The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


A Drug Addict Delivered

By Zsa Zsa Palagyi
The 700 Club -Ronnie Williams is no stranger to boarded up apartments and abandoned homes.   It’s where he lived for many years.  “A lot of times, I was scared,” he confesses.  “Scared of somebody coming in and catching me. Scared of snakes. Sometimes like in the wintertime I would be cold, very cold. Whatever was in the house that you might could use to warm up if you didn't have any stuff on it, like feces or urine, you could probably wrap yourself up with something – if you found something. And in the summertime, was infested by mosquitos, ate up by mosquitos.”

Ronnie never thought he’d end up homeless and all alone, but that’s where decades of depression, hard drugs, and alcohol led him.

Ronnie's struggles started when he was child. He grew up in a big family – but never got the attention he longed for.  “I believed that I was just the child that was born that nobody cared about, nobody wanted, nobody wanted to be around,” reflects Ronnie.  “There was no father/son relationship, you know. He didn't say much unless you had gotten into trouble.  My mom always seemed like she was more favor toward the other kids than me.

Ronnie moved in with his grandparents – but still wound up with the wrong crowd. In high school, he started smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol, even though he didn't like the taste.  He explains, “I was trying to fit in with the crowd; with the guys. So, I guess that was one way of being accepted.”

He got hooked on crack in college. Then, he joined the military where he took his drug habit a step further with crack cocaine. He worked odd jobs and ended up having three children. As much as Ronnie wanted to come clean and be a responsible father, his addictions dominated his life. It got so bad that he tried to kill himself several times. One suicide attempt stands out.

“I'd been on a binge for probably about a week of drinking and using drugs straight. I hadn't ate any food,” Ronnie recalls. “I’m the father of three kids and I guess I was depressed because I wasn't there for.. I wasn't being the father for them as I looked forward to my father being the father for me. It seemed like I wasn't going to ever come out of it. And tried by trying to overdose on some pills.”

He doubted he'd ever be anything but homeless, drunk, and drugged-up. He often remembered what his grandmother had taught him.  “A lot of times my mind would go back on to us. What would she say to me if she'd known I was in this state at this time? She probably would say, ‘Ronnie, you don't have to live like this. I didn't raise you to be like this. Think about what I've told you from a child growing up. Get up. Dust yourself off. Find God.’”

He had asked God for help through the years. And had even gone to rehab, but had never been willing to really give up his lifestyle. But then his father died.

Ronnie weeps, “I didn't want my poppa to die before he saw me change my life. But I recall when he was laying in the hospital right before he passed and I didn't get a chance to go up there to talk to him because I was too busy… using alcohol and drugs.

Ronnie says he felt like a failure and beat himself up about this for quite awhile, but finally got to a place of surrender. “I got tired of living on the streets. I got tired of living in abandoned houses. I wanted something better in life.”

He swallowed his pride and returned home to his mother's house. She suggested he go to rehab, but Ronnie had another plan. “I said, ‘No I'm going to give it all to God this time.’  And I recall walking into the backyard of my mom's house and I said, ‘Lord, please help me. I am tired.’ And I began to cry profusely, like a floodgate had opened up.  I not only cried out for Him just to help me, I wanted Him to be my Lord and Savior, because I knew he would be my Lord and Savior if I asked Him. All of a sudden the wind started to blow. A big gust of wind blew as if though God was answering me and telling me He heard me.”

Ronnie read the Bible for two weeks straight-- and despite temptation he never drank or took drugs again. He found a church, later married, and was reconciled with his children.  Today, Ronnie has peace. He’s let go of offenses from the past as well as his own failures, and he’s chosen to trust God instead.

“He showed me that I was loved, and He showed me that He was the one that loved me, that He was more closer to me than a brother, or a mother or a father. That He would be there no matter what,” Ronnie concludes.  “He let me stop putting expectations on myself. Because He told me if I kept putting expectations on myself, that if I didn't meet those expectations, that's why I would fail. His grace and His mercy is the reason why I'm still here. I owe nothing but – to nobody but to the Lord. He took me from feeling hopeless, to feeling hope, to feeling proud, to being somebody.”

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