METH, MADNESS, AND MIRACLES / 333 FEARS
I'm more costly than diamonds, more precious than gold,
The sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.
If you need me, remember I'm easily found,
I live all around you - in schools and in every town
I destroy homes, I tear families apart,
I take your children, and that's just the start.
I live with the rich, I live with the poor,
I live down the street, and maybe next door.
I'm made in a lab, but not like you think,
I can be made under the kitchen sink.
In your child's closet, and even in the woods,
If this scares you to death, well it certainly should.
I have many names, but there's one you know best,
I'm sure you've heard of me, my name is crystal meth.
My power is awesome, try me you'll see,
But if you do, you may never break free.
Just try me once and I might let you go,
But try me twice, and I'll own your soul.
When I possess you, you'll steal and you'll lie,
You do what you have to? Just to get high.
The crimes you'll commit for my narcotic charms
Will be worth the pleasure you'll feel in your arms.
You'll lie to your mother, you'll steal from your dad,
When you see their tears, you should feel sad.
But you'll forget your morals and how you were raised,
I'll be your conscience, I'll teach you my ways.
I take kids from parents, and parents from kids,
I turn people from God, and separate friends.
I'll take everything from you, your looks and your pride,
I'll be with you always? Right by your side.
You'll give up everything - your family, your home,
Your friends, your money, then you'll be alone.
I'll take and take, till you have nothing more to give,
When I'm finished with you, you'll be lucky to live.
If you try me be warned - this is no game,
If given the chance, I'll drive you insane.
I'll ravish your body, I'll control your mind,
I'll own you completely, your soul will be mine.
The nightmares I'll give you while lying in bed,
The voices you'll hear, from inside your head.
The sweats, the shakes, the visions you'll see,
I want you to know, these are all gifts from me.
But then it's too late, and you'll know in your heart,
That you are mine, and we shall not part.
You'll regret that you tried me, they always do,
But you came to me, not I to you.
You knew this would happen, many times you were told,
But you challenged my power, and chose to be bold.
You could have said no, and just walked away,
If you could live that day over, now what would you say?
I'll be your master, you will be my slave,
I'll even go with you, when you go to your grave.
Now that you have met me, what will you do?
Will you try me or not? It's all up to you.
I can bring you more misery than words can tell,
Come take my hand, let me lead you to hell.
FEAR OF HAVING NO SELF CONTROL
FEAR OF MYSELF
FEAR OF GOD
FEAR OF PEOPLE
FEAR OF THE RADIO
FEAR OF DEMONS
FEAR OF JUDGMENT FROM OTHERS
FEAR OF MY OWN THOUGHTS
FEAR OF BEING EMOTIONLESS
FEAR OF BEING A BAD PERSON
FEAR OF REHAB
FEAR OF LETTING MY FAMILY DOWN
FEAR OF POLICE
FEAR OF CAMERAS
FEAR OF EYE CONTACT
FEAR OF LOOKING IN THE MIRROR
FEAR OF NOT TELLING PEOPLE MY STORY AND INSTEAD DOING METH WITH THEM
FEAR OF ANYONE FINDING OUT HOW LOST I AM
FEAR OF BEING ALONE
WALKING THROUGH FEAR
I’ve been considering writing this for a long time. Deep down, I've known this story needs to be told. I have kept silent because of the overwhelming fear I had about what people might think. My goal is to finally be able to let some of this stuff go, because it causes me a lot of pain. I would also like to give back to the people who shared their stories on the Hubpages article, “The Truth about Crystal Meth, Witchcraft, and Demons.” When I found this site, I found word-for-word experiences of what I went through myself. Finding this website was a big part of me finding Jesus and getting sober. This is a summary of what the site had to say about crystal meth and how it affects you spiritually:
Crystal Meth deceives its users into thinking it is like any other controlled substance, but it is not. It is a form of spiritual witchcraft. Other drugs cause hallucinations, but crystal meth actually opens your eyes to an evil and invisible realm. On crystal meth, people commonly report seeing shadowy figures who appear and disappear quickly with a small flash. These figures are real, but they are not men. They are demons. People often believe that they have psychic abilities or divine foresight while using crystal meth. But this is a lie. Demons are simply lurking about listening to your "worries and concerns" and help bring the destruction to pass. When you use meth, the Devil and his minions see you as an opportunity, an opportunity to control you. Devoted Christians around the world often 'Fast and Pray" to feel closer to God and to find God’s Will in their lives or gain spiritual insight. We believe the typical crystal meth user is essentially doing the same thing while under the influence of crystal meth, but it is a forced fast/prayer. Crystal meth often curbs the desire to eat or drink and this lack of nutrition has an impact in the spiritual realm—It signifies our 'empty vessel' allowing either Life or death to enter into our lives, especially if prayers are included whether to evil or good entities. When you use crystal meth, you are inviting the devil into your life and when he has access to you he will deceive you and separate you from your family, friends, finances, sanity, life, and soul. Stop being a fearful crystal meth puppet.
The devil is a copycat of the True God. He believes himself to be god and desires worshipers. Satan serves himself only, Christ serves others. The devil focuses on himself but Christ put all his desires into His Father in Heaven and God’s Will. We, therefore, have a choice set before us, A Choice to choose Life (Christ) or Death (Crystal Meth). We either choose Life or Death by our actions. The devil does not ever deny himself, but this is what you have to do to be free from the lies around you: Deny yourself, deny your own desires because your desires are killing you and leading you to hell.
Finding the Hubpages was a big part of me finding Jesus and getting sober. I am going to say the name, Jesus, throughout this story instead of God or my Higher Power. The reason is that through all my experiences, I have come to believe that not only is God real, but that Jesus Christ is God. If you aren’t a believer, trust me, I get it. A few years ago, I would've read the first couple sentences and completely shut down once I heard the name “Jesus.” My idea of spirituality for years was eating hallucinogens. After experiencing these different levels of consciousness, I became very interested in a lot of New Age beliefs which lead me to eventually believe in a God but most definitely not Jesus. I’m asking you to please not let the name Jesus stop you from reading further. This is the story of how a God that I wanted nothing to do with never stopped loving me and transformed my life when I was about ready to give up. I’m currently writing this in rehab with 8 months sober. I’ve been doing drugs for the past16 years and this is the longest I’ve ever been sober.
Growing up as a child, I was raised by a very abusive mother, who I always believed to be mentally ill. She said that she talked to God and forced religion on my brothers, sisters and myself. I absolutely hated God and wanted nothing to do with him. If God was real, why would he leave me alone with a mom who was mentally ill and unable to provide for me and a father who wasn’t in my life? My mom would say my dad was evil, and my dad would tell me my mom was crazy—not something either of them should be telling a little kid. My mom didn't know how to talk to me unless it was about God. I never felt like I had a mom. No matter what I asked her, the answer was always—God. It was enough to drive a little kid crazy. I felt very alone as a child and was in a huge rush to grow up and get away from the chaos.
I found drugs when I was 13 and was finally happy. I found my best friend. As years went by, my friend went by many names: Marijuana, Alcohol, Ecstasy, Ketamine, Mushrooms, DMT, Nitrous Oxide, Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, and Pills of all shapes, colors, and sizes. Although the drugs I did had many different effects, they all had one thing in common: they filled that hole deep down in me. They made me feel whole and loved and took away all my loneliness. I’ve been addicted to pretty much every drug there is. Drugs were always there for me. Well, at least in the beginning. Everything changed 10 years ago when I started smoking meth. My best friend turned on me and took me to a very scary place.
Early in my meth addiction, it was fun. But eventually, I would experience all the typical symptoms of paranoia: thinking that the police were after me, being suspicious of everyone around me, and questioning my own sanity. This only furthered my deep-seeded loneliness and contributed to my abuse of drugs. I started to feel just as crazy as my mom.
I’ve been trying to stop smoking meth for the past 10 years. When I was 19, I had been up for a few days and a commercial came on the TV. It said, “Aren't you sick of destroying your life, living in constant pain and suffering?” It started talking about Jesus; it showed a few books on the screen and on the book it said, “METH.” I knew at this point I was going crazy and needed to sleep; God’s not real. I blocked this out of my mind for another 7 years. As an addict, I’ve hit every kind of bottom you can imagine…drug charges, jail, probation, teeth loss, numerous rehabs, the death of friends, the loss of jobs, and isolation from my family and friends. None of these were enough to keep me sober.
Three years ago, everything changed. On meth, I felt like I could feel the presence of evil. I’ve done almost every drug imaginable and none of them compared to the complete hopelessness I felt on meth. I felt like my soul was gone. I would become robotic, emotionless. I wouldn’t be able to look anyone in the eyes. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I looked evil, and it scared me. Numerous friends have told me how sinister I look on meth. I felt like I was being attacked by demons, which I always thought were shadow people. On meth, it is very common for the meth user to see shadowy figures. In the trees, out your window, out of the corner of your eye. Sometimes they are as plain as day. It feels like they are watching you, and it is very scary. This is so common that meth users refer to them as “shadow people.” I couldn’t turn on the radio, TV, or look at my computer without seeing or hearing evil pour out of it.
