The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Taking a Wrong Turn Straight to God

By Jarrod Anderson
The 700 Club - “Was actually a wrong turn. Why I even went down the road I have no idea,” says Anthony.

A drug dealer and addict, Anthony Robinette had no intentions of pulling into a church parking lot.

 “That's where I heard a voice. My whole life changed right there.”

Anthony was raised by his mother and stepdad but didn’t know his biological father. He grew up going to church with his stepfamily but felt like an outsider.

“I always noticed there was something different. I just sorta felt you know, nobody really cared. I just didn't – I didn't feel that love.”

So Anthony began looking to fit in elsewhere.

“You start getting with crowds where you feel like, ‘Well, they like me, they accept me.’ And then you start doing the things they're doing.”

Anthony was 12 when he started stealing, fighting, and smoking marijuana. By the time he was 15 he was snorting cocaine.

“When I first got introduced to drugs, I was doing them at the time trying to fill the void. And some of it was a way to numb my pain. So I sorta just left home – began staying at whoever's house I could and I felt like the streets were more accepting than that roof was at my house.”

At 18, he found out the streets were just as harsh. A fire in town had been ruled an arson and one of Anthony’s so-called friends accused him as being the one responsible. Anthony was arrested and later found guilty.

“Facing 40 years in federal prison and now I’m sitting behind bars questioning God thinking ‘If he's real, he knows I’m innocent.  Why would I be here?’ So if that's got anything to do with that Father, you know, then He's just as bad as my earthly father.  I want nothing to do with Him either.”

Anthony didn’t serve prison time, but was put on 10 years of supervised probation.

“It didn't change things other than the fact that I think I became worse then – hardened my heart even more.”

Over the next 15 years, Anthony sold and used drugs. He also married and had 2 children. But neither the money, a cocaine high, nor a family were ever enough.

“For me, I always just wanting that, that I meant something to somebody, and I never thought I did. I just felt like nothing; it didn't matter. What was the need to even live? Because I didn't mean – nobody would miss me.”

Then, one-day in October of 2007, Anthony was on his way to pick up a stash of cocaine, when he took a wrong turn into a church parking lot.

“That’s where I heard a voice. At first I heard my name and I was just like ‘What is going on?’  And didn't quite understand and it was just a voice that I heard say ‘You don't have to do what you're getting ready to do. I can provide all your needs.’ And I’m like, ‘I don't know what's going on. I don't want none of this. I don't want anything to do with church, anything to do with God.’ And He's like, ‘Anthony, I never hurt you.’ And I asked Him right there, ‘I don't even know if you're real. If you are real, kill me or change me.’ That's when I felt the void filled, that I felt the pain leave and I felt accepted. I felt loved and I felt a Father. That's what I had been missing all my life. There was no words to describe how I felt right then. Everything that I had been chasing for 35 years, I found in that instant.”

Anthony says that day he was instantly delivered from his addiction and walked away from his life as a dealer. He started going to church again, and as he studied God’s truth, he found acceptance and healing.

“I’m still on that journey and I’m not finished yet, He’s still doing a lot in me,” says Anthony.

Today, Anthony leads a ministry in Smithfield, Virginia that helps men find emotional healing.

“I know who I am today and whose I am today and that's something I was always chasing for 35 years and that, to me, is the most amazing thing when you know your father. And so I found my Father that day in the parking lot.”

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