Ex-correction officer gets taste of the inside

Drugs took James Gebele down a very dark path - but he went on to find the light.

Photo: Stock

I grew up in a middle class home, with two loving parents and a younger sister. My sister and I were both adopted, yet we were loved like we were their own. My parents were a no-nonsense, hardworking people. Dad worked in a factory and Mom worked for the government.

We had everything we needed. Neither of my parents smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol. My sister and I were never beaten or abused in any way. Now, looking back, I can say they were great parents.

Growing up, however, I didn't do anything much different from other teens. In high school, I smoked pot and drank and partied on the weekends. That's really all I did until I got married and had kids of my own. I now had responsibilities.

Occasionally I would drink or smoke pot, but I did all the right things for my family. I went to work, paid the bills, coached the boys' baseball and football teams, and attended church every Sunday.

When the boys got into junior high school, things started to get strained between me and my wife. She had an affair, and it drove me crazy. I began to smoke more pot and drink more beer. Eventually we split up.

I had quit going to church and missed my family. The occasional joint and beer became every day, but soon that wasn't enough. I started taking pain pills from a girl I was dating, which then led to more powerful pills and eventually heroin.

I had never been placed in handcuffs before until I was 34 years old. Since then, I have been arrested too many times to count and visited four different county jails.

The worst thing about all of this is that I was a corrections officer for almost 14 years! I should have known better.

Well, now I am in prison getting help, and I know for a fact that God has put me here. About a week before I was locked up this time, I got down on my knees and asked God to please change my life and get me off drugs.

He put me here to learn a lesson that for some reason I was too hard-headed to learn over the past ten years. I have lost everything I love. I am on my own. However, God has stood by me.

I always thought I was done with God and wondered, "How could He let me be on top and now be at rock-bottom?" I now realize that God gives us free will to choose and I chose the wrong path because I was not walking with God.

I know in my heart that God is in control and will show me in time what He has in store for me.

I thank God for giving me this second chance to live for Him and for the many blessings He has given me over the years. It is all about God!

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