The Legacy of His Grandfather's Faith
By Julie Blim
The 700 Club
CBN.com-“And so then it went from a couple of days a week, to now I’m marking off work - she don’t know. Now it’s lies, more lies. ‘Why is your check only this big?’ (I’d) make up some story. She’d buy it.”
Addictions were destroying Josh Roeder’s life and marriage.
“So she found out. She’s done. She’s done with me, you know. I’m trying to, you know, sweet talk her and everything. And it wasn’t working.”
Josh had drifted far from his days as a popular, fun-loving high school quarterback. At the time he was living with his dad and grandfather, who had moved in after his parents divorced years earlier.
“Oh man, he was great man; a Christian man. My grandpa helped raise me. He took me to school. If I was sick he’s there for me. He was there every day. I got to hug him before I went to sleep every night.”
Not long after Josh graduated, his grandfather died. A part of Josh died with him.
“He always knew what to say or how to make me laugh or how to make me feel loved or make me feel important. Even though I knew he was going to heaven–I needed him. And it was like, it was tough.”
From there things got worse. The home Josh had grown up in was his grandfather’s and now had to be sold. Then many of his friends left for college. Things Josh only used to do on occasion – smoking pot, drinking, and looking at pornography – started to become habits.
“I was depressed. I mean, for a long time. I started partying a lot. (I) put a smile on and joke with people. I never really talked about what I really needed to talk about. That definitely was an escape for sure.”
Several years later, Josh met and married Noel. He believed that she could fill the void in his life.
“I knew she would make me a better person–getting back to the person I once was before the depression and all that stuff hit. Then I started going back to church a little bit.”
He cut back on his partying and for a while, things seemed to be getting better. But when married life became routine, Josh once again felt empty and slid back into drinking and watching porn.
“There’re a lot of lies and deceits I was doing. I felt like, to myself, ‘I’m not hurting anybody. I’m going to work every day; paying bills, you know. What’s wrong?’ She’d catch me here and there and we’d get in a big fight. She felt bad about herself. She felt like she wasn’t good enough.”
A few years into their marriage, he found another way to escape.
“I heard guys talking about it. There’s this thing called bath salts and you can get high from it and it’s legal. And so I tried it once and then I really liked it. And by the time she gets home, you know, I’m coming down, it’s all good. No one’s hurt.”
Over the next year, Josh’s addiction grew. He started missing work, and was taking money out of his paycheck to feed his habit. His lied to keep Noel in the dark.
“And then it got to a point where if she wanted to leave, it was, ‘Whatever, okay.’ You know, it got really bad.”
Then in 2011, she discovered he had been dipping into their retirement account.
“It all came crashing down. She was hit hard. Because she wasn’t expecting it, you know, because I was keeping up with lies and stuff. We fought about it. She left, and my mind is just going a thousand different directions. This is not the life I want. It’s not the life I expected to be.”
Josh remembered how his grandfather leaned on God. He thought it was time for him to do the same.
“I had no options. What am I going to do? And I prayed. And it was the hardest I ever prayed. The most meaningful prayer; ‘Jesus, here You go. I can’t do it on my own anymore. I need Your help. You take this from me. I’m offering all this pain I have. I ask for forgiveness. Lord, and I will serve You.’ It was like a thousand pounds got lifted off of me. And I started smiling. At this worst darkest time in my life–and I knew it was God. I knew it was Jesus.”
Josh told Noel that he had surrendered his life to God, but she’d had enough of his empty promises and wanted a divorce. Then her parents, both pastors, confronted Josh -- but not the way he expected.
“They came at me with Jesus’ love - like literally showing what Jesus’ love is all about. I felt like they really cared about me.”
With the help of his in-laws, Josh found Christian counseling and went into a program for his addictions to drugs and porn. Noel held off on the divorce to see if his transformation was real.
“It was more: ‘Let’s do some walking and a little less talking,’ you know. With Jesus you can be forgiven like that [snaps]. But through your wife -- it takes a long time, it can, you know (laughs).”
It did take time, but Josh showed Noel he had changed, and she forgave him. Now he knows there’s only One who could fill his void.
“And I don’t need drugs or anything to feel this way. You know, I don’t take—there’s nothing, no substance, zero substance that has to go through my body, you know, to make me feel that way. I love life, I guess. You know, (with) Jesus, you can love life.”
Josh and Noel slowly rebuilt their trust in each other and now have two young children they adore. And he admits that while life isn’t perfect, he knows God is always there.
“He’s given my life back. He’s given me life. He’s given me happiness.”
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