Chuck Lowery: The Prodigal Father
By Mia Evans-Saracual
The 700 Club
Original Air Date: October 13, 2010
“I would wake up in the morning looking for a needle to stick in my arm. I’d go to bed at night sticking needles in my arm. I become a straight-out junkie. All I wanted to do was just shoot up cocaine. It seemed like my whole life that I was on some kind of a suicide mission.”
Chuck Lowery wanted to put and end to the pain he’d wrestled with since he was a child. When his parents divorced he was bounced back and forth between both homes.
Chuck remembers, “I spent a lot of time alone by myself. I had built up a whole lot of anger because of not having nobody there.”
Hungry for attention, Chuck turned to his uncle, a known drug dealer.
“I was about 11 years old when I started snortin’ lines of cocaine. I was high most of the time. It just took away the pain. I went from selling marijuana to selling acid and cocaine and crystal. Whatever you wanted, I had it.”
Chuck spent most of his adult life in and out of jail on drug-related charges. After he met and married Tara, his addiction to crack cocaine threatened to destroy their family.
“It was like I depended more on cocaine than I did on food to live. That’s what I hunted for every day of the week. I wasn’t being a father, I wasn’t being a husband. I would go to work and take whole paychecks and just stay gone for weekends at a time riding around in a car smoking dope.”
Chuck remembers driving to crack houses in this neighborhood to hustle for drugs… many times with his children in the backseat.
Brandon, Chuck’s 11-year-old son shares his experience, “When my dad was on drugs it made me feel like I was missing out on part of life, because the only time he spent time with us was when he was doing the drugs and he always got me and my brother to ride with him.”
Tara took the children to church every week and encouraged them to pray for their dad. She explains, “I just prayed and prayed and prayed. Standing on the Word of God just praying and believing for God to deliver him from the drugs. It was a struggle.”
After five years together, Tara was ready to walk out the door. “It got to the point where I just wanted to leave. Enough’s enough.”
Chuck recalls, “And I remember the look in her eye, I knew she’s not going to take this much longer. I knew that what I was doing wasn’t right. I knew that something had to change. And I didn’t know how to change it.”
One Sunday morning after spending all night getting high, Chuck went to church desperate to hear from God.
“I pulled up in front of the church. I remember my wife was always telling me about being filled with the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. I really didn’t believe in it. I said well, ‘God, if this is true, if there’s something about this, then You need to let me know today. Because if something don’t change today, then I won’t be back.’ And I walked through the doors.
“The pastor started speaking about feeling alone about Jesus being there for you no matter what you’re going through and Jesus paying the price for you. It seemed like everything he spoke about was speaking right to me. He called an altar call for people to come to the front.
“It was like something said, ‘You need to be there.’ When I walked up there and kneeled down, Pastor walked over and a couple other men walked over and I remember them laying hands on me and praying with me. I started crying and it was a cry to where I actually felt happy. It felt like everything in the world just got calm. Everything just got lifted. I accepted Jesus into my heart right then and there. And when I got up feeling relieved. I knew it was real when I left there. You know, I knew that I’d been filled with the Holy Spirit. I knew that it was real. I knew that my life would never be the same again. It hadn’t been the same again since then.”
Chuck says the power of God set him free from his 30-year drug addiction.
“God delivered me from all of it. He did it without any pain. He healed me. He delivered me. I can’t never thank Him enough for that. The more I opened up His Word and read, the more I knew that yeah, I had been forgiven, I’ve got a new slate and I’m a new person.”
Tara shares, “God has changed our life tremendously. We come to church and we have Bible studies. It’s so much better! I don’t have to worry about him hitting the streets at nighttime. He’s home with us. He provides. He’s a great husband and father."
Brandon has observed a difference. “I’ve seen God change my dad, because now he plays sports with us, he brings us to church. I love my dad. I would do anything in the world for him.”
Chuck concludes, “I know that no matter what I’ve done, no matter what mistakes I’ve made, that God loves me. He’s there, and I can always go to him and He accepts me with open arms. Jesus Christ really did die on that cross for all of our sins. He didn’t just pick a certain few. He died for everybody’s sins no matter what you’ve done, no matter what you’re going through. Jesus Christ died and shed His blood to wash all that away. All He’s doing is waiting on you to come to Him.”
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