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“You’ll never have me. I hate you!” A 15 year old stood in his backyard looking up at the sky … having just lost his Grandma, the woman that raised him for the first 3 years of his life, and the only person who ever made him feel loved. Don turned his back on God.
In Don’s words, “It got ugly real quick. I was so wrapped up in what I was doing, in my resentment, and my personal vendetta that I just gave myself completely to drugs and alcohol.” But, even at his worst, he couldn’t outrun God’s love. In the worst possible condition he could be in, Don still felt a voice inside simply saying, “I love you.”
“I believe that God can take something useful [out of this] so that someone else doesn’t haveto go there. Because I’m living proof that it’s never too late. God loves, God cares, and God heals. Don’t give up.”
Having lost his job and struggling with his addictions and health issues, Don decided to come to Water Street. Immediately, the nurses in the Health Services department began helping him get into a drug and alcohol rehab program.
“I don’t know what would have happened if it wasn’t for Melanie and Health Services. Jean and everyone there walked beside me every step of the way,” Don exclaimed. “I mean, after thirty five years of abusing my body, I had issues that I ignored for a lot of years.”
The journey would not prove to be a simple one. Despite having experienced some improvements, Don left the Mission and relapsed. Water Street’s Director of Medical Services, Jean Benedict explained, “Sometimes you take two steps forward and one step back, and that’s, I would say, very normal.”
As Don put it, “There was just no running any more. The only thing left was dying. That was it.” Even with the setback, Don returned confident that he would still be loved accepted at Water Street.
Knowing how intertwined our physical, mental and spiritual health are, the team at Water Street picked up where they left off and continued to actively love Don and attend the core needs of his heart. Part of that focus included counseling sessions with Greg Kessler, Vice President of Health Services, Training and Education.
Don shared, “It’s been an interesting journey … We clicked right from the get go, because he was honest.”
Having come back with an open head and open heart, Don dealt with things at the core … things he hadn’t wanted to look at before. Don continues to remain sober, working on himself and helping on campus whenever he can.
Because of your support, Water Street Mission is a welcoming, loving, open door to Don and others – those who need a safe place to experience real love and healing that can bring about restoration with God and hope for a better tomorrow.