John is no stranger to loss. As a Navy SEAL for ten years, he had a lot of experience losing friends – and on his last mission, he was the only man to return home. But when he did, he experienced another terrible loss: his wife unexpectedly passed away.
When his wife passed away, John didn’t know how to cope.
“My life kind of fell apart,” he says. “I don’t know what happened, but I lost something in me.”
John went through the motions...he had a good job that paid well. But he was crumbling inside. He didn’t know how to handle his grief. He spent a lot of time feeling alone and lost.
“I got into drugs to dull all the pain I was feeling.”
Soon, John was hooked. He knew it couldn’t last for long...and it didn’t. “I knew I was going to get worse if I didn’t stop. So I called my sponsor and said, ‘I’m done. I know there’s a better life for me out there.’”
John didn’t hesitate when his sponsor recommended the Jersey Shore Rescue Mission. He walked through our doors with nothing except a desire to change. And although he’d never been a very spiritual man, he says that he immediately felt God when he arrived.
The hot meals and the roof over his head were an immediate comfort, but it was the lessons he learned in our recovery program that would heal him in the months to come.
“I slept on the floor for 99 days because it’s all they had available, but it humbled me and taught me how to turn to others,” he says, smiling. “You can’t put a price on the peace I began to feel here at the Mission.”
In our Life Change Program, John finally felt the grief that had propelled his drug addictions and learned how to heal from the devastating losses in his life.
Now a graduate of our program, he often returns to the Mission to stay accountable to the other men from the program, who encourage him to stay connected to each other and God.
“To me, this is the best program in the world. Everyone is so caring and God has His hand on this place.”
The pain John feels from the loss of his wife and many friends is still real, but today, he relies on God’s faithfulness to move forward. “The past is still very difficult for me to deal with. Little by little, God helps me heal.”
To read our most recent issue of The Lifeline, click here.
Help other men like John…
John's story of hope and healing is inspiring. Our Life Change Recovery Program exists to help other men in Asbury Park find healing. Will you help provide this help to others?