Brian Williams: Amazed by Forgiveness
By Zsa Zsa Palagyi
The 700 Club
Original Air Date: September 29, 2010
“It was probably about 11:30, 12:00 at night. I was driving. I just remember looking for whatever looked like a crack house. Then I noticed this lady walking down the road and she looked pretty strung out. She might have been a prostitute.
“I flagged her down and I said, ‘Hey, do you know where I could get some drugs?’ And she said, ‘Oh yeah.’
“We drove to this rundown-looking shack of a house in this bad neighborhood. We open up the door. All the lights are out except for like a couple of lamps. It was a smoke filled room.
“She said, ‘I’m supposed to do the talking…’ but I butted in and said, ‘Look, I’ve got money…’ And they looked at me really like I was crazy or something. And she said, ‘Let’s go. You could have just gotten killed!’”
It was the price Brian Williams was willing to pay to feed his cocaine addiction. He’d used drugs since he was 15, when some friends introduced him to marijuana. Then it was muscle relaxers, pain pills, ecstasy, morphine, alcohol… anything to alter his state of mind and help him cope with what didn’t make sense to him—like why his parents divorced when he was in the first grade.
“There was definitely loneliness for my dad’s relationship and just insecurity and wondering why," Brian tells The 700 Club. "Why is this person who is my hero not wanting to spend more time with me?”
At first, Brian took the achievement route—excelling in school and in sports. At one point, he dreamed of playing in the NBA but not for long.
“There just wasn’t anything in my life motivating me to go on and do that and so I just got.. I got completely distracted.”
And depressed to the point that he contemplated suicide.
“I felt like I was, I was driving down every possible avenue searching, really the best I knew how. To fulfill something that I was looking for and I could never find it. And so at the end of every day, it was like another dead end road. I thought long and hard about just ending it all. I just wanted the pain to go away, and I was just exhausted from living a meaningless and purposeless life.”
Still, every time Brian considered suicide…
“The one thing I could not escape from was I had a mom who raised me really well and just loved me to death. So I just could not imagine the hurt that it would cause her if I did that.”
But he didn’t mind stealing from her.
“Yeah, that was part of my life. The scary thing is there wasn’t even a sense of shame about it then. I’d gotten so deep that the guilt feelings I began with the drugs, those certainly were nowhere to be found.”
Brian was six feet tall, but only weighted 140 pounds. He was constantly strung out and slowly wasting away. He tried to quit the drugs many times, but he could never follow through. Then one of his roommates told Brian’s mom and step-dad everything he’d been up to.
“I came home to my parents after that and said, ‘Everything he told you it’s true. Can you please help me?’”
Brian’s step-dad responded with two things.
“He said, ‘You can never do anything so bad to make God love you any less. He loves you. But you also need to know that there’s never any situation so difficult that you could find yourself in to where you and God together can’t handle it. But you’ve got to turn your life over to Him.’”
Brian agreed to meet with a pastor, who shared the story of a son who had wasted everything his father had given him, yet his father still welcomed him home.
“He said, ‘I’m showing you the heart of God that if there’s any sinner no matter what he’s done, would turn and repent, turn away from his sins, ask forgiveness, and turn to Jesus Christ and would receive him by faith, He would run to them and throw his arms around them.’
“All of a sudden now there was like a tiny glimmer of hope if anything that I wanted, I wanted the Lord to do that for me.”
So, at home Brian had a conversation with God.
“I remember thinking, ‘Lord, everything I’ve read in this Bbible, I have done the opposite. I am the picture of sin, God. I’ve done everything I shouldn’t have done. If You can find it in Your heart, Lord, to forgive me… please forgive me. I can’t live this way anymore. I don’t know where else to turn.’ I just talked to Him… just broken. And for the first time in all those years of searching, through the drug addiction, I knew that I found what I was looking for. I found it in Jesus. He was the only One that could give me that fulfillment and that peace and that purpose and that meaning in life that I was looking for.”
One thing that amazed Brian was God’s forgiveness.
“Jesus had literally forgiven me every single hit of cocaine I’d taken, every puff of marijuana, every drop of alcohol, every cuss word. All that was forgiven and now I was God’s child and He was helping me.”
Brian was given a fresh start on life and a way to overcome his addiction.
“I’d get my Bible open and I’d read and I’d take notes and just write down everything I was learning. It was like drinking from a fire hydrant and I was loving it. God was just nourishing me and giving me strength through the proces to where over time the depression even subsided and there was joy that began to take the place of depression that I experience today, that I’d never known before.”
Today Brian is a husband and father. More than anything else, he wants to help people to find the same hope and freedom he found.
“It doesn’t matter what anyone’s done. God’s forgiveness is bigger than any sin. And He can restore that life no matter how messed up and how broken and how much of a disaster they’ve made of it. If they’ve still got life and breath, God’s hand is still extended and He’s still like that father ran toward that son. If they would turn, He’d do what He did for me. He’d take off running towards them, wrap His arms around him, forgive him, and change their life.”
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