“Not everyone’s process is the same. Not everyone’s starting point is the same, but the destination is the same – eternal life.” Markeith is a soft-spoken young man who has a passion for sharing Jesus with those around him. He wants others to grab hold and hang on to recovery through Jesus. Unfortunately, Markeith knows firsthand the complexities of recovery and relapse.
Like so many others, Markeith’s story begins with grief and trauma. When he was just two years old, Child Protective Services stepped in and he began his journey in the foster care system. It’s hard for a two-year-old to express the grief he’s feeling and at a young age Markeith began using drugs and alcohol. In middle school, wanting to be loved, he became sexually active. But none of those things were the answer to the deep grief and hurt he felt.
At the age of 18 he was released from the foster system and found himself homeless. Markeith decided to try Adult & Teen Challenge in an effort to straighten out his life. He vaguely knew about church and Jesus, but at ATC he learned to have a personal relationship with Jesus. He graduated from the program and went to college, where he tried to staysober, but eventually fell back into addiction.
Markeith has now been through the ATC program three separate times. Over the years he has taken other ministry classes and gotten married. But the deeply rooted trauma from his childhood kept holding him back from true freedom from addiction. It was not until he was willing to address his past head-on that healing was able to take place. Through dedicated, caring staff and relevant, Bible-centered curriculum, Markeith was able to work through his darkest memories and surrender his pain to Christ.
Many people are quick to judge relapse as a moral failure. When asked about this, Markeith quoted Proverbs 24:16, “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” Even righteous people stumble, but the difference is that they keep getting back up again. Relapse is often part of the recovery process, and not everyone’s journey is the same. The important thing is to keep getting back up again, trusting Jesus, and focusing on the goal of recovery and, ultimately, eternal life with Christ.
“For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”– Matthew 7:13
Markeith credits the ATC curriculum in helping him really understand himself. Group studies like Attitudes and Successful Christian Living helped illuminate past failures and provided solutions moving forward. He has learned to humble himself. He recognizes attitudes he had towards himself and others and can now see why God didn’t bless those situations. He missed out because of one thing – humility. What a wonderful lesson to learn!