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Jesus driving me to become a better person

Jesus driving me to become a better person

Jesus driving me to become a better person

Luke is completing a 10-month recovery program at The Salvation Army Dooralong Transformation Centre.

Luke shares his journey out of addiction through an encounter with Jesus at the Dooralong Transformation Centre.

I’ve been in addiction close to 17 years.

I grew up in a really good family. I waterskied, and we had things in life that a lot of kids don’t have.

I’m not sure what started my (marijuana) use. I think I was always a bit attracted to the “wild” kids.

I remember my mum saying you shouldn’t hang around this person or that person, they are a bad influence – and she was right.

My drug-taking started recreationally on weekends. I enjoyed it, but soon you find you can’t go a day without it.

For me, marijuana was definitely the “gateway drug”. I honestly believe if I had not started I wouldn’t have gone to other, much heavier drugs.

I did a trade, but the more money I earned, the more I had to spend on drugs and (increasingly) distanced myself from family and friends.

When I was taking drugs I didn’t care if I was hurting my family. Drugs became my only priority in life.

I didn’t care about anything else. It was frightening. 

Early in addiction I did my first rehab – just a week – and stayed clean for about three years.

Then my relationship broke down and I went straight back into drug use, probably as a way to deal with my feelings.

Last year, I ended up in trouble with the law and went on the “merit program”, and through that entered The Salvation Army Dooralong Transformation Centre on the NSW Central Coast.

I completed the mandatory three months, but I have stayed on and plan to be here for the full 10-month program.

Dooralong definitely has something that other rehabs don’t, and that’s the spiritual side. Before then, I’d had no Christian/church background except going to church with my nan, when I was about six. 

As a grew older, I became the guy standing across the road, looking at all the families going into church and wanting a piece of that, but never actually going in through the doors.

The first chapel at Dooralong was an eye-opener, seeing people singing and worshipping. I was the participant sitting at the back.

These days I am front row – hands in the air.

I’d done a lot of things in my recovery trying to find a higher power and nothing had worked for me.

But being open to Jesus is now what’s driving me to become a better person.

I also go to Northlakes Salvos. It’s a great church and I love worshipping to the Christian rock.

That’s where I feel closest to God – through that worship. We also do a lot of courses including a healthy relationships course and look closely at our own issues through the program.

My family has seen a change. Today I have a really close relationship with my mum and step-dad.

Mum stood by me all the way and she is still my rock. My dream for the future is to retrain now to do something that really helps others.

I recently went home for my three-year-old son’s birthday and just being able to be present and get down on the floor, play games with him, was just beautiful.

That was a natural high! I am trying to be a better man, a better father, a better son and better partner – for my family.

I believe God’s got a plan for me and I am where I am meant to be.

This time last year I was living in my car in addiction, weighing only 48kg and in trouble with the law. The man I am today is completely different to that man.

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