The End of My Lonely Battle -- Chase Ward’s story
Chase Ward’s Story
I was charged with DUI in January 2012. I was arrested, taken to jail, and placed in a cell. For 18 hours I waited, feeling abandoned and alone. That is, I thought I was alone.
I started drinking as a teenager, but years later when my father died and my marriage was falling apart, it became my refuge. I found that the more I drank, the better I felt, because it deadened the pain in my life. At age 33, I was drinking heavily four days a week, and headed for disaster.
I believed I could defeat my drinking problem alone, and it wasn't working.
Alcohol Was My Refuge
I gave my life to Jesus on August 24, 2011, but my drinking habits didn't change overnight. I knew I was disobeying God, but as hard as I tried, I couldn't stop doing it.
So, I reached out for help. I went to the care room at NewSpring in December of that year and asked someone to pray for me. I thought asking for prayer would end my problems, and I would never struggle with alcohol again. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
I was pulled over in Belton on the way home from a friend's birthday party. I was charged with DUI, taken to Anderson, and waited to go to the detention center. That was rock bottom for me.
I cried out to God, telling Him I'd rather die than continue living like this. I told Him I didn't want to live this way anymore. When I was released from jail that day, I believed God was giving me a chance to start over, and I was ready to do it.
Hitting Rock Bottom
I believed I could defeat my drinking problem alone, and it wasn't working. Even though I had a relationship with Jesus, I realized I needed help from other people if I was going to overcome my addiction.
One night, I shared with my NewSpring group about my problem with alcohol, and my group leader asked if I wanted to quit drinking.
When I told him I did, all the guys in my group immediately gathered around me and prayed that God would help me overcome my problem. God answered that prayer, on March 8, 2012, and I haven't had a drink since then.
Jesus Became My Refuge
Around Christmas, I went to court and the judge lowered my DUI charge.
The max penalty is 30 days in jail, but instead, the judge decided I would lose my driver's license for a year, go to a 12-week class about the harm caused by DUI, and attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
God was teaching me that my decisions have consequences, and that I needed to change.
But, He was also teaching me that He hadn't given up on me. He proved to me that He is the God of second (and more) chances. He allowed me to hit rock bottom so I could start over.
No Longer Alone
I have been a loner most of my life, but God is really changing that. Alcohol used to be the only way for me to come out of my shell, but now I am free to follow the Holy Spirit and His leading in my life.
I not only belong to a NewSpring group, but my experience prompted me to take a step of faith to lead a group of my own, so that I could offer help to others who struggle with life's challenges.