Solid GroundDaniel’s off-and-on struggles with drugs and alcohol kicked into overdrive when his mother died.
He was living on the streets, sleeping under bridges, getting rained on every other night. “All kinds of hardships,” he says. Daniel had just survived a brutally cold Chicago winter when, one spring day, he took a long hard look at the bottle of vodka in his hand.
And then … “I just threw it away and walked away from it,” Daniel says. He walked into a church and asked for help, and someone referred him to MorningStar Mission.
He’s been here ever since, and he’s remained sober … for the first time in about 20 years.
Daniel was in a car accident at 12 which left him with a brain injury, “and I started making bad impulse decisions.” He started drinking soon after and “just went off the wheels. It was something to do, in a small town without much to do.”
He often skipped school to party with friends. He somehow kept up with his grades, graduated and held a series of good jobs. But because of multiple “unlawful consumptions by a minor,” he was disqualified from getting a driver’s license.
His addictions continued through his adulthood until that spring day, when he tossed that bottle of vodka. Daniel’s recovery had begun …
Putting his past to rest
From the moment he arrived at MorningStar, Daniel has been overwhelmed by the love and acceptance. He thought he’d essentially thrown his life away and didn’t deserve another chance.
“It’s encouraging to know that in spite of my past, there’s still hope,” he says. “I can put my past to rest and lead a life that’s worth living and honoring the Lord.”
He says the spiritual dimension of the help he’s getting at the Mission is “very important. Even through my drugging and drinking, I know God was with me. And now I know even more that my faith is very real. I want to be more pleasing to God. I want to have that foundation that I need to succeed and be more fruitful.”
Daniel spends part of his days at the Mission carrying a notebook, journaling his thoughts and prayers, sometimes through writing songs and poetry. He even wrote about his experience so far at MorningStar:
Life’s a struggle with an infinite wheel
I’m working on a label so I call it a deal
I’m passionate for my heart so I could actually feel
A million chills, stable and it’s all been for real
“If it weren’t for the Mission, I’d be in a whole lot of trouble,” Daniel says. “I’m blessed to have this opportunity to get my feet on solid ground. Praise the Lord for this place.”
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