Garry Hannon: God has a One-Step Program
By Mia Evans
The 700 Club
Garry Hannon was never one to walk the straight and narrow, a pattern of behavior that began as a young boy’s cry for attention.
"I was kind of one of the cool guys because I was the rebellious type," Garry said. "The more crazy things I did the more cool I became. I kind of liked that. I believe with my dad working all the time I didn’t have that father figure there and a lot of it was for attention."
By age 15, his life revolved around drinking and doing drugs. The high school dropout preferred living dangerously.
“Nothing really held me back. Nothing scared me,” Garry said. “At that time you couldn’t dare me to do something, I’d do it. And later, that came back to haunt me.”
For the next 18 years, Garry’s addictions controlled his every move. He couldn’t hold a job and had no direction in life. Then he found what he thought was the perfect job: running the bar his father owned.
“My dad was kind of trying to bail me out once again and basically give me a job” Garry said. “It just seemed like the fun was ‘round the clock’ because my occupation was partying. The alcohol consumption was unbelievable. That’s where it really started snowballing downhill; the drug use, I mean, it was so readily available.”
Garry bought the bar from his dad, then turned around and sold it. He knew he was out of control and thought being out of that environment would help. But it didn't. One day after a five-day cocaine binge, Garry had a vision of Jesus opening his arms to him.
“[And] I knew that God was just tugging, pulling my heart strings,” Garry said.
A friend invited Garry to church. He prayed to accept Jesus in the church parking lot. Garry tried to give up alcohol. But he couldn’t do it on his own.
“There was a lot of guilt because I would go to church and sing Amazing Grace and know good and well that either that night or the next night that I was going to be drinking,” Garry said.
Garry hid his drinking from his girlfriend, Brandi. Then the couple had a child together. Brandi was already raising a daughter from a previous marriage. Garry and Brandi wanted to build a new life together but Garry’s secret drove a wedge between them.
“He would come in all hours of the night with the wildest excuses,” Brandi said. "It was awful, terrible. I think I always had it in the back of my mind that something was going on, but you want to believe what they say even though you know it’s not true.”
“I was going out to drink; of course I had to lie my way out of it,” Garry said. “And I knew that wasn’t right.”
“And it just got to a point where he came home at 6:00 a.m.” Brandi said. “I had been up all night trying to call. And I could just smell the alcohol on his breath and we got in the hugest fights. It wasn't very long after that I left. I didn’t want my kids around it, listening to us scream and yell at each other all the time.”
Garry began drinking more heavily and using crack cocaine.
“I was definitely trying to escape all the emotions that were coming along with the separation,” Garry said.
“The loneliness, the rejection - she had every right to leave me. I felt like I had let everybody down," Garry said." I missed my kids but I just thought, what kind of dad am I? With what I’m going through, I can never be the kind of dad that they need. You know, I just don’t want to live this way.”
Garry was overwhelmed by guilt and wanted to end his life. He drove to a secluded place in the canyons with no food or water but just enough crack cocaine to overdose. Then, he waited to die.
“On the fifth day the hallucinations were so bad, I did cry out to God and and asked him for deliverance,” Garry said. "I knew that on my own I could not deliver myself. I had to trust in God. And through the faith and the hope that He would change me, just gave me the strength to come out of there; to come out of the canyons and go on.”
Garry returned home and slept for 17 hours. The next day, sober and fully surrendered to God, Garry found freedom.
“And from that point on, I was completely drug free,” Garry said. "The way I look at it, man has a 12-step program and God has a one-step program: deliverance. Cry out and He will deliver you if you’re sincere.”
God also restored Garry’s family. He and Brandi married eight years ago. Today Garry runs a successful real estate business. But his most important job is being a loving husband and father.
“God has given me a new chance at life,” Garry said.
“I’m very thankful for God for changing him. I mean my kids have a dad who’s involved,” Brandi said. I’ve had another one [child] since then. I just never could imagine my life without Garry and I don’t think if God had changed him, I don’t think he would’ve made it.”
“No matter what I went through, no matter what I did He never stopped loving me,” Garry said. I’m just very thankful that we have a God that is faithful to His Word. If I confess my sins, He’s going to be faithful and just to forgive my sins, that’s the best feeling- to be forgiven.”
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.