The events I am about to describe were not an isolated incident; they would happen over and over again when I decided to do meth. I want to preface this with the assurance that I am not mentally ill. I know meth can cause a state of psychosis and I have been through meth-induced psychosis many times. But these experiences were different—I knew exactly what was going on when this stuff happened.
I would play a song and it would be talking about what I was previously thinking. I would look at the name of any song playing, and it would describe what was just talked about. I would turn on the TV and couldn’t get my eyes off it. It would mock and ridicule me over and over again. I thought I was paranoid and psychotic, but it eventually got much worse. Still not believing in God but terrified of what was happening, I stayed up for days pleading to God for my life. I asked God to come into my life and show me the path he wanted me to follow. I swore an oath to God that I would never do meth again, but it wasn’t that easy. I'm a drug addict, and meth had me.
One would think that after going through all this, I would never put myself through this ever again. But once every couple months, I’d get drunk, forget all about this, and crave that rush so badly that I would do it again. It would be fun for the first few hours, but then the madness would set back in. I felt so ashamed. And now I wasn't only letting myself down, I felt that I was breaking my promise to God. I tried to hide from God but nothing worked. It's hard for me to determine the exact sequence of events. These type of eerie experiences were a common occurrence for me. This is an example of what would happen to me. I would turn on the radio and Highway to Hell would be playing. The next song would be a song about being fatigued with lyrics talking about how I should have slept. The next song would be about breaking promises. Over and over again; hours at a time. The TV would do the same thing. I would think something and the TV would make a comment about it. Everything that would be on the TV would be my deepest fears right in my face. I would go on Facebook and out of nowhere, tons of people were talking about meth and posting negative comments about meth on there.
Around this time, I found Hubpages and realized that what I was experiencing wasn’t psychosis, but rather demonic in nature. If one continues reading other people's stories on this website, one will find nearly identical stories to what I just stated. One of my greatest passions is dj’ing in the rave scene, which I’ve done for a very long time. I believe that God used music to reach me when I was unreachable.
One time while in a state of fear on meth I began playing records. I put on a random record and started noticing its lyrics. It's by an artist named Ben Sage and Savvy, remixed by Evol Intent: “I’m sleepless / you’ve got me wide awake / I’m dreamless / my soul is yours to take / I’m haunted when I look in your eyes / I want this and I won’t be denied.” Hearing this song just reconfirmed what I was doing to myself and to God. My friend, who had no idea what I was going through, was playing records. He played a song by Massive Attack titled Paradise Circus: “The devil makes us sin / but we like it when we're spinning in his grip,” which I related to being spun out on meth. I made it a few more weeks without doing meth and then decided to get high with my friend one night. I had some meth at my mom's house, and we decided to go pick it up. My mom and I started talking and before I left she was almost crying. She said, “Sometimes you have to really experience evil before you see the light, and God will come to you no matter where you are in life.” My friend and I were shocked—I’d never explained my feelings about meth with her. However, we’d already decided we were gonna get high. The next night, I opened my Bible, filled with anxiety. I turned to Psalm 102 without ever having read it before. I started to read my exact feelings and thoughts:
A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the Lord. Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my plea. Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen and answer me quickly when I call to you. For my days disappear like smoke, (been up for days smoking meth) and my bones burn like red hot coals. My heart is sick, withered, like grass, and I have lost my appetite. (Haven’t eaten for days at this point) Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones (forty pounds underweight). I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far-off wilderness. I lie awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roof (sitting in the upper apartment at my friend’s house). My enemies taunt me day after day; they mock and curse me (radio/shadow people). I eat ashes for food (chain smoking cigs). My tears run down into my drink(crying into a bottle of vodka). Because of your anger and wrath, my life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass.
I was chain smoking a cig and slamming a bottle of vodka, trying not to feel paranoid, but I couldn’t stop crying.
After this experience, I was so convinced that Jesus was real I made it close to a year without doing meth. But during this time, I never once spoke about Jesus to anyone, except for one person, because I cared too much about what my friends would think to tell them this crazy story. Throughout this year, I used alcohol and every other mind-altering drug that I could get my hands on. I figured as long as I’m not doing meth, I’m okay. Time and time again situations would happen that would keep pointing me to Christ. I was donating plasma and the phlebotomist started talking to me about Christianity. He told me I should read the book, More Than a Carpenter. It’s a book about Jesus. Later that week I found that very book in my roommate's closet.
I had a friend who was into witchcraft for a long time and had also recently started believing in God. I would tell him about something bizarre that happened to me, and he would have very similar stories about his experiences. We both finally had someone to talk to about this stuff. We didn’t know if we were both just crazy and had finally done too many drugs, or if this God was real. His problem was heroin. He was trying to get sober but relapsed and decided to get some Dilaudid. Dilaudid is a prescription pain medication that is similar to heroin. I was sitting on the couch and he came and sat by me. He was all high and really wanted to show me the mushroom cloud of blood hitting the syringe. Apparently, he thought it was cool. I looked at the syringe and all the letters were scratched off except for 3 letters: sin. I freaked out and asked him if he was messing with me because if he was, that wasn't cool. He looked down and started crying. I said, “wow, we’re both such hopeless drug addicts, God literally has to spell it out for us.” After that, he cried for about 5 minutes, and I nervously paced around the room. We turned the radio on and Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum was playing:
When I die and they lay me to rest
Gonna go to the place that's best
When they lay me down to die
Goin' on up to the Spirit in the sky
Goin' on up to the Spirit in the sky
That's where I'm gonna go when I die
When I die and they lay me to rest
I'm gonna go to the place that's the best
Prepare yourself, you know it a must
Gotta have a friend named Jesus
So you know that when you die
It's gonna recommend you to the Spirit in the sky
Goin' on up to the Spirit in the sky
That's where I'm gonna go when I die
When I die and they lay me to rest
I'm gonna go to the place that's the best
Never been a sinner, I've never sinned
I've got a friend named Jesus
So you know that when I die
It's gonna set me up with the Spirit in the sky
I made it a little longer without doing meth.
A while later, I moved to a new city and started hanging out with old tweaker friends, and I started using meth again. But now there wasn't a single time I could do meth again without knowing that I was breaking my promise to God. I was hanging out with a girl I had recently met. High out of my mind, I once again felt tons of anxiety. I laid there, pretending to sleep, letting the radio torment me because I knew if I opened my mouth, I would embarrass myself. I told her I was tired in order to avoid having to talk. She left and a song came on Pandora. It said, “I’m tired / I’m tired / aren’t you sick of all the lies? / Wandering around searching for answers / looking for pieces to the puzzle? / You are the key.”
I made it a few more weeks not doing meth, but, once again, it pulled me back in. I worked in a factory and had to go there after days of not eating or sleeping, just tweaking. The whole night at work I was miserable--filled with anxiety, hearing stuff, and afraid that I was going to lose my job. I kept repeating in my mind, “Satan please come into my life!” I thought, "why am I saying this? I don’t want that!” But it would keep repeating in my head all night at work. I got into a coworkers car for a ride home, and he turned the radio on. My nickname is twitch, and the radio host said, “Here’s a song for someone filled with anxiety and terror.” It began, “Frosty the snowman stayed up for days, snorting meth. He went to work and twitched all night and only thought of death.” I got out of my coworkers car, went inside my house, flushed my drugs, and started praying to God, “Please help me stop messing up.”
I made it another month or two without doing meth. But, once again, I got drunk and did it. There was a song playing that had meditation themes in it. It was trying to get me to relax and breathe. I laid down and started feeling the most amazing feeling I’d ever felt before. I started smiling the biggest smile I’ve ever had, and felt waves of energy pulsating throughout my entire body; something I’ve never felt before, not even on acid. The song said, “As you lay there smiling/know that everything is okay. / You are blessed, you are loved. / Stop worrying about what you can’t control. / Repeat after me, God is here, God is now, God is here, God is now. / I love you, but time is running out.” My friend walked into my house and I started to panic. The song said, “Don’t worry about them, they can’t hear me, to anyone else, they just hear music”. I started thinking to myself, maybe God knows I’m a drug addict, and I can't control myself. Maybe it’s ok I do meth once in a while. I fell into a dream-like state and woke up to the song being scary as hell, with demonic voices chanting, “six, six, six.” All the lights in my house were flashing on and off - by far the scariest feeling I’ve ever had.
Now I realize this sounds absolutely crazy. Looking back I don't know if this was God trying to comfort me in my time of extreme distress. Or could it have been demonic forces trying to convince me that what I was doing was ok? I now know Christians shouldn't be meditating. Especially not while basically fasting on a demonic drug like crystal meth. This is a new age practice that has sort of crept its way into the church. I know the feeling I experienced felt like absolutely pure love. However, I know Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light. Regardless of what happened that night, this experience made an impact on me.
