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Trying to live the high life was costing me

Mark Dukes thought life was about success, but just before he was about to lose it all, he discovered something more to live for


In 2012, my life was on a downward spiral. My marriage was falling apart, and my finances were a disaster.

I was trying to live the high life. I thought you had to present this facade, this show, that you were successful.

I always had to have a nice vehicle, expensive clothes, a Clemson University IPTAY membership with the nice seats and the nice parking place for football games. Meanwhile, my business selling outdoor power equipment was struggling to survive.

The way I was doing things wasn't working.

A New Direction 

I had been married for 17 years, and I knew the writing was on the wall. We had a different view of life. She always liked to go out with her friends, and she would spend the weekends away, riding horses. I knew something wasn’t right.

For 10 years, I hadn’t gone to church, but I knew I needed a change. The way I was doing things wasn't working.

My sister, who attends NewSpring in Anderson, invited me to NewSpring Columbia. When I went the first week, I had never heard anybody present the Gospel like that. It got my mind thinking.

The next week, at the end of the service, we were invited to nail our name to a wooden cross at the front of the stage to show we had asked Jesus into our lives. I knew it was something I had to do, and when I did, it was like a burden was lifted.

I was alone and hurt and didn’t know what was going to happen next

Spared From Pain

My wife was away that weekend. Before I got a chance to tell her about it, that Monday, when I got home, she had everything packed up. She left, and she never came back.

I was alone and hurt and didn’t know what was going to happen next, but God spared me the pain of what would have been a difficult transition in my life. 

There was an overwhelming peace that I had, and I didn’t have any bitterness toward my ex-wife at all. God had better plans for me, and I see that now.

I didn’t realize I was lost until I started a relationship with Jesus

The Greatest Peace

Divorce and bankruptcy were very low points in my life in 2012. I don’t know how I would have made it through if it had it not been for Jesus and a group of men, many of which I’m still connected with. 

They were there to support me, and they understood the hurt that I was feeling, and I felt like they genuinely cared about me.

I didn’t realize I was lost until I started a relationship with Jesus. It’s changed every outlook and every perspective I have. I’ve been humbled. Having a relationship with Jesus is the most important thing to me now.

I’ve been in the greatest peace the last four years than I have the whole of my life. I look back at that day I was saved, and I wish I had given my life to Christ earlier.

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