My Story

My story is a story of redemption and a story of great hope restored. It’s a story that demonstrates the overwhelming grace and love that God has for each and every person on the face of the earth. I feel like my story is a great demonstration of how God can make all things beautiful, no matter how messy we make them. The only reason I am alive today is because of His grace and His ability to perform miracles greater than we could ever even think to ask for. My story is one that shows it’s only when we die that we truly find life.

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Growing up I had an amazing childhood with a great family. I played sports and loved to play out in the woods. I went to church with my family and was involved in all kinds of great positive activities. At 5 I first prayed to Jesus to come and save me and when I was 8 I was baptized. Then the next year something started to change. Because of a series of events I became aware of a much different reality in this world than I was accustomed to and became really confused and angry.

During my teen years I was filled with rage, confusion and depression. I started using alcohol and drugs at 12 and began a lifestyle pursuing the perfect mixture of sex, drugs and rock n roll. My life dramatically changed at 15 when I started using pain killers and taking club drugs. I remember my first time getting high on pills; I thought I had finally found what I had always been missing. I thought I had finally found the peace I had been searching for…

For the next few years I headed down a path of total destruction and eventually started using heroin. When I first tried to stop at age 19 my girlfriend at the time became pregnant with my son Landon. I tried to get myself together as we prepared to have a baby but I could not seem to get it together. When my son was born I was in a detox facility having terrible withdrawals from drugs. I was so happy to have my son come into the world but was also still so consumed by my addiction. I made another decision I would get it all together that day in the hospital.

I ended up in a longer-term faith based program and tried to make better decisions. When I finished the program I went home with an honest desire to start new but still was holding on to so much of my life. I had an ambition to get it all together and make everything work between my sons mother and I. We got married that summer and I idealized pursuing the american dream with my new wife and our baby. The dream was short-lived when we separated the next year. I was crushed when my dream was crushed. I had invested everything into this relationship and this dream and when it fell apart so did the rest of my life.

I started using drugs again and spiraled out of control the rest of that year. I remember my first wake up call was going to jail in Atlanta for possession of cocaine and then immediately after I got out I went to get more drugs. After my heart had stopped due to a drug overdose I remember buying more drugs the day I was released from the hospital. When I had no where else to go and ended up sleeping on the streets of a rough neighborhood in Atlanta I can remember still only thinking about how I could get high. My life was consumed with this addiction and I was on the verge of suicide.

That’s when everything changed. My dad and I got in touch and he told me he had found ou9t about a program called Teen Challenge and that he would help me got there. At first I was reluctant to go but the next morning I woke up and felt something inside me say, “If you don’t get out of this place, you are going to die.” With urgency I called my dad and told him where I was. Then after waiting a few minutes Ichanged my mind and left to go get high again. When my dad finally found me I was at an abandoned house, cold and shaking because of how many drugs I had been doing. I remember thinking I would kill him if he tried to take my drugs. He just sat there and watched me smoking crack and doing other drugs until they were all finally gone. When I finished I put the needles and pipe down and I remember him saying with a heart full of compassion, “come with me son.”

I can relate so much to Psalm 18 when I reflect on how God used my dad to rescue me out of the darkest place I could have ever imagined…

“He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me. (Psalm 18)

 When I look back I can imagine God’s hand reaching down from heaven to pull me out of the dark pit and rescuing me from enemies that really were too strong for me to overcome myself. God saved my life that day because he delighted in me even in my mess. When He saw me at my worst He loved me as much as he ever could or ever will. He loved me completely and with all of His heart. He pursued me not matter how far I tried to run away. He had a plan and a purpose even when no one else could see it.

A month or so later I made the most important decision in my life. I remember a guy named Juan came up to me the night before I was about to leave that program and go back to drugs. When Juan came up to me he started telling me that God had incredible plans for me and that I was going to be a leader one day. As he spoke to me something very strange happened, I started to suddenly weep uncontrollably. I looked at Juan and said, “What is happening to me???” He proceeded to tell me that I was encountering the love of Jesus and I realized he was right. I was being totally undone by the overwhelming love of God in the moment and it changed me forever.

That day I didn’t pray a quick prayer or convert into a religion. I entered into a forever relationship with God through Jesus when His kindness and goodness led me to a place where I was willing to let Him change my heart and mind. That day I decided on a loading dock that I would absolutely give everything in my life to Jesus and hold nothing back. That day forever changed me.