Throughout this past five years, I had been doing heroin about once a month. I never really liked it but because I’m an addict, I would end up doing it. I started doing heroin every day to stop doing meth. Anything would be better than being on meth. When I did meth, I knew very well that it was wrong. Heroin for a short time numbed me and let me escape from all of this. I managed to quit meth for six months, but I developed a heroin addiction and started getting dope sick. I used suboxone to try to quit heroin, but after 3 weeks, the urges to do meth started coming back really strong.
After getting sober, I was told that addiction has three parts to it: mental obsession, physical craving, and spiritual malady. This concept of mind, body, and spirit has kept coming up in my life. Around the time I found Hubpages, I found a book that was about someone trying to get his life together, coming to know Jesus, and talking about the 5 departments of life: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial. The book said that people are usually strong in one or two areas, and are completely lacking in the others, but that all these areas are connected.
Throughout the years, I would get really freaked out by the TV. It was like it knew I was on meth. I always chalked it up to a combination of lack of sleep, a guilty conscience, and a drug-induced psychosis. But a movie came on that I know was a sign from God to help me change. The movie was called Chasing Mavericks. So many parts of the movie reminded me of myself. It was about a boy named Jay who wanted to ride 50-foot waves called Mavericks. He lived all alone with his mom, Christy (My mom’s name is Christine). His dad wrote him a letter before leaving him that he was too scared to read (My dad also wrote his children a letter before he disowned all of us, which I never read either). He met this man named Frosty who helped him overcome his fears and taught him about the four pillars of life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Jay ended up riding Mavericks. He went on to be a world-famous surfer. To me, those waves represented my life; I was completely consumed by fear and when I did meth, I stopped eating (body), which would cause mental anguish (mind), and this dark realm (spiritual) would appear in my life. I had such big dreams like Jay did but was crippled by drug addiction and fear. Jay’s best friend was into drugs and he died at the end of the movie. Jay’s friend represented my future if I did not change. (I have recently watched this movie again years later. I was mistaken about Jay's friend dying. It turns out it was Jay that died at the end of this film. But at the time this is what was going through my mind).
There was a graffiti wall that said “Live like Jay.”
The last scene showed a scene of the beach, and the tides looked just like giant lines of meth.
A song played before the movie ended called I Need a Energy by Greg Holden:
I need a lift. I need a shake. I need to find another chance that I can take. / I need a fight. I need a energy. I need something that will take me quickly. / I gotta just let go, whoa. / I gotta just let go, whoa. / It's all that I know. It's all that I see. It's all that's been here controlling me.
Let's look at that song one more time. Imagine what is going through my mind.
I need a lift. (Me wanting to get high)I need a shake. I need to find another chance that I can take. (Me rolling the dice with my life-risking everything)/ I need a fight. (This crazy self-destructive thing I can’t stop doing to myself) I need a energy. (speed) I need something that will take me quickly. (speed)/ I gotta just let go, whoa. / I gotta just let go, whoa. / It's all that I know. It's all that I see. It's all that's been here controlling me.
That song says it all. I didn't see a beach on the screen. I only saw giant lines of Meth. "It's all that I know. It's all that I see. It's all that's been here controlling me."
I laid in my room crying and couldn't believe how much this movie applied to me. I looked it up online, and its release date was 10/25/2012. That was the exact day I was watching it. My friend just downloaded it that night and played it. I was convinced that if I could stop doing meth and could focus on these areas, I would be okay. I was ignorant that this mind, body, spirit issue had everything to do with recovery and addiction.
Now, this brings us to number 333. I will later be discussing this in more detail. I would see the number 333 all the time while high. I would see 333 on my cell phone. I would see a license plate: 333. This wasn't just a coincidence here and there. This number was coming up everywhere. It would even be on receipts. I looked up what 333 meant and found out that it represents mind, body, and spirit as well as the trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Now I'm not saying that it says this in the bible. This is just some of the information I could find on it. So this brings us up to the last time I did meth. I went with my friend to a vintage clothing store. Randomly, I won a 75 dollar gift certificate to the store. The whole thing seemed very strange to me. I looked around the store and there was absolutely nothing that I wanted. Then I looked up and on the shelf was a sweatshirt that said, “mind, body, spirit.” Every Time I saw “mind, body, spirit,” it was a reminder that I was breaking my promise to God. I went back to my friend’s house a day later, still awake on meth while he was playing records. I looked up at the name of the track playing and it was titled Judas (the one who betrayed Jesus). I look again in a few minutes and he was playing a track titled, Mind, Body, Spirit. I never told him any of this crazy stuff before. I decided, “This is getting too much for me. I need a nap and a sandwich. This is getting weird.” I immediately asked him to drive me home, and I knew I was acting very strange at this point. At home, I lied in bed for hours and hours trying to sleep, crying for hours at a time, praying to God, “I’m sorry for what I’ve done. I'm sorry for what I've done. Why can't I just stop doing this horrible thing to myself. I hate myself.” I finally decided to get out my head and put on Netflix, a random episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. In the episode, they’re playing a game called “mind, body spirit.” It was a drinking game, and they were making fun of it.
I shut off my computer and laid in bed and continued to pray. I looked up at my ceiling and started to see a face in the ceiling, and it looked evil. I looked closer at the face and realized it was my own face staring back at me.Now this experience I do believe was just my mind playing tricks on me. I know the human brain has the tendency to see images and shapes when no pattern exists. But once again I found myself so incredibly broken.
I made a decision that this time, no matter what, I will do whatever it takes to stay sober; not only am I fighting for my life, I am fighting for my soul. I couldn't imagine going through this even one more time. The only options I felt I had were to get sober or to eventually kill myself. But I was scared to do that because I knew where I would end up if I did not change. But I honestly couldn't imagine hell being any worse than my life the past few years. I was living in my own personal nightmare, and I hated myself so much that I couldn't stop and had absolutely zero self-control. At least this was what I was thinking at the time. Although I believed in Jesus, I didn't really have a clear understanding of the Bible yet. I thought that by me turning my back on him and using, I was giving up on my salvation.
I also couldn't live with the fact that I knew all this information about how evil meth was and instead of warning people about it, I was doing it with them. To me, that's kind of like having someone dying in front of you, and you have a pint of blood that you know will save their life, but you do nothing. I really cared about a lot of these people but figured they would just laugh at me or think I’m crazy if I told them anything like this. The shame I experienced just got worse and worse with every failed attempt to get sober. I could no longer look in the mirror. Who is this monster I had become? I thought that if anyone I loved would see me like this, they would never love me again.
But throughout all this, God never stopped loving me. He was always there to help pick up the pieces of my shattered life and empty soul. A week later, I packed up all my stuff to go to my mom’s place and get into rehab. I looked at the GPS to see what time I would be arriving; when else? 3:33. But this time, I knew I was seeing it because I had decided to get help. I had a week until I could get into inpatient treatment, and I watched a pastor preach online. During the sermon, the pastor had said that God had given us a miracle. And we need to go out and share it instead of leaving it on our bookshelf. I looked at my bookshelf and saw my folder with part of the story I am telling you right now written in it. I got into treatment and was shocked at how they wanted us to check in every morning in group, none other than physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This was crazy to me, and I knew I was finally in the right place.
They offered church services at the rehab facility I was in. I met this kid in rehab who gave me a hat that said, “Not of this World.” I went to church that Sunday and the sermon was about how Jesus said that he was a king that was not of this world. I finally started telling people about Jesus and my faith. I was no longer ashamed of it.
The opportunity came for me to move 2,000 miles away from my house, to Prescott, Arizona. It is the “recovery capital” of the country. They have NA meetings with 200+ people in their twenties trying to get sober. Everything started to make sense once I learned more about addiction and about how it is an addiction of the mind, body, and spirit: a mental obsession, physical craving, and spiritual malady. Looking back, I can see how God had been showing me, this whole time, what I needed to do. I laugh because he was actually taking me through the first 4 steps of AA without me even being aware of it.
Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
Not only was my life unmanageable on drugs, but it was without them too. Take away the drugs, and I’m still the problem. Drugs were my solution. The problem is that as an addict, I have a mental obsession, physical craving, and a spiritual malady.
Step 2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourself would restore us to sanity.
Step 3. Made a decision to turn our lives and our will over to the care of God.
I decided to go to rehab.
Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Part of this step is writing a fear inventory. In Chasing Mavericks, Frosty has Jay write an essay about his fears. He needs to do this before he is ready to surf Mavericks.
