A Life in Progress
A Testimony from the Colony of Mercy
Meet Daniel P.
I grew up in Mullica Hill, NJ in a blessed Christian household. My parents are still together; I have two older brothers and we were always tight knit and close. My parents raised me well, practiced biblical morals, and were great examples to me. Over the years, I developed a self-sufficient personality type, although when it came to material needs, I was dependent on them for everything. But when it came to emotional and personal needs, I relied on doing things my own way. This led to excessive drug use down the road, because I relied on myself to meet my own emotional needs, therefore I met those needs with women, drugs, alcohol, friendships, etc. I led a sin-dominated life all through my teen years and through my twenties.
God really started working on softening my heart when, at the age of 23, I entered my first residential Christian rehabilitation program. I graduated the 6-month program and did well for a while, but then gradually slipped between the cracks because I tried living for God on my own strength. Before long, I was back in full-fledged addiction because I was relying on self rather than relying on the Lord. I ended up going to another residential Christian rehabilitation program in Florida in 2012. Things really started to change for me. I was whole-heartedly seeking the Lord, being obedient, and abiding in Christ and His Word.
Then my oldest brother, Ryan, who had been battling leukemia, died on 12/12/12. We had a very special connection as brothers, so I took his death very hard. My eyes started to veer from the cross back onto myself. I intellectually knew that Christ was the answer, but in my heart I didn’t know how to fully surrender. It started with compromising in small things, “small” sins, then it snowballed. I was unaware that I was leading a legalistic lifestyle my whole Christian walk. I didn’t understand grace at all. Eventually, I ended up moving back to New Jersey and slipping back into a lifestyle of full-blown addition once again.
Finally, God allowed me to come to the end of myself, to the point where I was extremely broken. God allowed me to sit in that empty, broken, and alone state for a long while, even after crying out to Him night after night. I believe He did that so that I could really feel the pain I caused my family, my loved ones, and myself. He brought me to the Colony of Mercy and opened my eyes to my true identity. The exchanged life was presented to me and, by God’s grace and mercy, He pulled back the scales from my eyes and allowed me to absorb this truth, of who I am in Christ.
My life verses are Galatians 2:20-21. God accepts me and loves me just as I am, and not only that, He looks on me the same way He looks at Jesus: holy, blameless, and above reproach. My problem the whole time was my identity crisis. I kept relapsing and falling back into the old lifestyle because I was trying to do everything in my own strength and my own merit, relying on myself to live the Christian life rather than relying on Christ to live it through me. I praise God that it is not about works, but all about the finished work that took place on the cross. Today, I am growing in grace and feeling more alive and free than I ever have in my life. It is so true – that whoever the Son sets free is free indeed!
If this story has touched your heart we ask if you would consider praying for the addiction recovery ministries of America’s Keswick and if you would also consider giving a financial gift? We are a faith-based ministry and covet each and every person who stands with us supporting addiction recovery. Please “click here” to give a gift online or call 800.453.7942. Thank you!