Putting Pride Aside And Asking For Help
After graduating from the mission’s Life Recovery Program and over a year of sobriety under his belt, it was hard for Robert to return after his relapse. “I always knew I could come back, but I didn’t want to,” he said. “It was my pride. Whenever God would convict me to call the mission, to go back, it was so hard. Finally, things got bad enough—I just had to do it. And I’m so glad I did.”
After completing the program in 2016, Robert said he was “on fire for the Lord.” He had a good job, and a place to stay. But after being promoted to a management position and being relocated from Atascadero to Grover Beach, Robert stumbled. “I was overwhelmed,” he said. “I separated myself from my support team here. I was also focusing on recovery more than my relationship with the Lord. When you’re called to be a Christian, it’s more than just staying sober.”
After putting his pride aside, Robert reached out and spoke to Jon, the mission’s director. “They welcomed me back,” Robert said. “He said, ‘We love you, come back. Let’s work on the things we didn’t work on enough last time.’ I was so grateful.”
Robert is a butcher by trade. He came out to California from Las Vegas when he was 20. “My parents had enough of my rebellious attitude,” he said. “I separated myself a lot from my family and my friends. I have a lot of regret about that. I thought I knew it all. I never married or settled down. I just lived in my addiction for a long time.”
Robert spent some time in jail, and he’d always go to church while there. “Jail has a way of opening your eyes, realizing something isn’t right.” But when he would get out of jail, it was back to alcohol and drugs. “I kept struggling with it, but I never second guessed my salvation. I continued to live my way—recklessly—and that didn’t really fit into the Christian philosophy. I always thought sobriety was my problem, but it’s not. Serving the Lord fills that hole more than anything else. That’s what I need to hold onto day after day.”
Robert is a couple months into his second stay at the mission. “This is holy ground,” he said. “There is something special about this place. The network of people, support, fellowship—I don’t have any family left—this is my family. I’ve lived my way. Now it’s time to live the life God wants me to live.
“I know God has a plan for my life. Part of his plan for me is seeking him, worshiping him, and being in his word. Being depressed and angry and lonely and hurting—that’s not God’s will for my life.”