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Chip LaPole: Looking Up At the Bottom

Drug addiction caused Chip LaPole to lose everything. It was then that he surrendered his life to Jesus. Read Transcript


Reporter: CHIP LAPO WAS

A SUCCESSFUL ENGINEER.

BUT WHAT DROVE HIM WAS NOT

THE IDEA OF MAKING BETTER

AUTOMOTIVE PARTS.

IT WAS COCAINE.

FOR YEARS HE HID HIS DRUG

PROBLEM.

I WOULD BRING IT TO WORK

WITH ME AND ACTUALLY DO

DRUGS WHILE I WAS AT WORK SO

THAT I COULD STAY AWAKE AND

I COULD STAY ALERT.

IT GOT TO THE POINT WHERE I

COULDN'T FUNCTION WELL

WITHOUT IT.

Reporter: CHIP'S FATHER

LEFT THE FAMILY WHEN CHIP

WAS ONLY A CHILD.

AND I HAD ACTUALLY HATRED

IN MY MIND AND IN MY HEART

FOR HIM.

AND WHEN I WOULD GET HIGH ON

THE MARIJUANA, OR GET LOADED

ON ALCOHOL, AND ULTIMATELY

ON COCAINE, IT WOULD TAKE

AWAY THE PAIN FROM THAT

EARLY CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCE.

Reporter: IN COLLEGE,

CHIP'S LIFE WAS CENTERED

AROUND PARTIES, SEX, AND

GETTING HIGH.

I WAS ALWAYS THE GUY THAT

YOU COULD SEE OUT AT THE

CLUBS THAT HAD A COUPLE

HUNDRED BUCKS IN HIS POCKET

AND A COUPLE OF GRAMS OF

COCAINE IN HIS POCKET.

Reporter: BY THE TIME

CHIP GOT OUT OF SCHOOL AND

STARTED WORKING, HE WAS A

FUNCTIONAL ADDICT.

ONE NIGHT AT A BAR, HE MET

TONETTE.

SEEKING MORE THAN THE

ONE-NIGHT STAND

RELATIONSHIPS I HAD FOR SO

MANY YEARS, I STARTED TO

CARE FOR HER SO MUCH, I FELT

LIKE I WANTED TO GET MARRIED

TO DO THE RIGHT THING.

Reporter: CHIP ASKED

TONETTE TO MARRY HIM.

HE THOUGHT ABOUT LEAVING HIS

PARTY LIFESTYLE TO BECOME A

RESPONSIBLE HUSBAND.

INSTEAD, HE GOT TONETTE

HOOKED ON COCAINE.

I FELT LIKE I WAS SHARING

EVERYTHING WITH HER THAT

MADE ME FEEL GOOD.

IN REALITY, THAT'S REALLY

WHAT STARTED THE DEMISE OF

OUR RELATIONSHIP AND OF

HER -- ULTIMATELY, HER

LIFE.

Reporter: DESPITE HER

LIFESTYLE, TONETTE WANTED TO

HAVE THE WEDDING IN HER

CHILDHOOD CHURCH.

BUT HER PASTOR INSISTED THEY

GO THROUGH MARRIAGE

COUNSELLING.

BY THEN, CHIP WAS READY TO

TALK ABOUT WHERE HIS LIFE

WAS GOING.

I SAID, PASTOR, I DON'T

CARE SO MUCH ABOUT US

GETTING MARRIED AS I DO

ABOUT ME GETTING MY LIFE

RIGHT WITH GOD.

HERE I WAS CRYING OUT,

SAYING I WANT TO KNOW THE

LORD.

RESCUE ME.

THE VERY NEXT DAY, I WENT TO

MEET WITH HIM.

OCTOBER 16, 1997.

AT ABOUT 6:00.

AND AT 6:22 P.M., I GAVE MY

LIFE TO THE LORD.

Reporter: CHIP AND

TONETTE MARRIED.

THEY BOTH STOPPED USING

COCAINE AND DRINKING

ALCOHOL.

ALL WAS WELL, UNTIL THREE

YEARS LATER WHEN THEY TOOK A

TRIP TO CANCUN, MEXICO.

I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, YOU

KNOW WHAT, THIS WOULDN'T BE

A BIG DEAL.

WE CAN JUST HAVE ONE DRINK.

AND THEN WE HAD ONE

MARGARITA, AND THAT LED TO A

SECOND MARGARITA, AND A

THIRD MARGARITA, AND THEN WE

WERE DOING TEQUILA SHOTS AND

GOT TOTALLY, TOTALLY DRUNK.

SHE LOOKED AT ME AND SAID, A

COUPLE OF LINES OF COCAINE

WOULD BE REALLY GREAT RIGHT

NOW.

AND I SAID, YEAH, I BET YOU

I CAN FIND IT.

TWO HOURS LATER WE WERE

SITTING IN THE HOTEL ROOM

DOING COCAINE.

