more than we could ever ask or IMAGINE! Even when we don't pursue him, He pursues us. Even when we don't see him, He sees us. Even when we don't want him, He wants us. And he WILL leave the 99 to go after the one every single time. His love is reckless for us! We are WELL ABLE to conquer through our Father!
Please be in prayer for Caleb and email me if you have any further questions you'd like to ask Caleb about his story!