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The Benefits of Listening to That Voice in Your Head

Louie’s tough guy act results in a prison sentence. While serving his time, he hears a voice in his head and he decides to heed the advice. Read Transcript

You got to be trustworthy.

You got to be not a snitch.

You gotta be tough.

NARRATOR: Growing up on the streets of Bakersfield,

California, Louie Lomonaco didn't care what

he had to do to get accepted.

You gotta be willing to do some things that maybe other guys

aren't willing to do.

And that's part of climbing up the ladder.

That's the part of the hustle.

And when you show that, you start getting favor and trust.

NARRATOR: His father left when he was one.

And by the time he was in high school,

several stepfathers had made their way in and out

of his life.

None of them showed any affection

to a boy desperately needing a dad.

It was the male figure coming into my life and then leaving.

And so at one point as a kid, you say to yourself,

I'm going to put up a wall.

Like this isn't going to just keep happening.

NARRATOR: That day came on Christmas

when he was 15 years old.

And my third stepfather, which has

been in the house the longest at this point,

came and gave my sister a Christmas present

at my aunt's house and didn't give me anything

and didn't acknowledge me at all after we've been together

nine years.

And so that was the day I said, it

doesn't even matter what happens to me anymore.

NARRATOR: So Louie dropped out of high school

and started hustling, stealing, and dealing drugs for money.

By his early 20s he had a lengthy criminal record

that included robbery, assault, and dealing drugs.

He also had money, street credibility, and the respect

of gang members.

But he says something was missing.

You have money, you have nice cars, and you got a home.

And as you put on this front of you might be tough

and you might be this and you might have it all in control,

but inside you're just empty.

NARRATOR: Trying to fill the void,

Louie found a way to make more money running guns across state

lines in exchange for drugs.

But with each deal, he thought more and more

about the cost he would ultimately pay.

So I had to sit back and go, OK, now this could go bad.

How am I going to make sure that I'm not

going to get killed today?

There is no winning on either decision.

Today you may be killed, or you may have to kill somebody else.

It's horrible.

You know your mind is so gone on the streets

that this even makes sense to somebody.

You know that you need a change, and a big change,

and that your life is lost, man.

Now you know this is a proof that there's

an empty person inside there.

NARRATOR: At age 29, Louie was arrested

and a plea bargain got him three years.

While serving time, he thought about the direction

he'd taken in life.

I achieved everything I was looking for.

I got scars all over me.

I got eternal scars.

I've got the battle scars.

I've got the friends that are dead

and murdered and doing life.

I achieved it all.

But you just realize when you achieve it that it's not really

what you were looking for.

NARRATOR: In the solitude of his prison cell,

Louie says he heard something.

I heard a voice say go to church

with your great grandmother.

And it wouldn't-- that's all it would say,

over and over throughout the day or throughout the week.

So one day I did to shut it up.

I just, OK, I'll go.

It never asked me again.

NARRATOR: After serving his time, Louie kept his word.

I was in a halfway house on Union Avenue in Bakersfield,


And my grandma invited me to church.

The atmosphere was heavy.

And it was love.

I remember coming down almost like a cloud,

and it just set over me.

And that voice spoke to me and said,

I've tamed-- I've tamed a lot tougher than you.

And so I went down and gave my heart to Lord Jesus Christ.

I felt like I had freedom.

I felt like I was forgiven.

NARRATOR: Louie started building a life centered around Christ.

And over the years became the man, husband, and father

he always hoped he'd be.

You start to blossom into a person

that God always intended you to be.

And the weirdest thing is, is you

never realize that you could be that way.

With a daughter now in college, Louie and his wife Sara

are raising their son.

He makes sure both his children understand they are loved.

I always go in and tell them I love

them and I'm proud of them.

Both my kids have said that, not question me,

but like, how come you do this?

And I said, because I never had it when I was a kid.

And I want to make sure you know the love of Jesus Christ.

NARRATOR: He shares his story with youth and men

with similar pasts.

People who knew Louie before say the change is real.

Dennis Sterk is a former detective

responsible for his arrest.

Today he calls Louie a friend.

If you'd known him before and you know him now,

there's a big change.

Louie is not all talk, it was a change.

My life now is complete in so many ways

because of the love of God.

The day I found Christ at the altar and the freedom

He gave me, if that's all He ever

gave me and I had that only, I'm OK with that.

That was what I was looking for in the first place.


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