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Daniel Plans To ‘Surrender’ Completely To God

Jun 28, 2019

Daniel’s father was in the Navy, and their family moved around often, spending time in San Diego, Seattle, and Iceland. He had two loving parents and an older brother and sister. “I had a great upbringing,” Daniel said. “I had the best mom ever. She never smoke, never drank, never did drugs, but she was the life of the party. You could hear her laugh down the street. And my father was the best. He was strict, but never mean.”

Nevertheless, Daniel was influenced by older kids, and started smoking cigarettes at 13. “Then it was marijuana. I grew up in the 70s, so we were doing LSD, quaaludes. I got kicked out of high school for selling marijuana. I liked to deal drugs. You want it, I can get it. I don’t know why I’ve always been a drug dealer. It’s a part of my addiction. I like to be a supplier.”

“By the time I was 17, I felt like I had lived an adult’s lifetime,” Daniel added. “I knew I had to get out of there. I talked to my father about what to do. He was really disappointed with a lot of the choices I was making. He said, ‘Why don’t t you go into the military? I know you don’t like school.’ So after 11th grade, I went into the army.”

When Daniel came back, he got a motorcycle and started hitting the bars. “I met a guy, a drug dealer for the Hell’s Angels. I became his right-hand man for the next five or six years. Then he was murdered.” Daniel did some selling after that on his own, but started wanting for change. “People were disappearing and people were dying, and I did not want to die,” he said.

Daniel entered a recovery program and graduated, but backslid a few years later. He ended up in prison for 46 months before his release in 1999. The next year, Daniel’s mother was stricken with cancer. “I was clean and sober when my mom passed away,” he said. “That meant a lot to me. I was living in Santa Barbara, I was in a program, and she got to see me, her baby, someone she’s been praying for many years, get clean and sober.”

Daniel went to work for an HVAC company and was there for eight years before moving on to FedEx to do maintenance work. “I had my own apartment, was going to church and the gym and AA meetings. I had been sober for years. Then a little over a year ago, I took my eyes off the prize.”

Daniel had a beer on a sunny day. That led to more drinking, then using drugs, then selling. After an arrest, he ended up at the mission. “I lost my housing, my job, my pride, my dignity, along with a clean record. Now I’m starting over again. God is telling me to have faith that it’s all going to be OK.”

Daniel has been at the mission since January. “I consider this more of a discipleship than a program,” he said. “The Bible studies and the book reports are really helpful. You’re reading the Bible, and you need to ask yourself, ‘What is it saying to you? How can you apply it to your life? All of this stuff makes you think about what God is telling you. The Scriptures shine a different light depending on where you are at in your walk. And God knows what you can handle. God is going to give you wisdom according to his timing. I know the Scriptures, but I want to use it, I want to share it, I want to abide in it. I don’t just want to know it, I want to live it.”

Daniel is committed to graduating. “It’s like (the movie) ‘Gladiator’,” he said. “You’re put into an arena. What are you going to do? Run? Or are you going to fight to survive? I’m going to fight. Only cowards run.”

As for what’s next, Daniel, who is 57, is hoping for a life of contentment. “I hope to meet a nice Christian lady one day,” Daniel said. “I want that American dream that drugs and alcohol prevented me from having. I want to have my own place, work, and serve the Lord. My goal is to give my heart and soul to Jesus, and stop holding back. I want to totally surrender to him.”

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