Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of people—presents, parties, cookies, carols, and lights. But for me, it’s all about one thing: Love. That’s why my favorite Christmas verse is this: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16, NIV).
Love, especially God’s love, is the most powerful thing in the world. I wish I’d learned that a long time ago. I lived most of my life thinking everything was all about me. I spent decades chasing after drugs, alcohol, and women. Crack made me feel invincible.
And whenever life got hard—girl problems, bad marriage, my baby brother died, my mom died—it was easier to pick up the crack pipe or a bottle than it was to deal with life.
But drugs and alcohol never did anything for me. All they bought me was a lifetime of shame. When I should have been loving my wife and kids, when I should have been loving my Lord and Savior, I gave my love to a lie.
After everyone who loved me finally gave up on me, I came to the Old Savannah City Mission. I came looking for help to quit drugs and alcohol. Instead, I found love—God’s infinite love for me, and a new family of people who loved me more than I deserved. Mr. and Mrs. Stiles here at the Mission didn’t know me from a can of paint, but they loved me, they believed in me, they encouraged me, and they saved my life.
But there’s more. You made this all possible for me. Your love for me, through your support for Old Savannah City Mission, changed my life forever. There’s no better gift than what you gave me here.
This Christmas I’m sober, but more than that, I’m loved. I have my kids and grandkids back in my life, and I no longer live for myself, I live for them. I live to love.