Friday, February 1, 2008

Delivered from drug addiction by the power of God (Julian Dobbs' Testimony)

At the age of 14 my parents moved to the gulf, this was the start of my life on drugs. I had sniffed the odd 'do not inhale' before then but it was there that I started to take drugs, it began with smoking a bit of pot. At about 15 my parents split up, it devastated me. Because of a untidy divorce and my age I was seperated from my mum, sister and brother and I found myself living with my dad, a man I did not know really well as he had traveled throughout my life in his job. Due to the nature of my dads job I found myself being left on my own a lot and missing my brother, sister and mother. My dad in all fairness tried, but he was not a 'house dad' and must have found it difficult.

Anyway it was not long before I sought comfort in drink and progressed on to other drugs. Over the years I progressed to speed, acid and E`s, it seemed harmless fun, but the truth is I was very lonely and was hiding behind them. By the time I was 17 my dad had enough. My sadness and anger mixed with drugs and booze had made me become very aggressive. I had also built up disregard for him and by this time his new wife, so at almost 18 I was shipped back to the UK.

On arriving back I went to live in my mothers house in Cambridge. She was also now remarried and was also living in the gulf with her new husband. I found myself alone again, my brother and sister were living in Wales and I had no friends in Cambridge. Up the pub was the first move and one of the first people I got friendly with was a Hells Angel Nomad. This guy was wild, but we got on, probably through our common interest in bikes and drugs. It was not long before he introduced me to some people who were taking smack. He was not suppose to take it, as for some reason it is against Hells Angels rules. But anyway it was not long before I had a go. That is where the real problems began. We did a lot of crazy things, got into a lot of trouble all for the sake of our by now our habits. The problem is you see, it is a nice drug, a nice high at first, but when you use it a lot you never reach that first high but you still try. It was not long before it took control of me. The other problem was financing it, as you may be able to imagine it is not cheep and the only thing you can do is to turn to crime to feed it.

I wonder now what happened, how and why did I allow myself to go. Despite the fact that my family was hard working and that I was brought up well, to respect people and to be honest drugs had a hold of me. I Now found myself to be a thorn in the side of society, taking all I could get but not giving anything back. Only thinking of myself with a blatant disregard for people and the law.

I got into some deep trouble, well I was lucky my angel friend was not. I lent him a gun to go to a party, the only problem was it was not my gun it was my step fathers and when he returned from Saudi he went to the police. I deceided a quick move was in order and split to Wales. It was not long after getting home that I found myself back in the same old thing. With new friends I was doing the same thing that I had tried to break away from. By this time I had stopped taking so much smack but took a lot of speed. This I believe was at the time worse for me. I became very confused and paranoid, and had really lost focus on what was reality. Mixing with other users, dealers, prostitutes and criminals, it was a crazy time. One day I got caught for a particular crime and I lost it, I could not believe what I had become. My solicitor told the courts that it was a cry for help. I think he was right, I could not go on like I was, If I did I would end up dead like some of my friends over the years or have a breakdown. The courts agreed and fortunately for me showed leniency. Time to make another break. My mum having returned from the Gulf by now came to my rescue and offered me to move away and live with them back in Cambridge.

Sometimes there comes a time in life when you think... Who am I.... What have I done with my life... How have I become like this? This was my time.

Was it the separation and divorce of my parents ? YES. Was it the lack of supervision as a teenager ? YES. Was it the feeling of lonliness ? YES. Was it the moving around and the loss of friends etc ? YES. Was it the drugs? YES. But most of all it was the drugs mixed with all these things.

We all may try to reason out our lives, many of us blame others for our own failings and shortcomings., but we have to except who we are and what we have done and what we have become at some time in our lives instead of partitioning blame on others. It seemed that this was my time and it all came home to me with a tremendous bang. I was depressed big style. Moving on, I was now living with my mum (sad really I am now 20) and stepfather. He asked me if I would like to meet someone who used to have a drug problem, "good idea I thought" so he introduced me to a lady. He explained to me that she been through a lot as well, and that I would be able to talk to her about my feelings and problems. (Little did I know that it was the local Vicars wife). Over the course of a few weeks she told me about her life and things that had happened to her. I was shocked that this woman had done and been through so much. In situations like mine at the time you generally feel that you have done it all, I thought I had wrote the book as to say. She literally had !

