Restored Hope: Charlie’s Story

I grew up in a lot of places I grew up
in foster care so I lived in a lot of houses went to a lot of schools my mom
she’s uh she was she was a drug addict she was a dancer she she had a lot of
different boyfriends and they were they weren’t the best people to her I saw a
lot of violent things happening went through some violent stuff myself a lot
of fights and things like that and we were actually removed from the home when
I was six I remember the day still of this day I remember I remember the cops
coming to get me my mom screaming and fighting with the cops and them dragging
me and my sister into the back of the cop car and we went away and and then I
was eight years old and one day with I we visited with my mom and she told me
she’d never see me again this was the last time I’d see her until I turned 18
and that sort of changed my life it changed my heart that day was the day
that everything changed so back in foster care I got adopted at
nine and my last name changed to — and uh I lasted for six years or so
and they were they were sheltered years and them not a lot happened my adoptive
dad was rather kind of abusive and that’s how that ended so we went back in
for foster care and I haven’t seen them since and so I started doing drugs
smoking weed and drinking it was easy to forget about everything I put my heart
aside you know and then I couldn’t get out of it and it didn’t want to either I
just had no desire to it and I turned 18 found my kids his mom ran away with her
she was in foster care too so we went to Colorado smoking weed and drink and
selling magazines out of motel rooms and we thought we were just so cool we
didn’t need nobody you know you know so we got pregnant with my son and that
swinging her of course her going up in the situation she grew up and I she had
her heart issues too they were similar to mine but but always completely
different no two stories were like so no two outcomes can be the same so she has
her own problems and we were just clashed
we never got physically violent but we just tore each other down we were
destructive for each other it really ripped each other’s hearts out a lot
I was in and out of prison for years and my son just kept growing up and growing
up and then eventually she lost him and he went to the system and so I met my
mom I reunite with my mom if I was looking for that whole time my whole
life I found her it wasn’t good some system things happens some
misunderstandings maybe maybe some coincidences
I thought she’d stolen from me she thought I’d stolen from her and it’s
just toxic and so it’s been kind of rough ever since but like I just knew in
my heart like something could be different and I could it doesn’t have to
be this way I don’t have to be lonely I don’t have to be lost in the world I can
find purpose and relationships and reason to be so there was a lot of
hopelessness between my kids being gone and not knowing have a knowing idea any
idea of what I hope I could have I just I just had this notion that there was
hope some reason somehow I wasn’t giving up so that’s kind of a life was like
before At Victory I walked through the door and and was exposed to a God that I
didn’t know I was looking for I didn’t understand the Gospel and being at
Victory with the leaders that were put in my life from the teachers they’re
just so well ordained for what they do you know they taught me about grace and
they taught me about hope they taught me acceptance today they’re talking you
know everything I was never taught before they taught me of a God that I
just didn’t know I was looking for the God I was so desperate before and all
the things that I’ve ever wanted in my life I had already had you know I
already had I had a family I have I’ve been accepted I’ve been loved this whole
time valued cherished and not just loved and valued and cherished but like
especially so you know favored so the classes and everything at Victory
they taught me a lot but but but what struck home with him hard what changed
me was just is just learning about God that’s
what it all was that’s what that’s what I didn’t know I was missing you know and
you don’t know what you don’t know so it’s hard to find it you know and so my
kids are back in my life what I talked to my kids as mom she them back you
know I’ve found a sense of purpose like my heart is drawn to this to this ministry
and drawn to what’s going on here and I found an identity in what I’m doing and
the people I’m helping and people I get to encourage and talk to and counsel and
they and I get to spend my whole day side by side with chaplains talking to
them and gaining wisdom and leadership skills in I just wanted a house in a car
in a job that’s all I thought I wanted sobriety and those things came but
they’re so small compared to what I got you know so all I’ve got is this really
fuzzy picture of my future I don’t have I don’t have a real detailed painting
of it yet I just know that I need to go into recovery ministry I need to do
something with what I was given you know and I need to bring people out of the
hopelessness that I was lost in because I know how to get out of that I am
living a victorious life it’s just the beginning you know it’s just the
beginning I’m learning how much it’s still ahead
if the victory doesn’t stop it’s not like it happens and you get a medal and
it’s over it’s ongoing and it’s amazing

Glenn Chapman

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