Sam's Shot at Redemption
By Jewel Graham
The 700 Club
“I remember my mom, she used to run a bootleg house and that used to be men and women come every day, all day.”
By the age of 10, Sam Cox was having sex, drinking and smoking, and using drugs.
“I thought it was all right for me to do it because i seen somebody else do it.”
Despite her illegal activities, Sam’s mother took him to church every week.
“They used to sing a church song ‘Come to Jesus Right Now’ and I went down and I got saved, thought that since I was going to church that He was going to make everything all right and I found out that that was just not the truth in my teens things began to get worse.”
“I would drink a little beer every now and then I would drink a little alcohol but I would smoke a lot of marijuana at that time, but my favorite drug was crack cocaine. I started off snorting powder. At that time, I was selling drugs, a lot of drugs on the streets.”
Sam was making three thousand dollars a week selling drugs…his other passion was baseball.
“I really loved the game because I had a good batting average. Sometimes I would be batting .400 or higher than that and I had scouts looking at me, I knew that at that time that I was really going to go to the next level, that’s where my heart was, I wanted to play major league baseball.”
Sam’s dream of playing baseball vanished when he didn’t have enough credits to graduate high school. That made him ineligible to play at the next level. Instead of going to college and playing baseball, Sam became a drug dealer.
“Every day I was trying to do crack. If I wasn’t selling it I was using and I found myself after a while where I couldn’t sell it anymore. I fell in love with what I used to sell.”
Sam’s lifestyle caught up to him. A judge sentenced him to five years in jail for selling drugs.
“The judge told them if they get you in a program or rehab center, we'll let him go and they did, they found me a place called “the bridge,” and I went up there for six months and I got clean. I stayed clean for one year, but I ended up selling drugs again.”
Sam’s mother turned him in to his parole officer and the courts sent him back to rehab.
“it was a game. I had a mask on. I just go for 90 days so I won’t face jail time and get back on the street. I knew within my self, I wasn’t ready to do what was right.”
Sam got caught again and this time spent 13 months behind bars, only months after his release Sam was arrested again and sentenced to 20 years.
“At that time I said God help me! Because I want to know you when I’m in my valley. That was my low point. I was sick and tired, sick and tired. I know at that point I was at my wits end, I knew if I didn’t stop I was going to die.”
Sam served five years and six months of the 20 year term and slowly renewed his relationship with God during that time.
“It’s a process of me picking up that Word on a daily basis, meditating day and night.”
When Sam was released in 2000, he was a new man.
“I saw my life change a lot because that’s when I got the confidence in the faith in God's word. No matter what the circumstances or the situation, that I always win, that He always calls me to triumph in victory, that I got to make the right decision. I made the choice. I choose life or death.”
Sam’s life change was so dramatic that in 2007 he received a full pardon. Today, he runs his own car detailing business, and returns to the Gadsden State prison on a weekly basis.
"I go back to the prison every week because, ya know, I remember when I was in that pit and He brought me out of the miry clay. A lot of people say once an addict, always an addict; that’s not true because people know how I used to live and they have somebody that’s before them that has a changed life, and they are living and they see that God is in me and they know that what the life that I used to live, you know, that I’ve been transformed. God is the same God yesterday, today and forevermore. He can do it for you."
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