Over the period of a few weeks we became friends and she introduced me to some of the young people from her church. Despite the fact that I was still doing drugs I was invited to a meeting, a good opportunity I thought to meet this girl I fancied from the youth group. This meeting was nothing like I thought church was like. (pentecostal) I sat through the meeting, well, I was in and out for a smoke and not really paying attention through it. (I remember thinking look at these nutters what do they know). Anyway at the end there was a call to the front for prayer. I found myself up there ! "Why I asked myself, what are you doing" I have no idea why I went up, I cant really explain, it was not really a voluntary action, what I mean is that I was not really conscious of going forward, I just found myself there as to say. I was last but one in this long line of people. As the minister prayed for people, many of them fell over, they were out cold. It came to my turn, I did not know what was happening, then he asked if he could pray for me, "ok" I said, what shall I pray for he asked. I had no idea and just told him that I did not know ... anything. He prayed and I hit the deck. I will not say here what I thought, but to say I was shocked might sum it up.. What had happened ? I was confused. It was really to much to take in, so the first thing I did was to get up, go out and have a fag. There I had a little chat with the group I went with, they explained to me that God had probably healed me. This was a bit much to take in, God to me was some guy in a book, miracles, well I had never thought about them. All I knew is that I felt really good, would God, if there was a God, I thought to myself heal a person like me. It was just to much to take in.

When I got home I told my mum and step father what had happened. It was really funny, it was like they knew, they felt my excitement and joy and began to cry with happiness. The next day when I awoke I realized that I had been healed from my addictions, they had said I might be the night before, but I did not really relate being healed with drugs, all I knew is that I did not want a fix. I know what you might think, but it was not like that. I was not looking for "spiritual enlightenment" or God, but it was then that I knew that miracles do happen, believe me. I knew then that there was a God . I talked to Liesl the Vicars wife about what had happened, she explained, told me more about Jesus, so I decided to make a commitment. It was wonderful, I was, and felt totally different, clean, it is hard to describe, but I knew for sure in my heart that Jesus had died for my sins and that I was forgiven, that he had cleansed me, renewed my mind. Everything was so clear.

I had never known of such things. To me church was dreary and full of boring old folk. What a surprise to find young, happy and loud people as well as older people. I began to meet other people from backgrounds like mine. I met some people who were saved in prison who had committed horrible crimes. I realized that God loved everyone and that He has the power to transform lives. One thing I can tell you if God can change me he can change you. It doesn't matter who you are or what you have done, sin is sin.

Ask yourself this: Are you going to heaven ? If you think you are why do you think that ? Are you confident ? If you don't believe in heaven or God think of this: Is it worth the gamble of going to hell if it is all true, to spend a lifetime in eternal torment ?

Or is it worth seeking God, to find out more about him and making an informed decision.

Well, I am now 33, married with 2 Children. My wife is called Susan and she is also 33. Born in Libya, she was brought up as a Muslim, when she was converted she said "I never realized that you could have a relationship with God until now" words that have always stuck with me.

I have now just finished Bible college Bryntirion and am looking to take up a years teacher training. I am also the Bridgend Area rep for Tearfund. This involves giving talks on the poor of the world to local churches, telling them how there local churches can support the work of Tearfund, for this I use video and overheads. If your church would like to support Christians throughout the world helping the worlds poor, contact me or the link above. I am also available for talks, ministry and or testimony. If you would like me to visit your church or youth group just drop me a line.

Maybe you would just like to know more about me or my life or would just like someone to talk to.

I would like to add that I am in contact with all my family and have solved any problems I may have had with my father and stepmother. They now live in Cyprus and work for MECO (Middle East Christian Outreach) producing Bibles in Arabic to send to Muslim countrys.

Do you want to know how you be forgiven of your sins, how you can know the living God?

Julian Dobbs (click to e-mail)

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