I now realize God can use difficult and sometimes even painful situations for good. I am actually happy I went through all of this. If I didn't experience this misery, I would have never been broken enough to seek God. I spent my childhood resenting my mom for being mentally ill and forcing God on me. God allowed me to know what it was like to be crazy myself while on drugs. I can't imagine what it would be like to have children and try to teach them about God without feeling like I was forcing it on them. Looking back, it's not that she was mentally ill that was the problem. I no longer believe she is mentally ill. Just because she says God talks to her does not make her mentally ill. Who am I to judge her experiences? This was the problem: I believed she was very selfish, abusive, and not there for me emotionally. Being a drug addict, I know what it's like to be selfish and abusive, trust me. Selfishness is at the core of addiction. I couldn't emotionally be there for the people I loved either. I drowned my feelings and emotions with drugs since I was 13. Finally sober, I’m getting my emotions back. It’s amazing to feel human again. God allowed me to experience all these things and, through all this, I now have a great relationship with my mom. I have forgiven her for my childhood. I hate even talking bad about her because she has done so much to help me throughout my drug addiction. I now hope she will actually forgive me for causing her and my family so much pain with all of the horrible stuff I’ve done.
I really do hate talking bad about her at all. She has been such a huge help. Not only in my recovery, but in my life. I wouldn’t be here without her. At the time I thought she was very selfish. But I was also a child at the time. I didn’t fully comprehend what it must have been like in her shoes. Her being a single mother of 5 kids. A big part of her not being there for me was her being gone all the time working 3 jobs to try to make ends meet. I wasn’t the easiest child to take care of either. I was extremely rebellious, unloving, and disrespectful to her as well. She spent years and years of continuous fasting and praying for God to deliver me from drugs. I fully believe some of those tear-soaked prayers are what got me through at times.
I have also forgiven my dad for not being a part of my life. He was one person I thought I would never forgive. My father never taught me how to be a man. He taught me how to be a coward. He disowned all of his kids when I was 17. I could never turn to him for help. He actually has no idea any of this even happened to me. I spent my life searching for a father figure and searching for someone to love me. If God can forgive me for all the pain I’ve caused others, who am I to refuse to forgive my dad. After all, he’s human and makes mistakes just like the rest of us. Also, maybe I was never meant to have a loving dad in my life. If I did, I might have never felt the need to seek my Heavenly Father. Though I recently called my dad and had a great conversation with him. My father and I are now working on a relationship again.
At the halfway house I am currently staying in, I found a Christian book that really helped me. The beginning of the book opens with the following dedication: ”This book is dedicated to you. Before you were born, God planned this moment in your life. It is no accident that you are holding this book. God longs for you to discover the life he created you to live - here on earth, and forever in eternity.’’ The old me would have said, “Sounds like a good sales pitch to sell a book.” But with all that's happened to me, I no longer believe in coincidence. This book is absolutely amazing, and I believe I found it for a reason. It’s a 40-day commitment to God, one chapter a day. I would be reading this book and numerous times whatever I just learned that day would be exactly what would happen to me. I would learn something and people would start talking about exactly what I just read the night before. At the end of the book, I noticed the ISBN numbers. I had to laugh- 3 3 3. I then turn to page 333 of the book and it was filled with Bible verses, so I started to scan them over and knew in my heart of hearts, Psalm 102 would be listed and it was; the very verse which started my whole journey.
Many of the Psalms were written by King David. On the final day of my 40 day journey, the last chapter stated that David served the purpose of God in his own generation. I think that God has been showing me this whole time that he wants me to live a life liken to that of David’s, a man who dedicated his life to fulfilling God’s purposes on Earth. Throughout my teenage years, I always had a painting of King David hanging in my room, which for some reason I never could bring myself to throw out, even not knowing who he was or what he was about. Coincidentally, David’s father’s name is Jesse, which is also my middle name. I smile knowing God has a sense of humor.
After finishing This book I was thinking to myself, “How cool is it that God keeps putting things in my path that show me how to live? I bet when I’m done reading this, God will place another book in my life.” That night I went to an AA meeting at a church called Trinity and got up to go to the bathroom. I noticed they had a library and sitting directly on the table, away from all the other books, except a book about healing your mind, body, and spirit, was a different book by the same author as the first book I found at my halfway house. The first chapter is titled Surfing Spiritual Waves. This was mind-blowing. The waves from Chasing Mavericks were spiritual waves. Waves of revival, waves of growth, and waves of spiritual receptivity. God showed me how he was going to teach me to ride the spiritual waves he is building. But first, he taught me about the importance of the balance of mind, body, and spirit. Crystal meth is absolute poison to every part of my mind, body, and soul. I am so eternally grateful that not only is God helping me to get off drugs and saving my life, he actually wants to use me to help others. Someone who, at one point, had zero self-control and was close to suicide. I couldn't even help myself, let alone another person. Now I want to live a life of service and help others to know Christ. It's not my job to create a wave. Only God can do that. But he is going to teach me how to ride them. There is also a chapter in this book called Turning Members into Ministers with the word “core” in parentheses on page 365. When I was in the previous rehab before coming to this halfway house, I met with a pastor at a church called The Core. I told him everything that happened to me. I told him once I make it a year sober that I want to come tell my story in front of the church. I am supposed to speak there in a year (365 days). I prayed to God and decided to start writing my story.
This book mentions surfing spiritual waves (Chasing Mavericks). It even mentions the four pillars (chasing mavericks) and it also ties together me speaking at the Core in a year. This all confirms for me that Chasing Mavericks was literally a sign from God to help me change.
A week after I started working on my story, I went to another AA meeting at Trinity Church, where, deep down, I knew there was another gift waiting for me. This time I find a book written by the same authors' wife just sitting on the table. I opened the book and the first page I flip to, highlighted in yellow is written, “Two things I know for sure. When you respond to God, your days will become an adventure, and you will see miracles.” This really spoke to me. Deep down, I am a little kid at heart. My whole life, I have wanted to go on an adventure. When I had the opportunity to go get sober in Prescott, I told my counselor how I would love to go, as it sounded like an adventure. When I arrived in the airport in Phoenix, I saw a travel guide for Arizona which read, “Welcome to Arizona, have an adventure.” A couple weeks later my drug counselor described the experience I would have in treatment as an adventure. Towards the end of my treatment, I was praying to God about what my next move is after graduation. I have come such a long way but also have a life that was completely destroyed by drugs. So many things to do: get out of debt, make all sorts of amends to those I’ve hurt, find an apartment, get back into school… The list goes on and on. Most addicts tend to be very impatient. We're so used to instant gratification with drugs that the act of patience is very new to us. I spent 16 years doing drugs. I can’t honestly expect to fix the last 16 years in a few months. God likes to speak to me through books I've noticed. I walk into a thrift store, and I found a book entitled Wisdom for the Graduate: 180 Devotions for the Adventure of Life. I've been so excited to open my graduation present from God, I can hardly wait to graduate. These parallels have deep meaning to me--sharing my story is a new chapter in my adventure.
Upon reading these books I came to the understanding that God wants me to share my story. I learned that Sharing your experiences with others is very important. We all have a different story and nobody has a story just like mine. If I don't share it, then it will be lost forever. So that's what I'm going to spend my life doing. I know a lot of people will hear all this and still just think that I was only going through a meth-induced psychosis. Maybe some of it was, but I believe God is in all things. He saved me when I was completely lost and broken. And so many amazing things just keep happening to me sober that show me that God is truly with me.
While in treatment. I needed to find a job. Employment has always been a struggle for me due to my criminal history. I almost went to prison when I was 17 for selling ecstasy. I received 2 felonies for manufacturing and delivery of designer drugs. This has always made looking for a job extremely hard. Usually, I give up and go back to what I know….drugs. Not this time. The treatment house I'm in takes the job search very seriously. 20 job apps a day. If you don't complete this, you have consequences. After doing this for about 2 months, I was about to give up hope. Guess where I got a job? At a car wash called Richies. My name happens to be Richard. And there is a sign next to the Richies’ sign that says “777 tint.” The number seven is thought to be God's number. It represents both completion and perfection. It appears hundreds of times in the Bible.
Looking back, the only people who ever called me Richie are my nephews. They would always call me Uncle Richie. When I think of the name, Richie, I think of a new beginning and a chance to actually be Uncle Richie to my family. That's what this job means to me. It also shows me that I don't have to worry. God is in control of my life and he wants to bless me if I continue down this path. Right above the sign for Richie's, is a sign for a lawyer named David. Sometimes signs from God are literally on signs. I'm a slow learner, and the addict in me will keep trying to justify all these experiences as coincidences so that I will give up on God and pick up where I left off.
I believe God knows my inner battle so he keeps showing me I’m on the right path. He is not a mean, angry God but a loving God who knows my weaknesses. If you tried to show someone the right way to do something—let's say 100 times—and they would get it right once but then forget over and over again, wouldn't you just give up? I know I would. I would think, this guy is hopeless. But God will never do this to you.
