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He Had Everything, But Gave it Up

Steve had all the drugs, booze, and women he could ever want, but when his lifestyle nearly cost him his own life, he realized he was out of control. Read Transcript


All I wanted was to be accepted by somebody when

I was growing up and just to have a true friend

and have somebody I knew that cared about me for who I was.

NARRATOR: Steve Waldrip was bullied

for most of his childhood.

STEVE WALDRIP: I was really skinny.

God blessed me with a big noggin and a big head, you know.

And kids would bully me.

And I got the name Jughead.

I got beat up a lot.

I got picked on a lot.

NARRATOR: At 14, Steve found acceptance

when he gave his life to Christ at a summer camp.

It gave me a sense of hope that Jesus truly loved me,

that He didn't care if I was skinny, or I was ugly,

or-- He loved me for me.

NARRATOR: But the bullying intensified.

And Steve spent more and more time alone.

He was struggling to learn the guitar

and asked God to help him.

I said, God, if you'll teach me to play this guitar,

to sing, and to write songs, I'll

do it for You, for Your glory.

And guess what?

God said, let's do it.

Because from that day, playing a guitar,

it was like second nature to me.

NARRATOR: Soon after, a popular kid from school

heard Steve playing the guitar.

He was so impressed that he invited

Steve to play at a party the following weekend.

STEVE WALDRIP: I felt accepted for the first time.

Nobody was looking at me like this big-headed, ugly kid

anymore.

They were looking at me like, wow, we like the way you sing.

We like the way you play.

And you're part of us now.

They were-- they were paying attention to me.

NARRATOR: Steve drank his first beer

and smoked his first joint that night.

He continued to party with his new friends

and then dropped out of high school in 10th grade

to sing and play guitar at honky-tonks.

STEVE WALDRIP: I could always hear God keep telling me,

this is just not what you told me you'd do.

This is not our deal.

But see, the thing is, God didn't kill me.

God didn't take that talent away from me.

NARRATOR: His deep voice caught the attention of a strip club

owner who offered him a job as a DJ.

Soon, Steve was running the place and several other clubs.

At 22, he left music behind, but fell deeper

into alcohol and drug abuse.

Man, I had all the women I wanted,

you know, and all the cocaine I wanted,

all the whiskey I wanted, all the money I wanted.

I had everything I wanted.

I didn't need God.

NARRATOR: Steve continued to live and work

in the dark underbelly of strip clubs for the next 14 years.

Then one night, a friend invited him over.

When Steve arrived at the home, a man

jumped him and beat him with a metal pipe.

STEVE WALDRIP: I remember seeing a darkness

and feeling a loneliness, this loneliness

and this feeling of nothing, no love, no anything.

NARRATOR: He woke up in a hospital with a doctor standing

over him.

STEVE WALDRIP: He said, I'm not a religious man.

He said, but I want to tell you this.

Somebody upstairs was looking out for you,

he said, because 78% of the people who

take a blow to the head like this

don't live to tell about it.

NARRATOR: Steve learned an ex-girlfriend had set him up.

And Steve left the hospital a few days later, set on revenge.

I went to the liquor store and got me a fifth of Jack Daniels.

I got my 9mm, and I loaded it heavy.

Because I was intending to kill everybody in that house.

NARRATOR: But en route to his ex-girlfriend's house,

Steve was picked up for DUI and spent the night in jail.

God really starts turning up the steam on me.

God said, Steve, I love you.

This is not the plans I have for your life.

NARRATOR: Steve's business partners

bailed him out the next day and brought him to the club

to let him cool off.

STEVE WALDRIP: I'm walking around with my glass of whisky

in my hand.

I'm the boss man.

I hear God say something to me you never want to hear God say.

God said, Steve, it's now or never.

I'm tired of playing with you.

NARRATOR: He fell to his knees in the middle of the club.

STEVE WALDRIP: Security gathered around me

because they thought I was dying.

They thought surely, you know, this lifestyle

has caught up with him.

And I was on my knees, saying, God forgive me.

Let me come home.

I got up.

I pushed everybody away from me.

I went into the office of that club.

I called the owner.

And I said, man, I quit.

He started laughing.

He said, why are you quitting?

He said, you need more money?

I said, no, man.

I quit.

And I said, I just gave my life back to Jesus.

NARRATOR: Steve was able to walk away

from the clubs and the drugs.

But he still wasn't free.

The first place I went I left there was to the liquor store

and got me a bottle of Jack Daniels.

And I went home.

And I prayed.

And I took a shot of Jack Daniels.

I read my Bible.

And I took a shot.

And I did that until I passed out.

I woke up the next morning, and I did the same thing.

NARRATOR: Steve tried everything he could to stop drinking,

including several stints in rehab.

He was only 38, but he knew he was dying.

STEVE WALDRIP: One day, I was looking in my bathroom mirror.

And I looked at my eyes, and I seen death.

I told God, I said, don't let me die.

Don't let me die.

I'm back doing what You asked me to do.

But I can't let go of this whisky.

I can't stop.

And I figured it out.

I fell on my knees.

And I found the key to breaking those chains was I said, God,

I cannot do this without You.

And God be my witness, there's never another drop of whiskey

touch my lips since that day.

God immediately released me from that chain.

He broke that chain.

NARRATOR: In 2013, he married Kelly.

And today, they travel the country

sharing a message of hope and second chances

through Steve's music, just as he promised.

STEVE WALDRIP: It kind of gives you

chills, man, to know that God will use an old strip club

manager, someone that turned against Him,

and never, ever stop loving him.

That's an awesome God.

Finally, someone loved me for who I was.

There's that friend I was looking for.

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