Alex Valencia had done everything he could, from church work to volunteering at charities, but he could not escape the overriding compulsion to “get home and get high”.
Alex had been battling his addiction to drugs for most of his life, he shares in an interview on Vimeo.
At the age of nine, he started 'using' after his parents divorced. "I was definitely looking for some way to get the attention I got as a young child," Alex admits. "In the neighborhood I was living in at the time, drugs were what dominated. So, I got addicted to drugs.
"In 2005," he recalls, "I met a Christian who explained to me that the reason I am on Earth is because the Lord wants to be in my life. So, in October 2005, I gave my life to Christ."
He was very excited about his new-found faith, eagerly told his family about Jesus and found a local church they could attend regularly.
But still Alex could not shake his drug habit.
"I was still having a daily struggle with drugs and still losing that battle on a daily basis," he confesses. "I knew I was living in sin, so I began to look for ways to even that out."
Alex picked up volunteering and started to reach out to the homeless with his church's outreach ministry.
"In my way of thinking," he recalls, "this would cancel out the things I did wrong."
After years of living a life of putting on his church face, going to church every Sunday, and volunteering, Alex found new hope.
"In the beginning of 2014," he explains, "our church was doing a series titled, Search me O God. My pastor used the verse Romans 12:1, 'Therefore brethren, in view of God's mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your true act of worship.'
"Right away I knew that it didn't matter how many times I served, the sacrifice that the Lord wanted was me and 100% surrender," Alex realized.
The following Sunday, Alex had the courage to fill in a card asking for prayer.
"It was the tool that God used to begin the change in my life," he says.
Alex wrote down on the card – 'please pray for my addiction to drugs' and checked the box, indicating that he'd like to be contacted.
"And from there, the Lord began His miracle," Alex grins.
The next day, someone contacted him and prayed with him. By the end of the week, he had joined a First Steps for Life Study with a group called Celebrate Recovery Ministry, and was able to open up honestly about his struggles and admit his inability to overcome drugs on his own.
"The Celebrate Recovery Ministry definitely strengthened and guided me towards a strong relationship with the Lord," Alex shares.
"Life just became life!" he exclaims enthusiastically, "what I was intended to be on this earth for – which is to be in a loving relationship with the Lord – began to happen.
"The joy, the peace, the love that I began feeling and wanting to express to others just overtook my life and my family's life."
Alex now works for Celebrate Recovery.
"The Lord has changed my heart and allowed me to lead my home to be a home that follows Him."
"It's a daily struggle," he admits, "But now this daily struggle is followed by daily victory."•