I would like to share two events that happened at Richies that meant a lot to me. I’m drying cars one day, and I start thinking about how I have group that night. They always want you to bring stuff to group to talk about. They don't want to have to pull stuff out of you. I started thinking, maybe I should bring up my panic attacks. I get filled with fear and have horrible anxiety attacks. I find I'm less embarrassed about them if I'm open about them with others. As I was having that thought, a car came through the car wash. It had this written on the window with paint: God can take your anxiety and replace it with his peace. Philippians 4: 6-7. A couple hours later, I realized the date was 4/6/16. I thought to myself, how amazing it would be if God turned my anxiety into peace. A couple of days later, I noticed a Christian magazine sitting at my work. My friend had brought it in. He told me he had never read it, but he figured I might like it. I opened it up and there is an article in it about God and anxiety. A few days later, I started telling my mom this story. I was laying in my bed and had the book Wisdom for the Graduate sitting on my bed. I was waiting until I graduate to read it, but I flipped it open while talking to my mom without realizing I was doing it. This is what it said:
Fear vs. Anxiety
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you
Have you discovered the difference between fear and anxiety yet? They are not the same. For one thing, fear is productive. Fear is that heart thumping movement when you know it could all be over. The car that appears over the hill while you’re passing another car causes a stab of fear, which in turn gets you back into the right-hand lane as fast as possible. Fear can be dealt with by an action you can take. Most of the time fear helps you save yourself. Anxiety is never productive. There is no immediate danger in sight, just a vague, overpowering feeling of impending disaster. Anxiety over car accidents may keep you out of cars, but it never teaches you to be a good driver. Anxiety paralyzes you, takes you out of the action altogether. It's a useless emotion that cripples a perfectly good life. The Bible tells us to shun anxiety, to throw it all on God. There's enough in the world that deserves our fear, but nothing in the world should make us anxious.
Father, when anxiety takes hold over me and paralyzes me, teach me to give it over to you.
I want to share one of my biggest fears with you. I'm afraid of driving. I'm 29 and have never had my license. This is something I don't tell many people. I felt it made me look weak and definitely not like a man. When I was young, nobody ever taught me how to drive. After a while, I was doing so many drugs and my life was already consumed with fear. And looking back, I think I would have hurt someone or myself if I was on the road. So as you can see, this page hit home. I got off the phone with my mom after reading this and said, “God take all my anxiety. Please take all of it. I’m giving it all to you. I can't bear it any longer.” At that moment, he took it all from me. He filled me with peace better than any drug I've ever experienced. It was like a river of joy flowing through my body. I could not stop smiling and thanking God over and over again. My roommates were watching a movie called Everest. I tried watching it with them but was way too happy to just sit there. I decided I can't waste this. I need to go lay in my room and spend time with God. I type in “Christian meditation” on youtube. I start scrolling through and see one with a mountain on it. I decided, since my roommates were watching Everest I'd put this on. I’m weird like that. I laid down in complete euphoria and meditated on what God had given me. Then the meditation said…Can you guess? Okay, I'll tell you: Philippians 4:6-7.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
As far as the Christian meditation goes. I am not advocating meditation to anyone. The meditation I was doing was meditating on the word of God. I'm not saying all meditation is bad. We are to meditate on Gods word. But that is more dwelling on the scriptures. Not emptying your mind of all thoughts. Or chanting certain mantras over and over again. I believe these type of practices are actually harmful to Christians. By doing certain meditations we can actually open ourselves up to all sorts of demonic attacks.
Now this is the cool part. I’m at the library right now typing this. I grabbed the book Wisdom for the Graduate to find that page about fear and anxiety. What do you know, I flip right open to the same page once again. I know a lot of this sounds bizarre. However, all these signs from God keep happening, and I'm sober. God is truly amazing.
Finally, the last event I would like to share. I was so inspired by these books I read. I decided to email the author. After all their books inspired me to finally tell my story. Back when I was using, there was no way I was going to get this personal with anyone, especially strangers. The old me would go to any length to never get embarrassed in public. Also, I lived a very secretive life and wasn't ready for people to know this. I didn't understand how to be happy without drugs and also needed validation from others. I am now set free. I received an email back and was told about Celebrate Recovery. It's a biblical 12 step group for addicts.
I spoke to the regional director of Celebrate Recovery, and he told me about meetings here in Prescott. I wanted to check it out, and there was a meeting in a few days. The next day at work I'm drying cars and this man got out of his car and started talking about drugs and how bad they were: “Thank God Meth wasn't a big problem back when I was a kid.” He started talking about how God had delivered him from drug addiction. He had my attention. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to tell him that God did the same for me, but I’m at work. I can't just start telling customers about my personal life, but this was too weird, even for me. I blurted out, “yeah me too. God saved me from my meth addiction. He has done so much for me. It's amazing” I offered to send him my story to read. He asked me if I've ever heard about Celebrate Recovery. I decided that I'm going to check out Celebrate Recovery no matter what. Guess where the meeting is at? It’s at the project 180 building. Wisdom for the Graduate says on the cover, “180 Devotions for the adventure of life” I go to check it out and had an amazing experience. When I was getting ready to leave, I noticed some pamphlets on the table. The pamphlet was titled Pillars of the Faith. It says, “The Christian life can be likened to a building, whose chief cornerstone (or foundation) is Jesus Christ. As the building is raised up, God has seen fit to support and sustain it by means of 4 “spiritual pillars:” bible, prayer, church, witness. The 4 pillars are what I first learned about in Chasing Mavericks. However, it was physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. I look forward to going to Celebrate Recovery again.
I want to thank everyone on Hubpages who shared their experiences because without your stories I never would have had the courage to write this. I hope that if you’re reading this, and are still struggling with meth addiction, or any addiction… just know that God loves you and is trying to bring you closer to him. You might think you have messed up too many times for God to love you. I want you to know that there is absolutely nothing you have done that will stop God’s unending love. I know through my experiences that God gave me as many chances as I needed to finally get it. My whole life I thought I only had one life to live, so I was gonna live it without regret. I spent my whole life in the pursuit of pleasure: women, sex, drugs, popularity, materialism, and wealth. All this I thought would make me happy, but it’s an illusion. Happiness comes from within. The truth is, deep down I was in more mental, spiritual, and emotional pain than anyone should have to deal with. I was empty because I didn't have God in my life. To make it even worse, I knew he was real and was living with the constant guilt and shame of turning my back on him. I am now proud to say that I am filled with the Holy Spirit. I don’t have a dollar to my name and am 2000 miles away from everyone I know. But for the first time in my life, I'm proud of myself. I know my family can finally sleep at night knowing I’m safe and not having to worry about getting a phone call saying I'm dead or in jail. I can look at myself in the mirror and actually love the person I see.
Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are weary, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11.28 I finally have rest and peace in my life, knowing that I don’t have to make God happy by living a perfect life. He already lived that perfect life, and he gave it to me on the cross. Now I know I’m saved, I’m in the palm of his hand, and I want to stop doing meth because I’m thankful he saved me and loves me. And if I ever do fall back into old problems, he’s right there, still loving me and helping me back out of the hole with his unending forgiveness and love. I know I can’t be perfect, but I want to be a better person for him and for my family. I know he has a plan for me, even if I don’t know what it is, and I’m now looking forward to a future of being with him: forgiven, and loved.
2 YEARS LATER
Hey, everyone. So it has been about two years since I wrote this story. Within the last couple of months, I’ve found out some amazing new information. Remember how seeing the number 333 was a big part of me getting sober? I was seeing it everywhere, and I came to find out that it represented the mind, body, and spirit. God used this number in a big way to help me. I just found out a bunch of new information about 333.
I stumbled upon a video by Josh McDowell. Apparently, there are 333 prophecies written in the Old Testament that Jesus fulfilled. These were all written down hundreds of years before Jesus was born. He goes on to explain it like an address: just like you and I have a specific address that separates us from every single other person in the world. God gave Jesus a specific address in the Scriptures to separate him from everyone else that ever lived throughout the history of the world. This is where it gets real crazy. They have actually done the math on the probability of only even 8 of all of the 333 prophecies being fulfilled in one person. It is 10 to the 17th power. That is 10 with 17 zeros after it. Here is an example to explain that number: you would have to take the entire state of Texas and fill every square inch two feet deep with silver dollars. In case you're not aware of how big Texas is, you can get on a train and ride it seven days straight and still be in Texas. So you fill up the entire state with silver dollars two feet deep. You take one silver dollar and you mark it with a x. You blindfold somebody and mix all the silver dollars up and have them randomly grab one anywhere in the state. The probability of them picking the right silver dollar is the chance of only 8 out of those 333 prophecies fulfilled. Here is the link to the video if you would like to check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5T_qajw3bWg.
It's really weird how I found out this information as well. I mentioned earlier in my story that a phlebotomist mentioned Jesus to me out of nowhere one day while I was donating plasma. This was shortly after I had said that prayer asking Jesus to come into my life. He told me to read the book More than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell. I then went home and found that very book in my house. I saw that it was a book about Jesus, but I never actually read it. After recently reading it, I found out that all of this information is in that book. I am now finding this missing piece to the puzzle almost 6 years later.
Here is the second crazy thing I have learned. I recently found the website 333-godsendtimesosministry.org. People all over the world are seeing 333 and recognizing its spiritual significance. Over 5,000 people a month are logging on to this website. The man who designed this website started seeing 333 back in 2012, which is right around the time I started seeing it. He worked most of his life as an engineer so he dealt with numbers for a living. He came to the realization that God wanted him to make this website to help others come to Christ. He has all sorts of amazing information on his site, but here is a shortlist of the biblical significance of 333 taken from his site.
