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Saul Mends His Marriage, Restarts His Life Without Drugs

Aug 6, 2019

When Saul was 13, his family moved from Bakersfield to San Diego. “I had a rough life growing up,” Saul said. “My dad used to beat me up a lot. I got into the neighborhood and started making bad decisions.”

Saul got into drugs, but after completing Teen Challenge, a recovery program for teenagers, he left that all behind. He graduated college, got into a relationship, and had two kids, who are now 20 and 15. Then Saul’s mother died. “When my mom passed, it hit me hard,” he said. “I started being more rebellious. I also saw some terrible stuff. I was at a car wash and I saw a man get shot and killed right in front of me. It really freaked me out. My best friend also was killed. Those are some nightmares I still hold inside of me.”

At this point, Saul had met and married another woman, and they had three sons, who are now 10, 8 and 6. He was working, but was laid off when the business owner shuttered the store. “I got stressed out,” he said. “I started getting frustrated. I got back into drugs. I just wasn’t the same person I was when I got out of that program (Teen Challenge).”

Saul started lying to his wife about his whereabouts in order to do drugs. He also started an affair. “One day I told her I was going to work and I didn’t come back for a week,” Saul said. “She filed a missing person’s report and everything. I was getting heavily into drugs and the woman I was with, she always had the drugs. I regret it all, but the one thing I regret the most is that I told my kids I would never leave them, that I’d never abandon them, and I did.”

After a period of doing drugs and “running amuck,” Saul said he had a change of heart. “One day I woke up and something told me I needed to get away from this person and stop all this,” he said. “I went to church and asked one of the brothers there for help. I said, ‘I need to get into a program.’ Then I called here.”

Saul has been at the mission for five months. “I am a believer, but I got sidetracked,” he said. “I’m so much better now. I see my kids a lot now. They visit on Saturdays and we go to church Sundays and then I spend time with them after. My wife has a lot of questions, and I’m going to give her any answers she wants. I know she’s hurt by what I did, but I think, by the grace of God, she never gave up on me.

“We are talking. She gave me my ring back,” Saul added with a smile. “She tells me I have a lot to prove to her. I understand. I know I hurt her. If I could go back and take back what I did, I would, but I can’t. I’m going to have to live with this for the rest of my life. I told her, ‘Know this: I do love you, and I’m so sorry I hurt you. You didn’t deserve that, and neither did the kids.’”

Saul’s 10 –year-old Israel took his dad’s setback hard. “He’s been through so much,” Saul said in tears. “He stopped talking to me for a while. One day we were at the mall and he tells me, ‘Hey Dad, I need to talk to you.’ So we sat down on a bench. And he said, ‘I just want to tell you that I’m proud of you.’ That’s something to this day I hold in my heart—my son telling me his he’s proud of me for being here, where God wants me to be. I’m just giving it to God and seeing where he takes us. I know he has a plan for me and my family.”

“I’m happy,” Saul added. “Everyone is telling me they see a glow in me, on my face. I can finally say that I love myself. I used to tell myself that I wouldn’t ever amount to anything, that I was worthless. But God has a vision for me.”

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