Andy Holcombe's Story

on Friday, 25 May 2012. Posted in Voices in Recovery

Andy Holcombe's Story

One of our readers wrote this for a counseling class, and he welcomed me to share it. I think he has one of the most amazing and inspiring stories. Andy is also a great writer, so you can look forward to some more of his work in the next few days!

This is by no means is all of my story gentle reader, no need to bore you with details of a lifetime of drug dealing and abusing, the resulting stab wounds, gunshot stories and litany of pain that the use of drugs causes in all who venture there to try and fill the God shaped hole we are all born with. This is about my transformation from knowing God to trusting God.

My wife of 24 years asked for a divorce on Christmas day 2002. She started seeing another man in Jan. The reason she asked for the divorce was I had relapsed in Oct. after I had been 7 years clean from cocaine.

By March 24th, 2003 I was tired of the pain and the dope stopped working, so I climbed onto the railings of the fourth floor of a hotel. I had been walking around on them for about an hour when the police came, they crept closer and closer till I grabbed onto a piece of trim and leaned as far back as I could and told them to "get my wife on the phone cause I could not hold on long." My left hand slipped off and the thought came to me that this was the moment of my death. I saw the faces of my children and the beautiful face of my wife and it occurred to me I could not do this thing to them. I cried out (this is actually on the police report) "God help me, I don't want to die, please save me". I somehow found the strength to start pulling myself back up and as I started to turn around to get down my foot slipped.

The next real memory I have is the nurse pulling the catheter out and seeing my legs in cast, it was 5 weeks later. I could not move nor speak (breathing tube); I would spend another 5 weeks in the hospital and 12 weeks in a wheel chair. They had told my family several times during the coma that they should make arrangements that I would not make it through the night, and if I did I would never walk again. I had landed on my feet and crushed everything from my heels to my pelvis and collapsed both lungs. They lost me in the ambulance but were able to bring me back. I am able to walk okay now but I am in constant pain.

I know God did the only thing he could to save me, let me die. If the police had gotten to me they would have put me under observation for 72 hours and let me go (I had been in 10 treatments centers over the years and know how to say what they want to hear). I would have gotten out and finished the job right. I had been baptized when I was very young but God gave me a different type of "rebirth" The womb (coma), new born (waking up), unable to talk, feed myself, diapers. Then I got to be a toddler learning to speak again then walk. He gave me a brand new start and took everything away from me that I had put in front of Him, business (I was a builder/developer) money, cars, dope, even my wonderful wife. I was still deeply in love with my wife so He gave me another gift to feel part of what Christ felt to love unconditionally and to be utterly rejected by the subject of that love.

Now I put one foot in front of the other, drugs are no longer part of the person I am now, that part of me died on the bricks four stories below the railing I fell off, now what is left is the man who God blessed enough to use me for His purpose and glory.

I spent the last 6 years holding on to the illusion my wife and I would someday get back together. The problem with that was I was standing in the way of God's will for me and the peace and contentment that only living in His will can grant. Bouts’ of depression, thinking I could neither love nor be loved by anyone else left me blocked from allowing His grace to totally engulf me in His will for me and direct my life. My depression deepened to a point deeper than what had made me think ending my life was a good idea 6 years ago. The difference between the present and the past was I knew God loved me and my faith was unwavering. In the depths of the darkness I praised God for the pain, knowing He was guiding me, till I got to the point of surrender again and let go of any idea that wife was ever coming back and I gave all of myself including who God could or even would bring into my life. I do not know if a life shared with another is what God has in mind for me, I simply give it all to Him. I hate being alone more than anything else, I simply have to let go and trust.

I was lame long before I fell, I was blind long before I could not see, and deaf long before I could not hear. Good is the enemy of best and trusting God is the only way to have the best life possible. Trusting Him will not always mean life will be wonderful and easy but it will mean you can live in peace despite what life tries to throw at you.

Peace be yours gentle reader, rest in the knowledge that God the Father creator of all things loves you, and has a personal interest in you. He has given us only two commandments to follow; Love God and love others really if you think about it not too hard to follow. So I offer myself to Him to do with as He pleases praising Him always through the lessons of pain and the joys of living in His kingdom. I am glad to walk with you my brothers and sisters in Christ.

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