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Dramatic Turn for Man on Path To Hell

After his father left his family for another woman, Steve's life took a dark turn in to drug addiction, thievery, and drug addiction. Suicidal and unable to cope, he picked up a Bible and for the second time, his life took a dramatic turn. Read Transcript


STEVE BENNER: I was running the streets and crazy,

and I didn't want to stop.

And I thought the only way to do that was to die.

I didn't care about my life anymore.

I'd lost everybody that I had that had meant anything to me.

NARRATOR: Steve Benner was 12 years

old when his father abandoned his family for another woman.

Soon after, Steve's life took a dark turn.

STEVE BENNER: I started running the streets at night drinking

alcohol and smoking marijuana.

My father wasn't there to say, hey, look,

this is not what you're supposed to do, or anything.

He was gone.

NARRATOR: By the age of 17, Steve

had dropped out of high school.

Casual drug use turned into full-fledged addiction.

STEVE BENNER: The next 10 years, I did methamphetamine

every day.

I would smoke meth, and I'd be up for a week at a time.

It became something that I had to do daily in order

just to be normal.

I didn't work.

I survived and paid for my drug habit

by selling drugs and stealing.

NARRATOR: His mother, who was a Christian,

was battling cancer and fighting for Steven's soul in prayer.

STEVE BENNER: I put her through hell.

Six months before my mom died, she sat me down,

and she looked me in the eye.

And she said, my friend and I have been praying for you.

And I have a message for you.

And she said, in five years you're not

gonna be the same person.

You're not gonna look the same.

You're not gonna act the same.

People won't even recognize you.

And I looked at her, and I laughed.

And I got up and walked away.

NARRATOR: When his mother died, he used meth

to block his rage and pain.

STEVE BENNER: Methamphetamine numbed me.

I felt no pain.

I didn't feel anything although I was very angry.

Nothing mattered.

Having a good job didn't matter.

Having a family didn't matter.

Nothing mattered.

NARRATOR: After years of drug abuse and criminal activity,

Steve was caught breaking into a home.

Police trapped him in a nearby business restroom.

STEVE BENNER: At that point, I decided

that I was not going to prison.

I was gonna end my life that day.

And I pulled out a large knife, and I

kicked the bathroom stall open.

They tried to talk me into setting the knife down,

and I wasn't gonna do it.

And I told him, if you get close to me, I'm killing you.

And he raised his gun, and he was about to kill me.

And his partner shot me with a Taser.

It hit me in the neck.

And I went down, and I dropped the knife.

NARRATOR: In jail, he was placed on suicide watch.

STEVE BENNER: I just wanted to die.

That was all I kept telling myself every day.

I gotta figure out how to kill myself.

I realized that everything I had been doing my entire life

had left a trail of hurt and pain

for other people that didn't deserve it.

I looked at myself, and I realized

the monster I'd become.

I was full of anger and hate and addicted to drugs.

And I didn't know how to cope.

I didn't know what to do.

NARRATOR: An inmate in Steve's cell block

encouraged Steve to turn to God.

STEVE BENNER: I pick up a Bible.

And I started reading, and the words were jumping off

the page at me.

I started learning that I could be

forgiven for the terrible things that I had done.

NARRATOR: Alone in his cell, Steve asked God to forgive him.

STEVE BENNER: I said, Lord, if you can fix my life,

you can have it.

I'm worth nothing.

I have completely screwed my life up.

And, here, it's yours.

I felt warm.

I felt his presence.

I knew that I had just made a decision for Christ.

I had hope again.

It was like I woke up one day and I'd just

had probably-- I smiled for the first time in 20 years.

And I realized it.

And I got goosebumps.

NARRATOR: Steve says God immediately set

him free from drug addiction.

At that moment, he realized it had

been five years since his mother had told him

that his life would change.

STEVE BENNER: Everything changed.

I was happy.

And I was looking at seven years in prison,

and I wasn't worried about it.

I had peace.

NARRATOR: After serving his sentence,

Steve was released from prison in 2014.

The hole left in his heart by his dad's rejection

had finally been filled with love from his Heavenly Father.

STEVE BENNER: I feel love that I haven't felt in so many years.

And I have a Father that I can depend on now.

He'll never leave me or forsake me.

You're never too far gone.

As long as you're here and you're still breathing,

God can reach down in the pit of hell,

and he can pull you out and set your feet on solid ground.

And he can clean up your messes.

No matter what you've done, it's never too late.

As long as you're still breathing, it's not too late.

You can turn to Jesus and ask for help.

And he'll answer your call.

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