Reporter: THAT DECISION

OPENED A DOOR THAT SHOULD

HAVE STAYED CLOSED.

BECAUSE WHEN THEY GOT HOME,

THEY WENT BACK TO USING

COCAINE.

HERE I'M TRYING TO HOLD

MY JOB DOWN AND DOING

COCAINE SOMETIMES WITHOUT

ANY SLEEP.

THE NEXT DAY GOING TO WORK,

I REALIZED I WAS ON A

SELF-DESTRUCTIVE PATH.

Reporter: FOR THE NEXT

TWO YEARS, THE COUPLE STAYED

HIGH AND THEY FOUGHT

CONSTANTLY.

ONE DAY AFTER AN ARGUMENT,

CHIP STORMED OUT OF THE

HOUSE AND CHECKED INTO A

HOTEL.

I TOLD HER I COULDN'T

TAKE IT ANYMORE, AND SHE WAS

BEGGING ME TO COME HOME.

AND I SAID, NO, I CAN'T COME

HOME.

Reporter: CHIP TOOK A

COUPLE OF DAYS TO COOL OFF

AND THEN WENT HOME.

I WALKED IN THE HOUSE AND

YELLED, TONETTE, TONETTE,

AND I STARTED WALKING UP THE

STAIRS AND THERE WAS STUFF

WRITTEN ON MIRRORS WITH

LIPSTICK.

I THOUGHT THIS IS CRAZY.

I WENT DOWN AND THOUGHT,

I'VE GOT TO SEE IF HER CAR

WAS THERE.

I OPENED UP THE GARAGE DOOR

AND HER CAR WAS THERE, AND

THE GARAGE SMELLED REAL

SMOKY.

AND I LOOKED IN THE CAR AND

I COULD SEE HER SLUMPED OVER

IN THE CAR.

AND I WAS YELLING, TONETTE,

TONETTE, AND HER EYES WERE

WIDE OPEN AND SHE DIDN'T

RESPOND TO ME.

Reporter: AFTER HIS

WIFE'S SUICIDE, CHIP WAS

RACKED WITH GUILT.

HIS DRUG ADDICTION CONSUMED

HIM.

EVENTUALLY HE LOST

EVERYTHING.

I STARTED STAYING AT

HOMELESS SHELTERS.

I LITERALLY, WHEN THE MONEY

RAN OUT, ENDED UP WALKING

THE STREETS HOMELESS AND

ADDICTED.

Reporter: EVEN THOUGH

HE STRUGGLED FOR YEARS WITH

HIS COCAINE HABIT, CHIP

NEVER FELT ABANDONED BY

GOD.

I BELIEVED THAT THE LORD

LOVED ME.

I NEVER BLAMED HIM FOR MY

CIRCUMSTANCES.

I JUST KEPT CRYING OUT TO

HIM.

NUMBER ONE, THAT I WANTED TO

BE FREE.

Reporter: TIME AFTER

TIME, CHIP WENT THROUGH

CYCLES OF GETTING ON HIS

FEET AND THEN FALLING BACK

INTO HIS OLD HABIT.

BUT ONE DAY THE CYCLE WAS

BROKEN.

I WAS DRIVING DOWN THE

ROAD, AND I WENT TO PUT THE

CRACK COCAINE INTO MY PIPE

AND TO LIFT IT TO MY MOUTH

WITH AZáIGHTER, AND I LOOKED

IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR, AND

I HEARD THIS AS CLEAR AS A

BELL, AS CLEAR AS I'M

SPEAKING TO YOU, YOU DON'T

NEED THAT.

AND I TOOK THAT PIPE AND I

THREW IT OUT THE WINDOW, AND

I TOOK THE COCAINE AND THREW

IT OUT THE WINDOW.

Reporter: THAT DAY CHIP

WAS SET FREE FROM A 30-YEAR

ADDICTION.

WOW.

IT FELT LIKE I CAME HOME.

LIKE I CAME HOME.

LIKE I WAS IN THIS PLACE AND

I DIDN'T KNOW WHERE I WAS,

BUT NOW I'M HOME.

AND THAT MY LIFEJ%÷ WAS GOING

TO COUNT FOR SOMETHING.

I KNEW IT WAS.

I KNEW THAT GOD WOULD USE

Reporter: TODAY CHIP

HELPS RECOVERING DRUG

ADDICTS STAY FREE THROUGH

THE POWER OF GOD'S LOVE.

WHEN I LOOK BACK AT MY

LIFE, I TRULY BELIEVE THAT

MY LIFE IS THE STORY OF THE

PRODIGAL SON.

THAT THE LORD BLESSED HIM

WITH SO MUCH, AND HE WENT

OUT AND HE SQUANDERED IT.

AND YET BECAUSE OF GOD'S

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND

FATHERLY NATURE, HIS FATHER

EMBRACES HIM AND LOVES HIM

BACK TO LIFE.

THAT'S MY DADDY.

THAT'S MY FATHER.

EMBED THIS VIDEO

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