Seeking a New High Sends Addict to All Time Low
By Brandice Hudson
The 700 Club
CBN.com-Growing up, Lonnie Watson wanted his father’s acceptance and love. Instead, he says he was the target of physical and verbal abuse.
“It just got to the point that we couldn’t even exist together. I just felt like he may kill me in my sleep, he may beat me in my sleep.”
At 17, he ran away and lived on the streets of Atlanta. One night, at a party, he tried alcohol and drugs for the first time but it wasn’t his last.
“I took the first hit of freebase or crack. There are things that when you take the bait, you get the hook and you cannot escape so easily.”
Lonnie was instantly addicted. “From that moment forward, even the next day I was looking for it.”
He married and had two children, but his addiction took its toll on his family and the relationship ended in divorce. By 1996, he was on his second marriage. He hid his drug abuse from his wife Peggy. He also started a lucrative sports promotion business with his brother. It brought in thousands of dollars a week, more than enough to support his habit.
“And here I am, going out and making $200 or $300 a month and not even paying a light bill. Inside I was dying. I hated who I was. I hated what I was doing, but I didn’t see any way to get away from it.”
Hoping to die, he binged on 3 ½ grams of cocaine. “I was seeing myself in this life, that I’m going around and around and I can’t find the door. ‘I can’t find a way to get out of here Lord.’ And I heard so clear, ‘I can get you out.’ I walked out of that bedroom and was as straight as I am now.”
He went home and told his wife the truth. She convinced him to go to a 12 step program at a church she was attending. “I said, ‘I’m in church I don’t want to talk about drugs.’ But they did. And it helped me to open up and be honest about it.”
While leaving the meeting he heard music from a worship service that was going on. “I was drawn down the hallway to that music. I wanted to look and see who was singing.”
“I stuck my head in the door to look. There was this big ‘ol preacher. I heard him say, ‘He’s already here. Jesus is here today.’ I heard this guy saying He loved me. I’m thinking, ‘I’m unlovable. I’ve ruined everything I’ve touched. Nobody loves me. Nobody wants me, except the drug dealer likes to see me coming.’ And he said, ‘He loves you so much. Just make your way down here to talk to Him.’ And I was so desperate that I started going that way, right down the middle of their service. I guess I messed it up, but I started walking that way. It was just like something was dragging me. And I hit on my face right at the floor on the altar. ‘Help me. I don’t want to be like this I want to be what You want.’ And it’s like all the guilt. All the weight, like I was carrying a ton of bricks on my back, it lifted. My life has never been the same.”
Lonnie and his wife Peggy founded Heart of Hosea, a nonprofit that helps addicts and their loved ones. Lonnie was also able to reconcile his relationship with his father before he passed. Lonnie says he found the acceptance he was always searching for through his Heavenly Father.
“Wow. Yeah, that’s my daddy. That’s my Father. That’s God. He took away what literally had me chained, doomed, and He came and just released me. I’m His. He can do anything He wants with me. I belong to Him. He’s my Father.”
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