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Weary From A Life of Freedom

After Michael's parents divorced, he felt free to live however he pleased. But when the responsibilities of a teenage pregnancy drove him into depression and drinking, a coworker took notice and stepped into help. Read Transcript


[MUSIC PLAYING]

NARRATOR: Michael [INAUDIBLE] thought

he was raised in a loving home.

That all changed when he was 15 years old

and his parents divorced.

MICHAEL: I was really angry with my mother.

She had been unfaithful and it hurt.

It tore our family apart.

I went to live with my brother.

All we thought about was going out and just having fun.

I didn't want to be with my mother

because I was so angry with her and I didn't want

to be with my dad because--

well, he made me go to church.

NARRATOR: And Michael wanted no part of anything

that had to do with God.

MICHAEL: God meant to me--

an angry being in the sky that was

ready to cast down a lightning bolt at you at any opportunity

that he could when you messed up.

NARRATOR: But having pushed away God and his parents,

Michael was left empty and without direction.

MICHAEL: There was no kind of responsibility.

It was just living a party lifestyle.

I was dead on the inside and out.

I wanted to find something that would bring satisfaction

to my life.

NARRATOR: While in high school, Michael got a girl pregnant.

So he dropped out of school and found a minimum-wage job.

Now the 16-year-old kid had adult responsibilities

weighing him down.

MICHAEL: I have a family that I'm trying to provide for

and I still had no direction.

I had panic attacks constantly and it caused anxiety

and it led to depression.

NARRATOR: Then his girlfriend left him and took their son.

To cope, he turned to alcohol.

MICHAEL: I got weary.

I wanted to take the pressure off.

At the age of 19, I began to fall in love

with this addiction of alcohol.

It was around 2000 that I got my first DUI.

They did field sobriety tests and that night they

took me to jail.

I knew my life was going to decline in that very moment.

The only way of escape that I had was my addiction.

Alcohol controlled my life.

NARRATOR: A short time later, he met Mike Rollins at work.

MICHAEL: He stands up in the middle of a safety meeting--

and I mean this is a construction site.

You've got guys that all they talked about was sex.

All they talked about was drinking and getting high.

I mean, that was the work force.

He says, please respect me and don't take the Lord's name

in vain in front of me.

And when he said that, I respected him.

NARRATOR: That respect quickly developed into a friendship

and they often talked during the work breaks.

MICHAEL: I wanted to be like him.

He was telling me about the things

that took place in his life and how he had turned to God

and how he no longer was addicted to these pain pills

and how he was fighting addiction.

And it was very compelling but at the same time,

I would go home to just nothingness.

I would go home to depression.

Even though Mike was giving me hope and speaking life to me

and telling me about how his life was coming together,

my life was still falling apart.

NARRATOR: His friend gave him a Bible.

But Michael threw it on his bed, afraid to find out

what God would think of him.

MICHAEL: Still in my mind, God was still this angry God

in the sky that--

he was ready to condemn me.

I would come home from work and I

would see that Bible on my bed and I wouldn't go near it.

I wouldn't sleep in my bed.

I wouldn't go in my bedroom.

I just stayed away from that room.

I was afraid of God.

NARRATOR: A few days later, Michael came home

from work ready for a drink but he was out of alcohol.

He started to leave to go buy some when a voice stopped him.

MICHAEL: I just heard, Michael, stop.

To a point where I looked around and I was like,

is this really God?

I just felt it and I felt--

Michael, stop.

And there was such a presence of love, I can't explain it.

And I remember asking God, what do you want me to do?

I'm crying and I'm asking God just to help me

and he's saying, read.

Just read my word.

I'll speak to you.

NARRATOR: Michael got the Bible off his bed

and started reading the New Testament.

He discovered a loving God that he could know through Jesus.

MICHAEL: And Jesus says, "Many in that day

will say to me, Lord, do we not do many wonderful works

in your name?"

And He said, "And I would declare to them,

I never knew you."

And man, when I read those words, "I never knew you,"

that's why he had to tell me.

He had to let me know.

He never knew me.

He never had a relationship with me.

I grabbed that Bible and I started

hugging it and holding it, crying out to God and saying,

God, if you give me a chance, I'll

give you every bit of my life.

I surrender.

Just forgive me of my sins.

Forgive me of everything that I've ever done.

I give you my life.

And I remember I cried until about 2 o'clock in the morning.

I cried myself to sleep.

And I had such an encounter with God.

He loved me and he accepted me.

NARRATOR: Michael started reading his Bible every day

and going to church.

He slowly grew in his relationship with God.

MICHAEL: I still had the temptation of alcoholism.

I still had court issues and I didn't care about the issues

because this relationship with God

superseded every issue that I had.

I knew as long as I had Jesus, I was OK.

NARRATOR: Michael did a small amount of jail time

and got help for his addiction.

Today, he's a pastor and wants everyone

to experience the joy that comes when

they put their trust in Jesus.

MICHAEL: God today is still performing miracles.

I was stuck in addiction.

And if God can save me, he can save anyone.

Know that he will get you through because there's

no other way.

And He'll get you exactly where you need to be in your life

so that people will see his power through you.

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