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Nearly Dying Saved This Man's Life

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Robert Hull - 700 Club Producer

Wayne Hardy was raised by an abusive, alcoholic father.

“I believe the worst of the beatings--I believe that I was maybe seven years old,” Wayne said. “He whooped me so bad that welts came. It was up on my back and they bled. It came with the drinking.”

But, Wayne’s mother got the worst of the abuse.

Wayne remembers, “My mother would be bleeding and times he would beat her down and drag her.”

When Wayne was a teen, his father abandoned the family and Wayne became the man of the house. At first, the responsibility came as a relief.

“I felt like I was important,” Wayne said. “Over all the years of seeing him abuse her, I was able to help stop him from doing that.”

But eventually, Wayne’s resentment towards his father and his newfound freedom led to darker things. He soon dropped out of school and joined a gang.

“We went out and robbed people and broke in people's houses,” Wayne said. “I became more of a violent person than of this nice person that I used to be.”

Before long, Wayne was addicted to the exact same substances that ruined his childhood and his family.
 
“At first it was fun, you know, party all the time,” Wayne said. “And it wasn't – you know, the hard stuff – marijuana and pills. It was fun. But it got to the point where it wasn't strong enough for me. So we went to the hard stuff of drinking alcohol.”

“I got addicted to it and to the point at where when I wanted to stop I couldn't,” Wayne said. “So I'm drinking to feel better, but end up feeling miserable.”

Wayne was even abusive to his girlfriends.

“I saw what my father did,” Wayne said. “I saw him, how he treated my mother, and that stuck with me.  And I took that trade on.”

By his 30s, He was drinking a fifth of whiskey a day and his driver’s license had been revoked for almost a decade. But Wayne says a near-fatal drunk driving accident—in the pouring rain—actually saved his life.
 
“The van flipped,” Wayne said, “And as it flipped in the ditch – cause I think I was doing like 75 or 80 mph – when it flipped in the ditch and just slid on the side, as it came to a stop I come out the driver's side in the window.”

Wayne was able to escape the accident unharmed and eye witnesses called the police for help.

“I saw the State Police come, I say, ‘Oh, I'm going to jail right now.’ I know I'll be doing some time,” Wayne said. “And even as the police officer asked me to stop over to his vehicle, I just put my hands behind my back.  He didn't have to tell me, I just put my hand behind my back.”

“And he wrote me out like at least about 7 or 8 tickets,” Wayne said. “And when I told him, you know, ‘I know I’m going to jail and I know I’m going to be there for a long time.’  He said to me, ‘You know, I’m not going to write you all these tickets. I'm going to write you a couple tickets’ he said, ‘but you know what?  You need Jesus.’"

“And when he spoke that to me and I looked over at him, it's like something just lift off,” Wayne said, “and I felt a relief.  I felt a relief, where a peace came over me when he said that. And I said to myself, ‘You’re right. You know, you're right.  I do need Jesus.’”
             
Two weeks later, Wayne went to church and went forward for prayer at the end of the service.

“I finally got there to the preacher and he asked me, he said, ‘What do you want from the Lord?’  And I kind of whispered on my voice and said ‘I want to know Jesus.’”

The next morning, Wayne says he felt his desire for alcohol begin to disappear.

“And the Lord spoke to me and told me, "’Every time you want this drink, I want you to read My word.  I want you to read My word every time you want this drink.’”

“That whole day I went to the Bible, 16, 17 times, every time I wanted that drink.  For three days I did what the Lord told me to do.  After three days of doing what God told me to do, I didn't have that desire anymore for the alcohol; it was gone.  After 25 years of being an alcoholic I did not have the desire to drink.”

Wayne says that his life began to transform in ways he couldn’t even imagine. He says it was not only a fresh start for him, but for his entire family. He married his longtime girlfriend Sandra and they have a healthy marriage and children who love God.

“To know God is a new life,” Wayne said. “To know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is a new life because it's a whole different – you're a whole different person.  He can help someone else. He can help someone, He can deliver someone, He can set someone free.  I know that what God has done for me, He can do for somebody else.”

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