FALLING INTO GODS HANDS
I'm in my mid fifties and up to 8 years ago, my life had been far from what many people would perceive to be acceptable and ordinary. As a teenager living in a dysfunctional family environment, I expected to discover true love I remember having in my heart. But the course of the years I lived left me somewhat broken and confused, as everything around me in the world system seemed to have opposite morals to those I held in my heart. I was very naïve and got myself into trouble through drinking and was led astray easily. Eventually, after years of unexpected let downs and relationship breakdowns, I found myself lost and being consumed and destroyed by drug addiction and loose living. From my late teenager years and throughout the course of the years I was addicted to intravenous drug use, I experienced homeless, trouble with the authorities on various occasions and a variety of adverse situations. I also had become infected with hepatitis C. I was living in a dark void and how ever many drugs and relationships I experienced, I could never find love or happiness. After 20 years of taking drugs I was brought to my knees by the experiences of my life journey. I resembled a man far older than I was looking emaciated and close to death, I prayed. I said something like this:
"Dear God, I cant change where I am at and know things are going to get worse . If you are there whatever it takes please change things, Amen"
What followed over the next weeks, months and years I didn't expect. Firstly, my circumstances changed and I had some dreams that told me my life was changing in a new direction. God brought me to a point where I had to face the consequences of a time when I tried to deaden the pain I felt inside. I used drink to do this, I was very messed up at this time. The amazing result of facing the past delivered me from drug addiction and released me from a spiritual bondage that had tormented me for years. It was at this point I wanted to find out who Jesus Christ is and I begun to read the bible and pray, which helped me discover the truth. I learnt that Jesus's sole purpose in life was to lead and help all mankind find the truth that God Loves us all, than Jesus laid down his life through his crucifixion, as a sacrifice in exchange to save each of us, including me! Since the beginning of the new life God has given me since his intervention after asking for his help, yes I have had to face some tough and challenging times. Through God's amazing grace I have been FREE from drug use for many years. My life has been replaced by a new one, with meaningful purpose. God has taken my past and used it to bring positive changes into mine and other peoples lives. I no longer have Hepatitis C, achieved through prayer and medication and provision from God. Though we all face challenges and unfairness, we can mess up and do things wrong. I know one thing is for sure that where ever we are in life it is better to live our life with a relationship with God. By inviting Jesus into our hearts and asking for the Holy Spirit to abide in us and help us to repent and guide us forward. Here is a simple prayer, something like I prayed to invite Jesus into my life. If you desire to change and be healed and helped forward with strength and guidance, sincerely pray this prayer. Remember that whatever happened in your life and whatever mistakes you may have made, God knows and wants to help you be FREE. By asking Jesus into your life, be prepared for the unexpected positive change that will follow you within you and around you in your life.
"Dear Lord Jesus, I'm sorry that I have sinned and for my lack of understanding, for the path I have taken. I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for me and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite you to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow you as my Lord and Saviour. Fill me with your Holy Spirit."
I was born in the desserts of Arabia..... (Just Kidding) I was born in Wandsworth (London) on January 14th 1972. I went to Abu-Dhabi from 1972 - 1983 and went to a Catholic school (St Joseph) and loved it. My mum was a teacher and my Dad Clerk and worked for a Englishman in the Public work department. I have 3 brothers and 1 sister. I was a happy child and loved my family. When I was 13 years old, I was in Karachi, Pakistan and that's where things started to go wrong. My Dad was not around and it was difficult for my Mum to bring up four boys and a girl. At 15, my dad lost all his life savings and my sister was putting food on the table. I was going crazy, started stealing and playing truest. I was bunking off school and smoking cannabis. At 16 my parents didn't know what to do with me and sent me to the UK to live with my uncle. At 17 my uncle couldn't cope with me so I left his house and went to live on the streets of Chatham. By 18 I was in trouble with the Law and I was locked up in a young offenders institute for a year and a half. That was very traumatic! I came out when I was 20 and I was very angry man by then.
I did not drink or kiss a girl till I was 26. I smoked pot again and that started to cause problems, made me paranoid, anxious and lazy. At one stage it was normal for me to drink first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I really liked the effect alcohol had on me. It gave me confidence and I thought I had arrived. I started taking Ecstasy soon after and nearly died one night in France with my best friend at the time. Did not do a line of Coke till I was 33 years of and Wow. I was hooked straight away, I never smoked crack but I was an animal sniffing it. I have never been the same again, but life with cocaine was exciting and I liked the danger element. I have bipolar effective disorder and from the age of 15 till now now I have been hospitalised 21 times and sectioned under the Mental health Act on 9 times. This was most prolific in my teenage years to early 20's. I was sectioned in 2016 and the consultant suggested a rehab and as I had never been in a rehab or treatment centre I said "Yes Please". That was 3 years ago. I worked with CGL and went to a lot of group therapy like relapse prevention, duel diagnosis etc. I just want to get well and work, as a mentor or support.
I just wanted everyone to know how much MADM, Amanda, Rebecca and Manesh and all the beautiful people who make a difference at MADM who have changed my life. I met Amanda over a year and a half ago and she basically saved my life. I have never met such amazing people, God Fearing, Empathetic, Caring, Selfless, Humble, gorgeous bunch of individuals.
I would be lost without them, I love working here, we are a multi cultural family.
I had been through many struggles and trials and seemingly insurmountable tribulations in my life, in recent times and the early years of adult hood.
Id never fully realised my potential and always remained with a low self esteem, lack of self belief and great anxiety about where my life would go. Making a difference to Maidstone charity has illuminated the mysterious and hitherto unknown capacity I possessed for motivation, determination, team leading skills and above all, my kindness and love towards human beings.
I have leaped and bounded from strength to strength right from day one. This has been as a volunteer and paralleled by my personal growth as a human being in courage, wit and character of a well rounded nature. I sincerely hope my testimony stands and reflects as a shining paragon to future volunteers and workers at MADM, showing them they can become so much more.
MARCUS/MADM VOLUNTEER/NOVEMBER 2019
In Loving Memory of David Ian Long
It's not yet a year since you were taken
All our hopes and dreams forsaken,
Since the day we said goodbye.
It is almost a year and I still cant cry.
I live by the day, the week, the hour.
The sweetest things in life turn sour.
I search for rest, but peace wont come.
No hope, no feelings, my mind is numb.
We all sat with you while you were dying.
All the rest were sobbing and crying.
All of us hoping, wishing and praying.
All of us knew, but no-one was saying
That this was the end, yet hoping beyond hope
That all would change, and we wouldn't have to cope
With the loss of a loved one held so dear
Whose troubled life was never ever clear,
Sometimes fuelled by drugs and stealing,
Other times charged with loving and feeling,
Helping others less able when he could.
Even this drug addict was often quite good.