Dear World and Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus:
My name is Dustan. I grew up in a small city called Lynchburg, in Virginia. I was brought up by alcohol and drug using, abusive parents, with 3 younger brothers. My earlier years consisted of mental abuse from my mother, which I find now to have been worse than having to go to school with a black eye, because of my dad’s drunkin’ rage at my mother being out partying and sleeping around with other man. My brothers weren’t that abused, thank God social services step in. I refused to put my father in jail. I remember being 9 yrs. old and saying I wouldn’t testify. So, all of it kept happening. We always were fed, and I could see them both trying to love us. there was just to much in the way of that love. We always lived in or around low income housing, so life was hard for all the kids in the neighborhoods. But I had a dream. A mission. A purpose. I did not belong there. So I ran away. For week at a time. 12 yrs.old staying on the streets, under bridges, and whoever would let me stay at there house. And lots did. It’s amazing how many “friends” will help you when you help them get drugs. I had the perfect training ground for those kinds of things, and lived for getting high. But those nights walking in the dark alone, I would run in terror from street light to street light to get to where I was going. As, long as I didn’t have to go back to them. That place. But I broke to law and when from group home, to foster home, to detention home. After going to a church camp one year, I meet a guy that wanted to take my picture. He brought the pictures to my mom and dad and said that there was a T.V. show for kid that he knew would be interested in me. He would get me out of this house for sure, I thought. And he did. Took me on trips and all. I guess my mom and dad figured that he’s from the church ( he would take me there also) so whatever. But he was molesting me and other boys I become first with at his house. He even had the group home I was at fooled. Letting me go with him. But he got caught with two boys, and they questioned me to the point that I wanted to kill myself or someone else, because I wasn’t admitting what I let him do to me. They put me on the phone with him from jail at the church one Sunday and I swore to him I wouldn’t say anything. Then they let him out on bond,(and by this time I was on 5 different kinds of medication in a treatment center for kids), and my counselor calls me in to tell me that he has killed his self. So the questioning began again. So, I ran. Ending up in a state facility for mental teens 100 miles away. I got better there, or at least i thought I did. And they let me go home. The situation was the same at home and I still had my secrets eating away at me. I continued on the cycle of being locked up and in foster care. At 18, all I wanted to do was drug. My mom run off with a “friend” of my uncle, while my dad tried hard to stop drinking and finish raising my brother. I was going to jail now. prision even.
I accepted Christ at 7 yrs. old and through out my whole life I know He was there, and would curse Him for all the times in my cell all alone. Like,”Why God”. But, He would send His people to me while I was there. My first 12 month sentence was in a place that had a christian program and I got the word deep down in me. I was surrender to Him and seen life more clearly than I ever had.
I got married to someone I hardly knew, and turn my back on my new life for the old one. I went back to the drugs and alcohol and ended up doing 4 more years in prision just for violating probation because of the time that was suspended for charges I had been found guilty for. So, I got out, got a divorce, and moved to the beach to sell drugs. After all this you would think…, but no. I was not giving in. I would go out every night and sell cocaine and get drunk. But, I always knew that I needed to change. After being beaten and robbed at 4 in the morning outside of an after hours bar, my father came to the beach to see me for my birthday,on July 4th. I began to tell him how broken my life was and I kept telling him that the only thing that would save me from this is God. So, I forgave those that robbed me, and went to the nearest church and rededicated my life to Christ, and stopped doing and selling drugs. I still had a struggled with alcohol and drugs, and found myself in a Georgia hospital after over dosing on pills and not breathing. I returned to drinking
until I was so tired of living double minded and said,” Lord, I want you more than I want this. 10,000
prayer led to this one from the heart.
Everyday I live in victory. Free from the bondage of sin and death. I have a purpose to carry this hope, this love, this forgiveness, that iI have experienced to the hurting people in this world. I have forgiven others and myself. My relationship with my mother and father has been restored and I am witnessing the things of my Lord Jesus to them and others. I need Him everyday.
Please don’t think that things are perfect, but don’t cheat yourself out of the life Jesus has waiting for you. There is nothing you can do to get to heaven. You can only believe in what He did for you. Today is the day of salvation. Seek Him and you will find Him, when you seek Him with all your heart.