Michael Dunlap: Out from Under the Bridge
By Robert Hull
The 700 Club
Original Air Date: January 7, 2011
Michael Dunlap grew up in fear of his father.
"My father was an angry, angry man," Michael tells The 700 Club. "He took it out on me actually singled me out as a child from my other brothers and sisters. He always told me that I was never going to be anything. I carried this hatred in my heart as a child. Hated my father, hated the world, hated God at the same time. I always told God, 'Why’d You put me here? I didn’t chose to be here. If there’s a God, why You won’t come down and help me? Won’t You get me away from this man?'"
In his teens he covered up his pain by using drugs and alcohol. He says, "I didn’t want to feel the pain of facing my father. I started smoking marijuana when I was 11 years old. Marijuana led to powder cocaine. I went from powder cocaine to crack cocaine."
He married in his twenties and had a daughter, but it was crack that ruled his life
"My addiction took us from hotel to motel. We got to the point where we couldn’t pay any of our bills. We got kicked out of our apartment. I didn’t care about her or my daughter. My addiction took me to the streets, living under bridges and eating out of garbage cans."
Rehab centers would get him clean long enough to reclaim his family, but crack always called him back to the streets
"It was like a revolving door to me, in and out. I’d go in stay 30 days, 60 days maybe 90 days. Then I’d return right back to the streets doing the same thing over and over again."
For over ten years, Michael was homeless and lived a life of crime. He would do anything to get his next fix.
"Steal, robbing… Anything to support my habit. Drugs covered up the way I felt at that moment. I didn’t want to feel how I abused my wife, how I abused my daughter. I caught myself many times doing the same thing to my family that my daddy did to me."
While living under a bridge in the Atlanta area, Michael realized his drug addiction had ruined his life. He was finally ready to be free from crack.
"It wasn’t until I decided that this was too big for me. I had a Bible in one hand and a crack pipe in the other. That’s when I asked God sincerely to forgive me and change my life. 'God, I’m tired of living the way I’m living. I’m tired of abusing myself. I can’t defeat this drug. I need Your Son Jesus. I need You to come into my life, God.' I decided that I’m going to give my life to God."
Michael was instantly set free from his crack addiction.
"Today I’m happy to say I don’t have to live like this. Today I’m free. Satan had 13 years of my life; I’ll give him that. I know today I choose not to get high. I don’t have the desire. He took the desire to use. He wiped that away, wiped me clean.
"Like He says that I’m pure as the driven snow. I know what my God did for me. I gave it to Him. Once I did that, He said, ‘Now you’re free.' That’s part of my life, like it never happened.
"I asked God for forgiveness. If I want God to forgive me, I have to forgive my father. Today we have a real strong relationship. I pray for my father. I pray for him. I ask God keep him in His hand."
Michael has been reunited with his family and has a successful contracting business. He often goes back to the streets and shares the good news of God’s love with those who are imprisoned by addiction.
"God carried me. I might not have seen his footprints, but I felt Him. I felt Him carry me through all the hard times I had in my childhood and adult life. I worship Him today. I praise Him today that He is in my life."
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