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"The Thought of God Really Upset Me"

Julie Blim - 700 Club Producer

“I'd go to the bar - who's going to buy all the drinks?” Dave recalls.  “Right, you know? I want you to like me so I'm buying everybody a round. Somebody would lay out some cocaine and he would do a line and ‘Oh, I can do something bigger than that!’ Just impress, you know, to the point of going to the hospital, getting sick, overdosing, you know, and stuff like that.”

Dave would do most anything to get people to like him. He didn’t much like himself because of the way his dad treated him as a kid.

“My dad's alcoholism was becoming a lot stronger. His med – you know, he was taking prescription medication, smoking a lot of weed,” Dave remembers.  “He was really quick to tell me that I was stupid, that, you know, ‘That'll never work,’ you know, ‘You're an idiot,’ you know, or ‘That's gay.’ It really started to hurt me, you know, emotionally. Like, why is he yelling at me, like why am I not being loved?”

To compensate, he played the class clown.

“I wanted to be liked, you know?  I wanted my dad to like me.  I wanted the kids at school to like me. I wanted the teachers to like me, but I wasn't getting it. And so I found out that if I made people laugh in class, I thought they liked me,” he explains.     

As a teenager, Dave became promiscuous, and stole pot from his dad to share with friends.

“It was just this hole that I kept trying to fill, you know, like instead of just having you like me for who I am, I would always come with stuff; a big bag of weed, you know, the house with the swimming pool, the mom and dad not being home, so ‘Hey, let's go over to my house.’ Like I don't know who I am. I don't have my – have no identity,”  Dave says.  

In his 20’s Dave worked hard as a truck driver - but his personal life was a wreck. He destroyed his two marriages through infidelity, and drug and alcohol abuse.

“Always in my mind thinking that I was stupid and I wouldn't never amount to anything, it would always self-destruct,” Dave recalls.  “I didn't know what a man was, I didn't know what a husband was, I didn’t know what being a father was.”
He was arrested and charged several times on drug charges over the years. By his mid 30’s, he had quit his job and was homeless.

“I had been at the bottom for a little while, you know? I mean eating out of garbage cans,” he says.  “My mom and dad had put me in a program up where they live, up north. And that was supposed to be like it was going to fix me. And I got kicked out within three days.”

Then at age 35, Dave was arrested after stealing a car at gunpoint. Instead of jail time, the judge sent him to a Salvation Army drug program that put the focus on God.

“The thought of God really, really upset me because everybody called God ‘Father,’ Dave explains.  And I was like, uh, I don't need another father, right? I don't need to be condemned and I don't want to be judged.”

At one point, Dave inadvertently broke a rule that could have gotten him kicked out. Hoping for a sympathetic ear, he went to the chaplain.

“And he started praying over me and he started to talk about breaking off generational curses, strongholds of addiction. And next thing I know, I just –I got so hot and I started sweating,” he remembers.   

“And he says, ‘Do you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?’ And I’m like screaming, ‘Yes, I want to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.’  And I was surrendering. I was at my bottom – and accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior. From that point forward.”

Dave stayed in the program and says his addictions just fell away. He grew in his faith by reading the bible, and being mentored.

“As soon as I accepted Jesus Christ it was amazing how God put so many people around me that just started to pour in to me, like really solid Christian men and women that just started to really help me a lot,”  Dave says gratefully.  “So that's why I started realizing that Christ has forgiven me.”

He says he doesn’t have to seek approval from others anymore.

He adds, “To have friends today that don't want anything from me other than just being a friend, is unbelievable.”

And Dave was able to make things right with his dad before he died.

“I forgave him for the stuff that he had done to me in my life that I was angry for, but then all the stuff that I put on him that really didn't deserve to go on him I was able to forgive him and myself for that, and he was able to forgive me,” Dave explains. “And for the first time in my entire life my dad put his arms around me and he told me he was proud of me. And that meant a lot to me. You know, to finally get that, you know, ‘I care about you and I love you.’”

Dave plugged into a church with a ministry to the homeless and is now the program’s director.

“I’m absolutely amazed at the things that God is doing.”

Reaching out to help others find healing in God means everything to him. And now he works with police to find and help those in need on the streets. Dave is also married to Shawn. Together they’re raising their son, Isaiah, and sharing the truth that’s changed him forever.

“Christ really, truly loves me,” Dave concludes.  

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