I’ve always been the person who keeps my problems to myself. I suffered alone through severe addiction, depression, and anxiety for more than 10 years. A little over eight months ago, I decided enough was enough. I began a journey of self-healing and invited someone to join me. His name is Jesus Christ. He had already been working on my journey. He once said, “For I know the plans that I have for you, plans for you to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) He has held up his end of the bargain to say the least.
I remember one night; I was out of drugs and sick because of it. I lied awake and prayed. I cried and begged God to take my life. Months later I began to understand. He gave me the realization that I needed to reach that point. I needed to see and feel myself completely broken so that I would never want to go there again. He needed me broken into tiny insignificant pieces. This way he would be able to rebuild me as a new creation.
The enemy had me locked away in darkness and sin. God took what the enemy had meant to harm me with and turned it into good. He led me to The Feather River Men’s Center. I was at my lowest point. I was homeless, unhealthy, and relying on any and all drugs to cope with myself and my surroundings. James, Becky, Frank, Lisa, Steve, Mark and the rest of the staff at FRMC showed me that it is possible to have hope again. My smile isn’t found hidden in a sack of drugs any more like a Cracker Jacks toy. Small and poorly made. My smile is fellowship that I share with my brothers and sisters and in the glory of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I am anything but perfect. I make mistakes and struggle daily with my addictions and flesh. Sometimes the struggle wins, but only for a moment. I told my mom, “A righteous man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.” (Proverbs 24:16) Her response was, “That doesn’t mean you need to test it!” God bless her. I contend daily to restore my mind, body, and soul. It is now a group effort.
I fight the good fight with the love, support, guidance, and most of all patience from my family, brothers here at the center, my church family and of course, Jesus Christ.
Today I am joyful, humble and strong. I am sober and eternally loved. Yes, the enemy still wins some battles, but with Christ in me, we’ve already won the war! I am a better version of myself today in comparison to who I was yesterday. Tomorrow, I will be even better than I am today. Soon, I will be another success story added to the Feather River Men’s Center and moreover, God’s Kingdom!
-Justin Bybee, Student