Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Story 1: Jeff Myers: Pornography, Drugs, Divorce, Alcohol, Suicide and yet Redemption, a new man.

Jeff Myers started out with a typical story.   He got married in his early 30's and had a good paying job.  But deep seated insecurities eventually led him to take those first steps through the door of a strip club.  He found a new world.   He felt wanted.   He felt important.  He soon became a regular at those strip clubs spending thousands of dollars and ultimately dooming his marriage.   He was divorced just 5 years later.

One of the dancers would later ask for his help getting pornographic pictures of herself online.  The very first week, they made several thousands dollars.   The success was intoxicating.   Money became the drug that fed the pornographic need.   Seeing the success, he dove fully into the pornography industry. Nineteen websites later, he was raking in tens of thousands of dollars a month.

But such success comes with a price.He was working over 100 hours a week and he began taking drugs to help him get through.   What started out as just something to help keep him awake and have the energy to finish his work, soon developed into a full fledged addiction.  He slowly moved on to harder and harder drugs. While mentally, he knew what he was doing was wrong, knew that he was hurting the lives of millions, the money was too good and the drug kept him happy.   He never stopped.  

Eventually, he was caught.   He was charged with the manufacture of methamphetamine ecstasy and its distribution.  Federal agents took everything that he owned.    His "friends" all disappeared, fleeing from him in an act of self preservation. That night he attempted suicide overdosing with drugs and alcohol.  

Jeff was broken, crushed and felt terribly depressed and alone.   His friends had abandoned him.   He literally had nothing. He was so broken, that he felt he was beyond repair, beyond love.   There are those who feel that people like Jeff will never change.   And so he found condemnation everywhere, including from himself.  

The next part of the story is best told by Jeff himself.  

I woke up the next morning when I shouldn’t have. I think at that point I realized I need help and I can’t do this on my own. I just so desperately wanted someone to reach out to me, and I was alone."
He drove to a Christian camp he attended as a young man. That night at camp they gave an altar call. Jeff was one of the first to come. He prayed and asked God to forgive his sins and give him a new start.
"I don’t know if this God thing is going to work. I’d done way too much, and in my mind, I had gone way off the deep end. There was no redemptive values for me at all. I wasn’t worthy. Although I knew that something had happened that day, I certainly didn’t feel like God could restore me."
He saught out an old friend from camp who had become a pastor. Within a few days, he had moved in with the pastor and his family.
"He was very broken and searching and really didn’t know what to do with his life," says Pastor Daryl Blank. "I knew our church would offer grace and love, and he needed that ."
Jeff says, "What they did is just what Jesus would have done. He didn’t look at my past. He didn’t look at what I was doing, how I was acting, He just loved me. They wrapped their arms around me and loved me and took care of me beyond what I could even possibly imagine. That meant everything. That was confirmation that grace was real."
Jeff spent his days reading the Bible and listening to worship music. Before long, he noticed something different.
"Over the next several days, I’d wake up in the morning with this worship song in my head. It was always a different one. It was just like I was being washed from the inside out. My mind was being purified, and all those images were going away. It completely washed my mind. I had no recollection of anything I’d produced, or any of those images it was gone. It was like He had used that music and stuff I’d read and cleansed me and made me new, pour me out and start again. That’s the point where I said, 'Wow, He can fix me? Me, with the mess and the millions of lives that I’ve touched in a very very negative way.' But He still loves me."
Jeff was sentenced to a year in prison. He used the time to study the Bible and pray. After his release he used his Internet development skills and started a new website.  He says, "Instead of sharing filth, He’s given me an opportunity to share God’s love and put it in as many homes as we can. It’s my personal mission of redemption. It’s like, ‘God, You’ve given me these skills. Let's use them for Your glory instead of Your destruction.'"
Jeff says he has experienced the love, mercy and grace of God.
"My life was a disaster. I was a drug-addicted, alcoholic pornographer that ruined millions of lives. He’s taken my life and turned it around. He loves me in spite of my mess. I’m still growing and I’m still learning. Every day He’s chipping off a little chip of the mess I’d made. I know I’ll never be perfect, but He’s taken what Satan meant for evil and turned it into something amazing. Just further proof of God’s amazing grace. The things He can do and the restoration He can make blows my mind still." 
My source for this post: http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/amazing/Jeff_Myers_062410.aspx

This is just the first story of many.   But they all follow a similar path.  A regular person, slowly led down the path of terrible sin or the victim of some terrible sin.   Usually, there are many different problems that have caused the person to be shattered not just one.  In this case, Jeff suffered divorce, severe depression and attempted suicide.   He was into pornography, was a drug addict and an alcoholic.   He had helped to destroy thousands of lives.  

And while he cannot take back any of the actions of his past, as much as he would love to do so, he was not irretrievably lost as society would have us believe. In the absolute depths of despair and in the shattered state of his soul.  He reached out to God.   God reached back.

As you can tell form his story, his life has not only been repaired, but he has become an instrument in the hands of God to help others.   And while he may not be able to fix what he has done in the past, he is now a tool in God's hands serving others, but his life story is a story of hope.

His brokenness is easy to see.   His sins unquestionably terrible, his brokeness complete.  But his whole life was changed by the power of accepting Christ in his life.   Allowing the Savior to change him.   He is a new man.   And his story gives hope to anyone caught in the throes of brokeness, that they too can become new no matter how deeply they may have fallen.  No matter how hopeless the situation might feel.   Much like the art of Kintsugi, his brokeness was gently handled and through art of "repair" that is the power of Christ, he has become of greater worth and value and a testament to the reality of the power of Christ.


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