1) 3 = Divine or Divine completeness or perfection. It's the heavenly, Holy Spirit filled number. The three-in-one, Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. Jesus prayed 3 times in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest. He was placed on the cross at the 3rd hour of the day (9 a.m.) and died at the 9th hour (3 p.m.). There were 3 hours of darkness that covered the land while Jesus was on the cross. Three is also the number of resurrection. Christ arose after 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb.
There are many more illustrations of the number 3s biblical significance. Jonah prophetically spent 3 days in the belly of a big fish. After the flood, new life started in 3 persons: Shem, Ham, & Jepheth. Israel was founded in the 3 persons of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob. Two of the most memorable edifices created by man, Noah's Ark and Solomon's Temple, per specific instructions from God, were 3 stories tall. Both edifices represent God's saving grace.
2) 33 = After 3 years of ministry and raising 3 people from the dead, Jesus died at age 33. His death and resurrection fulfilled all the Old Testament promises concerning the Messiah. Thus, the number 33 is connected to promise, in particular, to Gods promise of salvation to humanity. (I also discovered that King David was king in Jerusalem 33 years as well.)
3) 333 = Divine completeness to the 3rd power. Also, there are 27 books in the New Testament, which is 3x3x3 or completion to the 3rd power. Thus, 333 may represent completion of the Age of Grace represented by the New Testament! Which is what Jesus initiated (at age 33) when He said ‘It is finished’ (perfectly completed) on the cross! And right after the Age of Grace, the world and unbelievers will experience great tribulation. This Age of Grace has lasted about 2000 years. This is about the same period of time that God gave the Jews, his chosen people, to recognize and believe in Him. They blew it of course, (thus far, but not forever), and now, it's been our turn!
4) 3+3+3 = 9. The number 9 is the last of the digits and thus marks the end. Biblically the number 9 represents Finality or Judgment, the tribulations of the Book of Revelation! Also, the gematria of Sodom = 999.
5) In the Book of Revelation, particularly the trumpet chapters, we see several 1/3 destructions or judgments. Also, 1/3 of God's angels followed Lucifer and are doomed to judgment. 1/3 is equal to 33.3333…% or just 33.3. Again, the warning of judgment! As fallen angels, so fallen men. (See Guestbook: Dr. Abaldo 3/19/15 & Kirk 12/29/17)
6) “3 dots, 3 dashes, 3 dots” is man’s international distress signal, SOS in Morse Code. I’m convinced God orchestrated this, not Mr. Morse! - 333 is surely God’s international distress signal; an urgent end-times SOS (Save Our Souls) message!
7) A good illustration of the special significance God places on the number 333 and very possibly how important this 333 Invitation / SOS Warning is, consider Kaf-Tet B’November, (see comment 1/14/15). On the 333rd day of the year, on Nov. 29,1947, the United Nations voted for the establishment of a Jewish State. God gave His chosen people the homeland that He had promised to their forefathers! Of course, they have to occupy it and ultimately they have to accept Jesus as their Lord & Savior before they can enter the 1000 year Millennial Kingdom. But, God will make it happen! – Similarly, maybe our 333 Invitation / SOS Warning could be associated with the Kingdom of Heaven that God has promised to His church. Of course, here again, one has to be truly born-again as John 3:3 declares.
8) Another 333 example - Math. Chap.20, "The Parable of the Vineyard Workers": 3rd hr., 6th hr., & 9th hr. And after that, the 11th hr., which I believe is NOW! Thus this parable also promises salvation to those who come to know Jesus even late in the game. (See Comment 2/6/18)
As seen above, the numbers 3, 33, or 333 just scream of Jesus &/or the Bible! No other, not Mohammad, Buddha, Satan, or any other religion can proclaim such a connection. And again, 333 is surely God’s international distress signal; an urgent end-times SOS message!
I am absolutely blown away by all this new information I have discovered. I couldn't wait to share it here. Also, I (Richard) happened to print out my story to give to a friend. He told me his wife had read it up until page 27. Right away I thought about how 3x3x3 =27 and smiled to myself. Later that night I looked up what page 27 was to see what she had all read. It just happened to be the paragraph explaining the 27 books in the new testament and how 3x3x3=27. What an amazing confirmation from God because only he could plan that.
I scrolled through the comment section and there are multiple reasons people think they are seeing 333:
1. Maybe God wants you to do something special in the last days, like spread the word that Jesus is coming and the end is near.
2. It could be a warning to change your life or a warning to the unsaved.
3. It could be positive confirmation depending on circumstances
4. God is expecting more of you
Lots of people commented that they feel it is the watchmen call of Ezekiel 33:3, “he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people.” Also, there is Jeremiah 33:3, “call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
Here is a comment I wanted to share from the site.
11/20/2017: Kirk Salmons / Virginia, USA. - "I started seeing 333 and 1133 July of 2016. It's been almost a year and a half, and it still continues in ways that are beyond coincidence. It all started for me when I was working shift at a large facility. I would go up on the roof at night and pray aloud to God asking for my eyes and ears to be opened, for my heart to be softened, and for wisdom and discernment so I can understand what is true, and what isn't. Then the numbers started. I worked days and nights. My alarm clock would be set for 4am or 4pm. Every single day for 2 weeks straight, I was awakened at precisely 3:33 am or pm. I didn't know what it meant. Once I started paying attention, the number then became 1133. Two weeks solid again. At the same time I was having dreams to build a cookstove. (I weld as a hobby). I hadn't taken my family to church in years and we decided to go to a church one Sunday that we had never been to. They had an overhead projector of that day's sermon - Ezekiel 33.3. I had chills from head to toe and became very emotional. I never even considered checking the Bible for those numbers. I've been reading a daily Bible for over 20 years. When we got home from church, I went to Ezekiel 33.3, and it was on page 1133! I named the stove The Watchman Stove. Am I a Watchman? I think maybe so. This is only the tip of the iceberg of things that have happened to me. Recently, I have decided to do a cook for the members of my local fire department and donate a stove to them. I had them choose the date. They chose 11/29/17. Then I found this site. I read that date on this page and thought, that looks oddly familiar. Yes, that's right - it's the 333rd day of this year. You can make plans, but God's plans will prevail. I'm humbly and patiently awaiting my assignment as a servant of God."
I had to laugh when reading this. Notice how he said this is only the tip of the iceberg. Well, a couple of days prior, I started looking for Christian music on Spotify. I feel I have come a long way since getting sober, but I think there are still some areas in my life God is helping me work out. I mentioned music is a big part of my life. I know the lyrics in lots of music I listen to isn’t the godliest, but, come on, I've heard most Christian music and a lot of it is just garbage. But I thought to myself there has to be some good Christian music out there. I found a playlist on Spotify called tip of the iceberg. It is Christian music and it actually sounds amazing. As I was clicking on it to follow I noticed it had 332 followers. I was the 333rd person to click on it. Life is so weird, and I love it. If anyone says it is boring to be a follower of Jesus, they are lying.
While looking on 333 Gods End Times SoS Ministry, the author wrote that he had the book Numbers In Scripture by E. W Bullinger. It shows the biblical significance of all sorts of numbers. While I was writing this my mom pointed out to me that she has it as well. When I opened it up, I saw my name on the first page. It was my mom's book, but my dad wrote his name in it. He has the same name as me. So that means before I was even born, God knew this was gonna be the way he was gonna reach out to me.
I don't know why it is you stumbled upon my story. But if you are happening to see 333, I highly suggest checking out this site. It is really well done and there is all sorts of good information on there. I was relieved to see more people identifying 333 with Jesus. Because at the time when I researched it. I could only find new age-type information on it. I do not recommend sites such as angel numbers. They will lead you astray with false teachings. There might be some truth to them, but it is mixed with deception. I believe God will come to you where you're at. He even used secular music, tv shows to get my attention. At the time, most of my beliefs were more new age. I believed in Jesus. But I still had a lot of false ideas mixed in. God has been helping me to discover and root them out. Recognizing 333 as mind, body, and spirit was the piece of the puzzle I needed to really look at the damage I was doing to myself. I think the only reason I identified it with Jesus was due to all the other signs he was putting in my path. Now, I couldn’t possibly look at it any other way. Jesus saved my life, and he can save yours too.
THE STORY CONTINUES
So I know my story has like 3 endings. You are probably thinking its over and then there is more. Instead of rewriting it, I like building upon it as I continue to grow. It has been a few months now since I added the 333 information regarding bible prophecies. There has been something on my mind I wanted to share.
Do you remember the significance of 180/ the 4 pillars/ and God teaching me how to surf waves he is going to build? This is so awesome. So basically I was looking for a movie to watch a couple months ago. I clicked on a movie titled 180. It was a Christian movie by a man named Ray Comfort. After watching it I ended up looking up more information about Ray. I was directed to a website called https://www.livingwaters.com.
