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CBN.com The only constant in Chad’s childhood was the turmoil his mom brought. She struggled with drug addiction and fell in and out of abusive relationships. All the while, he and his sister, Wendy watched their mom destroy her life.
“A lot of people don’t know the hurt. I was sitting there in bed saying, ‘Why am I going though this?' ”
“It broke my heart that he [Chad] had to defend my mom all the time because he was just a young boy. I mean that wasn’t his place. And especially defending her over things that were wrong ... things that she was doing that were wrong,” says sister, Wendy.
As a young teen, Chad knew the police on a first name basis. He was constantly fighting off his mom's abusive boyfriends. Yet one afternoon, the fight was more than his body could take.
“He had my mom up against the back wall of the living room with his fist clenched like this. He had been beating on her. I remember, as he heard the door, he looked over his shoulder and locked eyes with me, and when he realized that it was just the 14-year-old son Chad, he kind of smirked and laughed at me.”
As Chad stepped in to defend his mother, the man unleashed his anger on the helpless boy.
“And all I remember thinking is I just want this to stop. I just hope it stops.”
The man beat Chad until his rage was satisfied. He dragged Chad, bruised and bloody, to the bedroom and left him there.
“I didn’t have a parent there helping me and holding me through it. I was completely alone. I had no answer in my life,” says Chad. “I remember thinking to myself, you know, you could end this. What are you going to tell your friends tomorrow at school? What excuses are you going to make up? Why don’t you just end your life? Why don’t you just end it? Why don’t you just call it quits? Kill yourself and be done.”
“As I turned around, there was a Bible ... a black, King James leather version Bible laying on that night stand. I remember I had a feeling of hope rise up inside of me. I was holding the Bible to my chest, and I was inside desperately saying, 'God if you are real, Lord just help me right now through this situation.' "
That night, Chad surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. And he asked for something he’d never experienced…
He prayed, "Jesus gives me peace. Jesus, give me peace."
And within 15 minites, Chad was sound asleep...
His mother’s destructive addictions didn’t go away. But from then on Chad was armed with hope that went beyond human reasoning.
“When I accepted Christ I still battled real life situations. The truth is the only peace that I had in my life came from the Lord ... when I felt Him rescue me.”
With a new sense of purpose, Chad pursued his dream of playing basketball. He went on to play for the University of Pittsburgh. His junior year, Chad lead Pittsburgh in scoring and rebounds.
“I began to realize that this dream that I had is about to become a reality ... that this is really going to happen.”
Chad went on to play professional basketball in Spain, averaging 19 points and nine rebounds a game. At the height of his career, his life took a drastic turn.
“I felt God saying, ‘Chad you’ve worked all this time for this, but I’m calling you to do something greater.' ”
Chad walked away from million dollar contracts to follow the new direction God was taking him. Chad started Inspire. As a motivational speaker, Chad shares with teens the greatest message of hope.
“It is really special to see that God can take something that people say there is no way this is going to work. People may say you are just going to be another statistic ... that Wendy, you are going to be an alcoholic. Chad, you are going to be a drug addict. There is no way you are going to make it. We need to be able to see the hand of God where God is able to move in our lives.”
Because of God’s healing power, Chad and his wife, Kristie can raise their children in a home filled with the peace he found in Christ. And his sister Wendy ... she’s happily married and teaches her three girls at home.
“I cannot imagine where my brother would be, where I would be if we didn’t have God,” she now says.
“You’ve got one life to live. When I think that God can restore a situation like this and make it healthy and now be able to see that my children’s lives will be totally different than what I’ve experience … it is only because of God and the restoration He has brought to our family.”
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