A Note From Pastor Paul
This week I asked Rob Matthews who directs our Most Excellent Way group on Friday nights to share his personal testimony with you. Rob’s story of how he found Christ and came to sobriety is an amazing illustration of the life changing power of Jesus.
If you, or someone you care about is looking for recovery from addiction, The Most Excellent Way meets on Friday Nights from 7:00pm to 8:30pm in the Café at Calvary Brighton. Their mission statement says,“We believe a person can become totally free from addiction and compulsive behavior only by the power of the indwelling Spirit of Jesus Christ.” For those looking for recovery, there’s a More Excellent Way which is to have a personal relationship with God, the Father through belief in Jesus Christ.
Meet Rob Matthews Director of The Most Excellent Way
I was introduced to drugs in the summer of 1972 when I was 9 years old. My mom had some new acquaintances from the neighborhood who offered to smoke a joint with her, and I was allowed to join the session. It took a couple of years to become really interested in smoking again after that, but by the time I was 11 I learned that being high was better than dealing with life sober. I thought it made life more bearable. The drugs, the lifestyle, and the crowd, along with the excitement of obtaining the drugs and planning when and how to use them made for an alluring distraction from years of an abusive home life.
My mom and her third husband got divorced when I was 11 years old. My mom struggled with being addicted to valium and pain pills. Her pills were readily available to me, as she was usually too drugged to miss the pills that I would take from her. Sometimes I would take the pills myself or trade them for pot or sell them.
In my teens, I was introduced to cocaine and hallucinogenic drugs. In the summer of 1982, I was experiencing an extremely low time in my life, bouncing back and forth between friend’s houses, and drinking and drug use. I had been staying with a friend in Englewood, Colorado and commuting to west Lakewood to the restaurant where I worked. In July of that year, one late Friday evening when I was hitchhiking north on south Broadway in Denver, when for some reason, I noticed a white van driving south on the opposite side of the road and I watched him go to the next intersection and turn around. I knew that he was coming to catch up to me and he did. I thought “This guy is a weirdo”, so when he pulled up to me, I was a little gruff in my demeanor and I asked him in a rough way “What’s up, what do you want?”, and he said, “God told me to turn around and give you a ride.” I was intrigued and got into the van, and he gave me a ride to Simms and Colfax in Lakewood, which was quite a distance. When we reached the restaurant where I worked, we sat in the van and talked for over an hour. He led me in the sinner’s prayer, and I accepted Jesus that night. I was really excited about what had just happened and I ran into the restaurant and excitedly told my boss Candy about my experience and her response was lackluster. That was the first mark against my salvation experience. At that point, with no Christian support and continually surrounded by the same environment and people that I knew, I continued down the same path of destruction for a long time.
Eventually the novelty of the lifestyle and the effect of being high lost its appeal and I spent a lot of time in my life unhappy and lost. Many times, throughout the years, I found myself promising that I would never use drugs again, only to find myself amid the nightmare of the addiction cycle again, high, coming down, all the drugs gone, and not wanting to be alive.
So, the truth is that we all have a story. I could fill in the spaces between the years of my life with accounts of overdose, broken relationships, prison, violence, pain, and depression. Years spent in and out of jail and involved in the court system.
Today in my life, I am drug free. Things are not always easy and without struggle, but God saved me and delivered me from the madness of a life of addiction. I have a yellow chip from The Most Excellent Way Program that hangs on my key ring which represents 7 years of sobriety. This is the longest consecutive length of time in my life that I have been drug free, and I know that this would not have been possible apart from the indwelling Spirit of Jesus Christ.
I am sorry if this account seems brief, it is not, by any means, because I am uninterested. I am willing to offer more details of my experience in addiction by way of a conversation and a cup of coffee. My number is in the e-bulletin. Or I would love to have you come and join us on Friday nights at 7:00pm in the Café and Calvary Brighton, for The Most Excellent Way.