He has an evangelism course online called The School of Biblical Evangelism. I decided to enroll so I can get better about sharing Jesus with others. I know that is what God wants me to do. But to be honest it can be very scary. I like anyone else want people to like me and I fear rejection. This school has been giving me the confidence I need to keep opening my mouth. What I think is funny is I clicked on a video titled 180. Which led me to a website titled living waters. Then when I sign up for the school the main page of the school has a picture of 4 pillars. Then I find out Ray Comfort was a big surfer before becoming an evangelist and even owned his own surf shop. I seriously can not make this stuff up.
The funny thing is I still get so shocked and surprised when God leads me to these gems. Are these the living waters / waves God was leading me to? After all, he was going to teach me how to surf. It's one thing to post a story on the internet. But God actually wanting me to get in the water and get my feet wet. That's completely different. The water is scary and there are sharks there. But I suppose there are also people who are drowning and need Jesus just like I did. Like I was saying earlier in my story. As soon as I finish learning one thing God places in my path, there is always another surprise waiting for me. Knowing it's what God wants me to do gives me great confidence. He wouldn’t put something in my path I wasn’t capable of doing.
There is something I learned while doing this course that got my attention. A lot of people who share their faith with others don’t want to talk about the reality of Hell. The topic of sin/judgment/ and Hell is not an easy thing to talk about. So instead of warning people about the danger of sin and Hell. The message was changed to all the things Jesus can do for them to better their lives. Here is some of my lesson so you can better understand. I don’t want to butcher it. So this is taken from my textbook.
“I’m doing fine. I don’t need God.”
“Many people feel this way because of the modern gospel message. It says that Jesus will help their marriage, remove their drug problem, fill the emptiness in their heart, give them peace and joy, etc. In doing so, it restricts the gospel’s field of influence. If the message of the cross is for people who have bad marriages, are lonely, and have problems, then those who are happy won’t see their need for the Savior.
In truth, the forgiveness of God in Jesus Christ is for people with bad marriages and people with good marriages. It is for the happy and the sad. It is for people with problems and those without problems. It is for those who are miserable in their sins, as well as those who are enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. Those who think they are doing fine need to be confronted with a holy Law that they have violated a multitude of times. Then they will see themselves through the eyes of the Judge of the Universe and will flee to the Savior.
As I began to look at church growth records from around the country, I found to my horror that 80 to 90 percent of those making a decision for Christ were falling away from the faith. That is, modern evangelism was creating 80 to 90 of what we commonly call backsliders for every hundred decisions for Christ.
For example, in 1991, a major U.S. denomination was able to obtain 294,000 decisions for Christ. Unfortunately, they could find only 14,000 in fellowship, which means they couldn’t account for 280,000 of their decisions—and this is a normal, modern evangelical result.
The tragedy of modern evangelism is that, around the turn of the twentieth century, the church forsook the Law in its capacity to convert the soul and drive sinners to Christ. Modern evangelism therefore had to find another reason for sinners to respond to the gospel, and the reason it chose was the issue of “life enhancement.” The gospel degenerated into “Jesus Christ will give you peace, joy, love, fulfillment, and lasting happiness.” Something like this is usually said, “You will never find true happiness until you come to the Lord. You have a ‘God-shaped vacuum’ in your heart that only He can fill. God will heal your marriage and take away that addiction problem. He’ll get you out of financial difficulty and be your best friend.” The following anecdote will illustrate the unscriptural nature of this very popular teaching.
Two men are seated on a plane. The first is given a parachute and told to put it on, as it would improve his flight. He’s a little skeptical at first since he can’t see how wearing a parachute on a plane could possibly improve his flight. He decides to experiment and see if the claims are true. As he puts it on, he notices the weight of it upon his shoulders and he finds he has difficulty in sitting upright. However, he consoles himself with the fact he was told that the parachute would improve his flight. So he decides to give it a little time.
As he waits he notices that some of the other passengers are laughing at him for wearing a parachute on a plane. He begins to feel somewhat humiliated. As they continue to point and laugh at him, he can't stand it any longer. He slinks in his seat, unstraps the parachute, and throws it to the floor. Disillusionment and bitterness fill his heart because as far as he was concerned he was told an outright lie.
The second man is given a parachute, but listen to what he is told. He’s told to put it on because at any moment he’ll be jumping 25,000 feet out of the plane. He gratefully puts the parachute on. He doesn’t notice the weight of it upon his shoulders, nor that he can’t sit upright. His mind is consumed with the thought of what would happen to him if he jumped without the parachute.
Let’s now analyze the motive and the result of each passenger’s experience. The first man’s motive for putting the parachute on was solely to improve his flight. The result of his experience was that he was humiliated by the passengers, disillusioned, and somewhat embittered against those who gave him the parachute. As far as he’s concerned, it will be a long time before anyone gets one of those things on his back again.
The second man put the parachute on solely to escape the jump to come. And because of his knowledge of what would happen to him if he jumped without it, he has a deep-rooted joy and peace in his heart knowing that he’s saved from sure death. This knowledge gives him the ability to withstand the mockery of the other passengers. His attitude toward those who gave him the parachute is one of heartfelt gratitude.
Now listen to what the modern gospel says: “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. He’ll give you love, joy, peace, fulfillment, and lasting happiness.” In other words, Jesus will improve your flight. The sinner responds, and in an experimental fashion puts on the Savior to see if the claims are true.
And what does he get? The promised temptation, tribulation, and persecution—the other “passengers” mock him. So what does he do? He takes off the Lord Jesus Christ; he’s offended for the Word’s sake; he’s disillusioned and somewhat embittered . . . and quite rightly so. He was promised peace, joy, love, and fulfillment, and all he got were trials and humiliation. His bitterness is directed at those who gave him the so-called “good news.” His latter end becomes worse than the first, and he’s another inoculated and bitter “backslider.”
Instead of preaching that Jesus improves the flight, we should be warning sinners that they have to jump out of the plane—that it’s appointed for man to die once and then face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). When a sinner understands the horrific consequences of breaking the Law of God, he will flee to the Savior, solely to escape the wrath that is to come. If we are true and faithful witnesses, that’s what we’ll be preaching —that there is wrath to come—that God “commands all men everywhere to repent: because he has appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:30,31).
The issue isn’t one of life enhancement, but one of righteousness. It doesn’t matter how happy a sinner is, or how much he is enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season; without the righteousness of Christ, he will perish on the day of wrath. Proverbs 11:4 says, “Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivers from death.”
Peace and joy are legitimate fruits of salvation, but it’s not legitimate to use these fruits as a drawing card for salvation. If we continue to do so, the sinner will respond with an impure motive, lacking repentance.
Can you remember why the second passenger had joy and peace in his heart? It was because he knew that the parachute was going to save him from sure death. In the same way, as believers we have “joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13) because we know that the righteousness of Christ is going to deliver us from the wrath to come.
With that thought in mind, let’s take a close look at an incident aboard the plane. We have a brand-new flight attendant. It’s her first day. She’s carrying a tray of boiling hot coffee. She wants to leave an impression on the passengers, and she certainly does! As she’s walking down the aisle, she trips over someone’s foot and slops the hot coffee all over the lap of our second passenger.
What’s his reaction as that boiling liquid hits his tender flesh? Does he say, “Man, that hurt!”? Yes, he does. But then does he rip the parachute from his shoulders, throw it to the floor, and say, “The stupid parachute!”? No; why should he? He didn’t put the parachute on for a better flight. He put it on to save him from the jump to come. If anything, the hot coffee incident causes him to cling tighter to the parachute and even look forward to the jump.
If we have put on the Lord Jesus Christ for the right motive—to flee from the wrath to come—then when tribulation strikes, when the flight gets bumpy, we won’t get angry at God, and we won’t lose our joy and peace. Why should we? We didn’t come to Christ for a better lifestyle, but to flee from the wrath to come. If anything, tribulation drives the true believer closer to the Savior. Sadly, we have multitudes of professing Christians who lose their joy and peace when the flight gets bumpy. Why? They are the product of a man-centered gospel. They came lacking repentance, without which they cannot be saved."
So I guess what I am trying to say here is. Jesus did save me from my drug addiction. He completely changed everything in my life for the better. I couldn’t have done it without him. But he has done far more than that. The big issue here is he has saved me from Hell. I was a very lost man and on my way to Hell. I don’t want my main message here to be about life enhancement. Jesus can give you a better life. He can also help you get sober. All those things do happen and are a natural result of turning to God. Trust me if you are a struggling addict God wants to help you get clean. He wants to change your life for the better even more than you want to. He will help you. You will make mistakes along the way. If you fall just get back up. Jesus will not leave your side. But this is the reality.
Everyone will die eventually and you never know when your time is up. In the United States alone approximately 7,452 people die every single day. I'm sure lots of them never saw it coming. That's about someone dying every 12 seconds. The chances of dying are extremely higher if you are addicted to drugs. I'm so thankful I made it out alive. The Bible says after we die we will all face judgment. If you were to die today where would you go?
