Brush with Death Changes Drug Addict's Life
By David DiCicco
The 700 Club
“I kept looking over my shoulder into the back seat ‘cause it felt like someone was in the car with me and I just believe today that was death. He was riding with me and he was just waiting for me to close my eyes. I kept trying to hold my eyes open because I knew the moment that I closed my eyes that I was gonna lift them up in hell.”
In December of 1993 – Kim Ivory was shot through the chest as he sped away from a drug deal that had gone wrong. “I never felt fear like this before.”
“I had been freebasing cocaine since eighty-two. My life had taken a drastic spiral down. I began to do things that wouldn’t bother my conscience that normally would have.”
Selling drugs and stealing had become a way of life. When he was thirty, Kim was sentenced to prison for strong armed robbery. While inside he sought to clean up his life. “I didn’t want drugs back in my life. No, in my mind in my heart I didn’t want it.”
Released a year and a half later, he went home with hopes of staying clean. But as hard as he tried, the old habit came back. “It took me hostage. I’d seen me handcuffed to this addiction. I couldn’t find a way out. I tried everything, tried the detox centers, tried rehabilitation, twelve step programs a number of times, but just never could get myself out. It got worse.”
He continued running street hustles. One night in December, a dispute flared up at a drug meet. “The guy went into his coat; he pulled out a thirty-eight caliber. Blood was coming out of my ears and coming out of my nose and my chest was full of blood.”
“Death was in the car with me. He was riding with me and he was just waiting for me to close my eyes. I began to call on God to save my life. I told Him I was sorry, and that I was sorry for doing the things I did and shaming my family name. I asked Him to come in my life and just save me. ‘I don’t want to go to hell. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to go to hell.’”
Kim pulled into a parking lot where he passed out. A security guard found him and called 911. “When I woke up I was in the ambulance. And the paramedics - one paramedic was taking the oxygen mask off my face. He was looking down at me. He was speaking to the other paramedic and said, ‘He’s not breathing’. And the other paramedic just looked at me and shook his head and put his head down. And at that time my eyes began to get heavy again. They got so heavy, no matter how hard I tried to keep them open it seemed like someone had a hold to them and was just pulling them down. And the darkness began to come again.”
At the hospital, doctors fought to save his life. They managed to stabilize him, but couldn’t remove the bullet because it was too close to his spine. “I was just so glad, Jesus gave me another chance. I’m gonna turn it around now.”
As he recovered, he went to a revival at his sister’s church. After the service, Kim went forward for prayer from the minister. “He laid his hand on my chest and began to pray. He said, ‘Go on home now everything’s gonna be alright.’”
Back at the house, Kim grew restless. “I felt a warmth come over my body. I never felt a feeling like this in my life. And when I got into the bed room, I sat on the edge of the bed and I grabbed my socks and I bent over to put my sock on and I felt something hit me in the front of my mouth. And I just held my hand covering my mouth and I was like, ‘Uh-oh.’”
“I eased my hand open just to peek at it, and the more I opened my hand the more I saw the bullet sitting in my hand. I just began to scream and holler. I couldn’t say words. I was just screaming and hollering.”
That night, Kim shared his miraculous story back at the church. As word of his testimony spread, he was asked to speak at churches around the country. However, a new problem arose. “The pressure of having to live right because everybody was watching me. I gotta walk as though I’m walking on egg shells and I gotta say the right thing all the time. You know, I gotta do the right thing all the time, and that began to be a pressure on me. So eventually I ended up back where I started.”
“Sometimes when we think when people give their life to the Lord that things should change overnight.”
For seven more years, Kim struggled with his addictions. “I found myself getting angry with God, ‘Why did You allow me to come back here?’ I began to give up. ‘Wow, what was it all for? Could I ever be delivered? Could He deliver me?’”
At an arraignment for failure to appear in court, Kim heard about Teen Challenge. He decided to enroll in their year-long drug recovery program, hoping it would be the change he needed.
“I read the Bible constantly. It was there that I learned how to have an intimate relationship with the Lord and He began to show me how to be disciplined and how to allow the Spirit of God to overtake my life, and to let Him have the greater influence in my life. It was just so real for me.”
“I was free. And the enemy didn’t have no power over me. Satan didn’t have no power over me. Drugs didn’t have no power over me.”
Kim has been living drug free since 2001. “I thank God for my life. I thank God even for the struggle now. Because I know the struggle that I went through, God’s gonna use that to show others that you’re not the only one going through something. He knows all about it. He’s a deliverer. Whatever your situation going on in your life right now, God is able and I’m a living witness, a living example that God is able to turn it around. God is able to defeat that thing because greater is He who is in you than anything that is in this world.”
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