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CBN.com "I was a very desperate junkie. I was willing to throw anyone under the bus to get my fix."
Ben Stacy was a hard core junkie by the age of 16. It didn’t matter that he was the son of devout missionaries. It didn’t matter that his parents loved him dearly and devoted their lives to faith and family. As a teenager he blamed his parents for a lonely existence in a foreign culture.
Ben says, “I felt much like an outsider. I lived inside my head. Thoughts went from being very open with my parents and very honest with my parents, to building up these resentful thoughts.”
The Stacy family lived in Brazil where drugs were readily available. Ben was smoking marijuana by age 13.
“I remember the smell and my first introduction to it. I was like, ‘That’s sick. That smells so disgusting!’ But here I was. I had to maintain this appearance in order to be accepted by these people. So I smoked it, and from then on it became a vicious cycle,” he says.
The Stacy’s knew their son was in trouble. So they decided to move to the U.S. to get help. Yet several attempts at counseling made no difference in Ben’s behavior. He used anything and everything as his tolerance to drugs increased.
“We were fighting for the life of our child," remembers Ben's mother, Penny. "I said, 'You know, God if something doesn’t happen, we will not have him.' ”
Penny continues, ”I was trying to fix all of Ben’s problems. I thought if I could just give him the answers, that I could take care of it, and I could fix it. And then God showed. He [God] said, 'You know Penny, you’ve been working at this for years. You cannot fix Ben. Only I can fix Ben."
At 16, Ben was forced to enter into Second Chance, a year long Christian rehabilitation center. Ben was drug-free for nine months. Then he relapsed. Ben was allowed to see his family for Thanksgiving. They celebrated his sobriety while Ben kept his drug use a secret.
“My parents were there. My family was there. It was a very, although I was surrounded by people, it was a very lonely time." Ben shares.
“I thought finally ... that he was finally about to complete the program and get his sobriety and get his life back,” remembers his father.
Penny adds, “We left there thinking, he is really making progress. He’s doing well. And we were very pleased.”
Ben remembers, “There was a spiritual warfare within me, and I think honestly, there were forces that had a hold on me, and I couldn’t fight them, and I definitely wasn’t reaching out to God.”
Ben ran away from rehab. He needed money for drugs, so he waited until his grandparents were at church…
"I snuck into their house and stole a lot of money from their savings. And I took my grandfather’s revolver. It was definitely tough, but I just had to talk myself through it. And I would be like, ‘They don’t really care about you. They don’t understand you.’ I probably took over three grand.”
Ben started dealing drugs to support his habit. He spent almost two months running the streets.
“When we were high and we were partying, it was great. But then, as soon as we started coming down it was a very scary place to be in,” he says.
Before long, the crowd that he hung around with took his money and even turned his grandfather’s gun on him.
“I remember saying that I just don’t care ... pull the trigger. It’ll be better. I just didn’t care about life. I was just a walking corpse,” says Ben.
With no shoes, no money and no where to go, Ben called his parents for help.
“When they got me back to Second Chance, I was dreading seeing all the people that I had been conning for nine months previously. Instead of hearing, 'I’m disappointed in you, how could you do this to me?' I heard, ‘You know Ben, I’ve been worried sick about you.’ It just caught me off guard. It was like a secret weapon that I wasn’t expecting.”
This time, Ben’s rehabilitation was different because he encountered the love of the One he had been running from all along. It happened in the middle of a small prayer group.
“It felt like someone was just bear hugging me. Someone just walked behind, grabbed me, and was just pulling me up close. I knew that no one was physically touching me. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I just remembering saying, 'You know, God if you’re real' ... It was almost a dare. I was just like, 'Just change me. Make me not want to be this person any more.' "
"I wanted just to be clean. I wanted a fresh start. I wanted to be the Ben I was when I was five years old. I wanted innocence again. I wanted freedom. I wanted to live, and that’s what He gave me. It was unbelievable ... something that I did not deserve, which still blows my mind today, is the mercy that I was given.”
Within a year, Ben graduated from the Christian rehabilitation program. He now plays guitar and sings for a Christian rock band.
“Music is just ... I know that that’s my calling. It’s just an amazing thing to feel that God is using me instead of me using everything to my advantage,” he says.
The Stacy family is thankful they have their son back.
"It’s such a blessing to have a son who was dead and is alive again,” says Ben's dad.
Ben realizes, “In my past I lived for drugs. And I lived for that constant high and escape. Today I live to serve God and to get to know God. I live for many things but number one, to serve God. And from that, everything just kinda falls into place.”
“I grew up in such a great home. My parents were so awesome. And then I never thought I would grow up to be a junkie.”
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