Lots of people think they can get to Heaven by doing good deeds or by being a good person. The trouble with that thinking though is it's not actually biblical. Heaven isn’t a place where good people get to go someday. But let us examine this concept of a good person for a minute. Do you consider yourself to be a good person? Most people would say they are if you ask them. The Bible tells us men do this. “Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?” (Proverbs 20: 6)
When we think of bad people we usually think of murderers/ rapists/ and child molesters. But here is the thing. Our definition and Gods definition is much different. He is absolutely holy and righteous and has a much higher standard of what is good than we do.
For example, the man who only smokes pot will say its no big deal. At least he isn’t an abusive alcoholic. The alcoholic might tell you he isn’t an addict or maybe his heavy drinking isn’t a problem. After all, what he does is legal, and he isn’t doing harmful drugs like heroin. The heroin user will tell you he may be an addict. But at least he doesn’t hurt people and points his finger at someone who kills people. The murderer will point his finger at the child molester. It doesn’t even have to be any of these things. You could even be the average law-abiding citizen. The point is there is always someone who you perceive to be worse than you are. I used to put myself on a pedestal. I might have been a drug addict and was miserable on the inside. But I had a form of self-righteousness because I didn’t rob people. I tried to treat people with love and kindness. I would never rip people off or anything like that. I would sort of look down on people who I perceived to be worse than me or bad people. I was actually just blind and fooling myself.
Have you ever heard of the 10 commandments? This is Gods standard and what he will use to judge us. Let's go through just a few of them. Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen anything? (Even if its something small). Have you ever taken Gods name in vain? This is called blasphemy and although we do it so carelessly it is very serious. God created you and gave you your very life. Instead of showing him the respect he deserves we use his name to express curses and mock him. Can you imagine using the name of someone you loved like your mom or grandma to curse? Of course you wouldn’t. That would be so disrespectful. But we have no problem using Gods name. The Bible says “The Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain”.(Exodus 20:7)
Here is another one for you. Have you ever looked at someone with lust? Jesus said, "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."(Mathew 5:28). Have you ever hated anyone? Jesus said that if you hate your brother you are guilty of murder in your heart. “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15).
So if you are like me and have done all these things you have a big problem. Although we see it as not that big of a deal. Gods standard is much higher. If you answered yes to those questions then God sees you as a liar, a thief, a blasphemer, an adulterer at heart, and a murderer at heart. This is only 5 of the 10 commandments.
So if you were to die and God judged you based on the 10 commandments. Do you think you would be innocent or guilty? Even though many times people will recognize they are guilty, lots of people don’t think they would go to hell. After all, a loving God wouldn’t send anyone to Hell, right? I used to believe this.
Now let's Imagine you are in court for very serious crimes. As an example, lets say you are guilty of murder or rape. You know you are guilty, but you just apologize to the judge and say you are sorry and to please forgive you. You ask him to show you mercy. You might even think that although you have done wrong, The good you have done will make up for the bad. You might tell the judge you give to charity, or volunteer to help the poor. Would doing these good deeds erase your crime? Now, this judge is a loving man. Should he let you go? Of course not. On top of all that, its almost an insult to the judges' character to try to bribe him with your good deeds. I'm sure you have done lots of good deeds in life. But the fact is you have committed very serious crimes. He wouldn’t be a very good judge if he let murders go unpunished. Because he is such a loving judge he has to punish you. The crime demands justice. God is loving but he is also a holy righteous judge. He will punish murderers, but he will also punish all evil.
“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21: 8).
“ Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. “(1 Corinthians 6: 9-10. )
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Mathew 7: 13-14)
You might say you don’t believe in Hell so this doesn’t concern you. But let me ask you a question. You are on the highway and a huge truck is about to run you over. But you don’t believe the truck is real. Is that going to matter? You not believing in it doesn’t make it go away or invalid. If the Bible isn’t true then who cares about any of this. But in the end, if the Bible is truly the word of God then this is extremely important. You might not want to think about any of this. The phrase ignorance is bliss can sometimes be true. But if the brakes on your car were out, wouldn’t you want to know? Sorry about all the car examples. I'm just trying to make a point here. In my opinion, just the mathematical probability of all those prophecies I shared with you earlier written down hundreds of years before Jesus was ever even born proves the existence of God. They also prove the Bible is not merely a book written by men but supernatural in origin.
Hell is a very scary subject to even think about. I'm not trying to scare you into believing either. I'm just saying that at the end of the day it simply comes down to this question. Is the Bible true? If it is then the reality of sin and Hell needs to be talked about. I am also in no way trying to judge you. I can’t answer those questions for you. But I think if most people are truly honest with themselves they will see they haven’t kept Gods laws. You don’t have to be a lost drug addict like I was to see this.
But here is the good news. We have all broken God’s Law a multitude of times, but God came to this earth in the person of Jesus Christ and paid the fine—"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Jesus satisfied eternal justice, and then rose from the dead, defeating death. Hundreds saw Him after His resurrection. Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies about the promised Savior, written in the Holy Scriptures hundreds of years before His birth. But just as we cannot earn a gift, so we cannot earn eternal life by our good works. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”( Ephesians 2:8-9)
So imagine that court scenario I mentioned. Let's say you have broken the law and you have a $50,000 fine you can’t pay. If someone pays that fine the judge can let you go. Justice has been served. That's what Jesus did for you. He paid your fine with his life. He paid it with his very own blood. When he was up on that cross he was taking the punishment you and I both deserve. He was completely innocent of all sin. Although he was innocent, he was treated as if he was guilty. He took your place so that he could treat you as if you are innocent. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5: 21). Its simple at the end of the day you either pay for your sins or you let Jesus Pay for them.
Before I was a believer I heard that Jesus died on the cross for me. But to be honest it never made that much sense to me. I didn’t really think I was really all that guilty anyways. Now that I understand what he actually did for me it brings me to tears. Its such a beautiful story of what he was willing to do, and how much he actually went through to save us.
People tend to say a loving God wouldn’t send anyone to Hell. But in reality, he never has. People choose to go to hell because they absolutely refuse to repent and turn to Jesus. Let's say you are God. People are drowning and you don’t want anyone to perish. You send them a lifejacket and they absolutely refuse to grab it. Is God to blame? Of course not. The problem is sin is extremely seductive and tempting and we don’t want to let it go.
So you might be thinking do I have to clean myself up before I can get saved? This isn’t what I’m saying. You don’t have to go get sober first and then Jesus will save you. I'm not sure if drugs are even a part of your life. But chances are if your reading this that might be the case. We all are different and have different struggles and sins in our life. You could have a needle in your arm right now and if you call on Jesus and repent he will save you. He loves you more than you can even begin to imagine. Don’t worry about how your gonna do it. He is the one who will help you and give you the strength to overcome the sin in your life.
There isn’t some certain prayer you must say, or ritual you must do. The exact words aren't what matters. In your own words just call out to God and tell him you believe in him and what he did for you. Tell him you realize you have broken his laws. This is repentance. Don’t just say you're sorry. Make a decision to turn from your sins. Then trust in Jesus to save you. You're not gonna be perfect and you can make mistakes. As you can see from my life I have made plenty. I am definitely a work in progress. God will put his spirit in you and change your heart. He will give you a new heart with new desires.
This is taken from the living waters website. “If you have repented and trusted in Jesus, then your sins are forgiven and you can now partake in the blessings of “the New Covenant.” Here are just ten of God’s exceedingly great and precious promises:
• You have passed from death into life (Jn. 5:24).
• God will supply all of your needs according to His riches (Phil. 4:19).
• Jesus will be with you in trials, promising never to leave nor forsake you (Heb. 13:5).
• The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth and give you the power to live a holy life (Jn. 16:13).
• You are cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ—God has removed your sins as far as the East is from the West (Ps. 103:12).
• As you abide in Christ, you will see the “fruit” of His Spirit begin to manifest in your life (Gal. 5:22-25).
• As you read the Bible daily, it will come alive to you and cause you to grow in your faith (1 Pet. 2:1-3).
• When you pray, God will hear you and answer your prayers (1 Jn. 5:15).
• The cross will be continual evidence of God’s love for you (Rom. 5:8).
• God “is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24).
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story. No matter who you are or what you have done you have worth. You are extremely precious to God and he loves you so very much. There is a difference in this type of love and what the world will tell you love is. It is not a superficial type of love that will never correct you. It is a perfect love. Just like a loving father will correct his son or daughter. It is dangerous to separate Gods love from his justice. You can end up worshipping a God you made up in your mind. One who is all loving and turns a blind eye to sin. My hope is that you too may find the incredible joy and peace that comes in having a relationship with Jesus Christ.
If you would like to contact me, feel free to email me at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also please feel free to share your story in the comment section If you can relate to this article. You never know who might be reading it. Your testimony could be the one that helps another struggling addict be set free.