Chemical Explosion Catalyst to Spiritual Awakening
“I'm in a small trailer cooking methamphetamines. The fumes had built up, and a spark went off the heat lamp.”
As a young man, Rodney Williams believed God had a plan for his life but he wasn’t sure he could carry it out—or even if he wanted to. “There was a battle going on, and I just felt like I wasn't strong enough to win that battle,” Rodney recalls. “And I quit on God. I said ‘Hey, I’ll be back later, I’m going out kinda like the prodigal son I’m gonna sow my oats. I’m gonna go out here and see the world and when I’m strong enough I’ll come back.’”
By the time Rodney reached high school, he was an alcoholic and a drug addict, chasing his next high. “We began breaking into homes and getting alcohol and getting drunk, Rodney remembers. “I was experimenting, trying all these different things that I thought would satisfy me, make me happy.”
Rodney got a job and eventually married, but even the birth of his son didn’t change his focus. “The money needed to be going towards my kid and a family, instead I'm spending it on my addiction,” he recalls. “It was all about me getting high, all about the addiction, taking care of my god, which was the alcohol, the drugs, the gambling. It was all about that.”
A short time later, Rodney’s wife divorced him, and he tried to numb the pain he felt the only way he knew how. “As long as you stay high and over in this little world, everything's okay. And you'll do whatever it takes to stay over in this little world because you don't want to go back over here, you know, and deal with life,” Rodney says. “The initial high is just awesome, but it doesn't take long as you continue to try and do it, it begins to diminish and before you know it, you're in this bondage where you're doing it just to function.”
Rodney was with a friend one night when he was introduced to meth. “We were just riding around and snorting, what we thought was cocaine, which was methamphetamines,” Rodney recalls. “And after snorting about an eight ball, which is 3 ½ grams, my heart began to rush and, man, you just feel the blood just pumping through your veins.”
His first experience with meth nearly killed him. The incident was one of over a dozen drug overdoses. Eventually, Rodney decided he needed help and went through rehab, but it didn’t work. He even tried going back to church. “I even walked the aisle, prayed a prayer of repentance. But in reality, there was no heart change. I really was not prepared to give up the lifestyle that I was living,” he recalls.
Rodney’s addiction soon consumed everything he had left. “I had a good government job,” says Rodney. “On the way home one day I just said, ‘I ain't going back there. I was going to cook and the methamphetamines and sell it.’ That was my mentality. It didn't take long before I lost my home and I was finding different places to go and to cook it.”
“My last night as a drug addict; I'm high; I'd been up for days. I'm in a small trailer,” he says. “I’m paranoid. I've got the doors bolted down in the trailer, and I’m cooking methamphetamines. The fumes had built up, and a spark went off the heat lamp and the trailer ignited in flames. It was like I was surrounded. I couldn't get out ‘cause the door's locked. I began unlocking the doors and run outside on fire. Now I'm standing here at 2 o'clock in the morning, all burnt up. I'm homeless; I've lost everything I've got. My family does not like me. I've burnt them so many times; I've done them so dirty.”
Rodney stumbled to a neighboring house for help. As the people sped him to the hospital, he began to think about his life. “I was just miserable. Death would have been a victory at that time.” Rodney says. “I felt like, you know, “’just let me die.’" It's like the light turned on. I remembered the Lord that had comforted me as a child, and I turned to Him and cried out to God. I cried out to Jesus, cried out that He could take my eye, my ear, and whatever's left, I was going to serve him. I made an unconditional surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ that night on the way to the hospital.”
Rodney was in the hospital for weeks and underwent skin grafts for second and third degree burns. When he was released he went back to rehab, but this time things were different. “I'm reading the Bible and the Bible's making sense. It's never made really sense to me before,” Rodney says. “All of a sudden, God's just showing me stuff through His Word. The Holy Spirit is showing me sin in my life. I'm confessing it and forsaking it, and He's just transforming me, changing me, renewing my mind; setting me free.”
His recovery was not always easy, but Rodney says God helped him get through it. “Through a lot of my weak points, God has been there to protect me and carry me through and I'm so thankful that He is God and that He does that,” Rodney says.
Rodney went on to seminary and has been a pastor since 2006. He’s now remarried and has a family. “I've got such a great life. Not without struggles, by no means, but a great life compared to the bondage that I used to be in,” Rodney declares. “God has proved faithful. When I did give it all to Him, it’s a lot different than what I thought. The things that I was worried about; that I would be miserable, that I would not be happy giving it all to Him, God has proved me wrong, you know, that, hey, I am happy. I've got joy. It's not what I thought it was going to be. It's great.”
Rodney encourages others to trust God with their lives. “Many times I wanted to give Him a portion. I wanted to make deals with God, Rodney says. “But when you're prepared to surrender all, just give Him your life. And God can take it and He can change it and He can give you a victory that you can never imagine.”