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My name is Jeff, and I am a student in Teen Challenge. I struggled my entire adult life with drug and alcohol addiction.

Dedicated to God as a baby, I was brought up in a loving, Christian home. I was taught right from wrong, but I began making bad decisions as a young teen. I chose wrong friends. I saw extreme prejudice — not just an attitude, a life style. I struggled with my identity. When my life was shaken in sadness and loss, I didn’t turn to God; I was angry. I found comfort in drugs and alcohol and through friends. I became empowered by my pride. Though my family reached out to me through my struggles, I turned away from love. My struggle was in my heart; I practiced a learned behavior — hatred. Anger and bitterness only grew uglier in my life, and I fed them. The cycle of sin, life, love, and loss in my life continued. My addictions were unmanageable. I was torn between conflicting lifestyles: pretending to be a husband, running a business, rooted in a life of hate. It took a lot of lies to cover the drugs, the arrests, and the evidence of violence in my life.

God blessed me with interest, skills, and talents but I didn’t acknowledge him. I lived in sin. Reaping what I had sown. I struggled to find work, I had been robbed, beaten, threatened, and betrayed by the ones that I trusted the most. I hid my fear with anger and my rejection with hatred and my pride told me I could gain control. I cut ties, I moved thousands of miles to get away but I couldn’t quite move away from my problems. I was born into love, but I chose sin; I chose hate; I suffered from a dead spirit. My life was ruled by what I chose.

I came to Teen Challenge to sober up, but God did so much more in my life. I was at my end. From God was a new beginning. I surrendered to Jesus Christ. God freed me from a life of addictions; He broke a bondage of hate. The Lord gave me peace and joy in my life that I have never known. The Lord has energized my spirit. He has given me passion for life and a hunger to seek him. I give Glory to God, and he satisfies my soul. I am a changed man; praise the Lord! Jesus has put love in my heart. I am forgiven — saved by his blood. I am a new creation in Him. God gives me all that I need.

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
— I John 4:4