Over a year ago, Michael Davis was given a choice of two places to attend rehab. One was a city Michael can’t remember the name of but refers to as “the backwoods of Pennsylvania,” and the other was Dallas.
So when Michael gets asked how he ended up at The Village or better yet how a Brown University graduate, born and raised in Connecticut, ended up in Texas, he initially cracks a smile. “Well, because, at the time, I thought that if the rehab thing didn’t work out, I could get drugs a lot easier in Dallas than that other town.”
Michael is an alcoholic and a drug addict. At least, that is how rehab and Alcoholics Anonymous would have him introduce himself. However, if he didn’t have to follow tradition, he would say, “Hi, I’m Michael. Any good that I have done or will do is purely a result of divine intervention and guidance.”
This is Michael’s current disposition in how God has saved him and changed his life for His glory.
Michael did not grow up in church nor have any Christian friends. As he put it, “I lived in a free reign, so to speak, and did anything that I desired.”
That attitude caused him to indulge in drugs and alcohol.
“Honestly, for a number of years, I found what I thought was a solution to the world’s ills. Even though, deep down, I knew that I wasn’t being fulfilled, I found a way to blot out my consciousness,” Michael said. ”So that the next drink or next drug fix was of no consequence.”
Despite these ideas, Michael would have nights coming off of drugs and alcohol where he thought, “Somehow things will work out. I don’t know how, but somehow…something will work out.”
Although he didn’t acknowledge God during those years, he recognizes now that the Lord had a plan for his life, even in those dark moments.
When he came to Dallas and was placed under the care of biblical counselors at a sober transitional home, he was “desperate” and “at the end of [his] rope.”
And yet, this was when he first experienced grace and mercy from the Lord.
He was led through the 12 Steps program to get past his former life and to develop a relationship with God.
“I was anything but confident that it would work for someone like me because I had denied Him my whole life,” Michael said.
At first, he gave it a shot because he “wanted the joy and freedom they possessed, as well as their love for Christ.”
And as he began to relinquish control of his life over to God and the help of leaders, things started to change in his heart.
One night, he lay in bed, unable to sleep. The only book in his room he could find was a Bible.
“I turned to the Gospel of John and began to read. Somehow I believed it. My eyes and heart were opened, and I received Christ as Savior,” Michael said.
The transition for Michael has been anything but subtle, as his past thoughts of “Who would want me, knowing where I’ve been?” have been replaced with the truth that, “Jesus came for guys like me.”
God’s work in Michael’s life has him leading and mentoring other men who come to the sober transitional home in need of grace. The Lord is using the dark parts of his story to bring truth into the lives of others – the truth that real freedom is found in Christ.