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Love Sets Prison Captive Free

“I was four years old,” recalls David. “And I got my parents kicked out of a trailer park because I was running around the trailer park stealing things from around the trailers.”

David grew up in Southaven, Mississippi.

“We moved to a town home and after that I was running around stealing people’s mail just out of their mailboxes and storing it up. And they kicked my parents out for that.”

David learned to steal from a very unlikely person – his mother.

“Growing up I would see her steal a lot of times in front of me. I would see her shoplift. From a small boy I would see her changing tags in stores.”

As a teenager, he continued to steal.

“It was almost like when I was stealing and I was doing that, I was in control. And it gave me some form of control in my messed up world.”

By this time, everyone knew David as “the bad kid”.

“I started stealing bikes, and just got worse and worse and worse. I was arrested every year of my life from the age of 14 to 28.”

David also started drinking and using drugs.

“I felt like I did it just to cover up the pain. It was like any drug that they had around, whether it was marijuana, if it was cocaine, if it was acid, if it was ecstasy, like anything that was around, I pretty much did.”

In 1988, David got married.

“We were two broken people and I was the most broken. And of course I put her through a lot. Because I was in jail every single year. We both abused drugs. We built a family, and had three beautiful daughters. We were married eight years.”

David says during this time of his life, he put God on a shelf.

“I knew He was real. But I was running a million miles an hour away from Him. And so I was always chasing the things of the world, chasing money and trying to kill the pain. But I never really turned to God except in small ways. I would pray when I needed him. I would ask Him, it was the jailhouse stuff, like, ‘Lord, please get me out. I’ll change.’ But I never did.”

Then one night in jail, David was facing 15 years for several felonies. He was on his knees, thinking about his 3 little girls.

“They were ages 6, 4, and 1. And I knew that I’m going to be in prison a long time. I’m going to walk out the doors, they’re going to be graduated from high school. And that was just so hard for me. I just began crying out and begging God to please forgive me for all the things that I’ve done. For the drug abuse, for running from Him, for becoming a thief and for the man that I had become.”

At that moment, David asked Jesus Christ to be the Lord of his Life.

“And what I heard God say was, ‘David, everything is going to be all right. I’m going to have mercy on you and deliver you out of all of these charges.’ Everything got still and I felt the presence of God in that little cell, on that jail cell floor. And I just began weeping for joy. The tears of pain all at once turned into tears of joy. And I just began crying because I knew the Lord had spoke to me, and I didn’t know what he was going to do, I didn’t know how he was going to do it, but I knew that He spoke to me.”

Eventually, all of David’s charges were reduced to a single felony. When he was finally released from prison, he joined a church, and in 1999, he opened the Warrior Center, a recovery ministry for men. Today, it also has a substance abuse treatment program licensed by the state of Tennessee

And just as his girls need a father, David says we all need our heavenly Father.

“We get a million miles from God. But we can always come home. And the Lord is just there waiting the whole time, fighting for us, He’s waiting on us to give Him our hearts and let Him work in our life.”

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