The next year or two I began to grow and deal with the many problems I had struggled with so many years of my life.  He took away the desires that I had for these destructive behaviors as I continued to spend time with Him and read His word. My life started to radically change and something new started to rise up inside of me. God started placing passions inside of me and began showing me that He had great destiny and purpose for my life. It was when He began to reveal to me my identity and destiny that I really began to strip off anything that hindered me from walking with Him. It wasn’t a set of rules that made me want to change but the overwhelming reality of His great love for me that filled my heart with a passion to pursue Him with everything.

13102799_10206718202413690_7758682654356715067_nSince 2009, God has restored my relationship with my son Landon. It has been an amazing miracle to watch him make the impossible possible. When I first got off drugs I wasn’t even allowed to see Landon in supervised visitation. Today I’m enormously blessed to have fully custody of Landon and God has blessed me with a beautiful wife named Ellen. God has taken the most broken of situations and has mended it into something better than I ever could have imagined.

God has also given me opportunities to travel and do things I never thought would be possible. Today I have the incredible privilege of leading a ministry called Take the City in Columbus, GA. I have been able to do mission work in South Africa, Trinidad, Haiti, Canada, Israel and Europe. He has also given me a chance to travel all over the United States and share about all He has done for me. He has given me so many amazing friends and has restored my relationship with my family. He has healed me of all depression, anxiety and ADD. He has completely taken away my desire to take drugs, drink or even smoke cigarettes. He has replaced my suicidal thoughts with a life full of passion, hope and joy. When I chose to surrender completely and give Him everything I got so much more in return. He has given me a life of abundance.

Below are some amazing quotes/ scripture that have transformed my life:

“I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly” – Jesus (John 10:10)

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;”  – Apostle Paul (Gal 2:20)

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” – Jesus (John 15:5)

andrew chalmers

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52 thoughts on “My Story

  1. It is so encouraging to hear your testimony and be reminded that God still changes lives!! I am praying that my nephew can have that testimony one day. He’s lost in a world not of his making. I’m trying to direct him to the Lord Jesus Christ. Would appreciate your prayers for him.

    • Cynthia I will definitely commit to pray for him and will pray for him right now. Father in heaven, I pray that your unending love and passion would pursue Cynthia’s nephew right now. I declare a year of awakening of him and that this year he would come into the knowledge Jesus. Bless her nephew and lavish your grace and love upon him right now as I pray. In Jesus name, amen!

  2. There are many parents with the heartache of their children living this life. I asked the Lord to bless.you and prosper your efforts to share your testimony to bring hope to these parents Many times they suffer in silence. You are the physical evidence of God’s goodness, mercy, and grace…… A true miracle.

  3. Hello Andrew

    I was just reviewing all the new followers of my blog and you are one of them. For some reason WP doesn’t seem to notify me of every new follower like it used to. Strange.

    Anyway, I am glad God pointed you to my blog, so that I might come here and discover your blog and your story of how God redeemed you from the pit. I really rejoice that he did so much earlier in your life than he did in mine, so that you could go and serve Him in other countries and so forth.

    Keep up the good Word and work.

    kdr

  4. Awesome story!! I love it when people really find Jesus for real … if that makes any sense 😀 I just know how awesome He is and how long I missed out (all the while thinking I wasn’t missing out). Anyways, very cool! God bless! Thanks for sharing and all God’s best

  5. I love the saying, “only God can turn a mess into a message.” No one understands that more than someone who has struggled with addiction. Congratulations on your sobriety!!!

    I’ve been sober for over 4 years! Even now with my life falling apart. Each day comes with a choice to try to escape the sadness or continue living in God’s light. At least for today, here is beautiful.

  6. I remember that one pic you look a lot Beter . now. and doing a lot Beter from the looks of it . if anyone ever questions how far gone you were I can testify that it’s gods grace your still here keep up the good work !

    • Ann I will pray for Will this morning!

      God I pray that Will would receive a powerful revelation of your love this morning. I ask you for supernatural breakthrough that would enable him to walk into the amazing destiny that you have for him. Pour out your Holy Spirit in power in His life and use his life to be an amazing testimony of your grace and power that is still available today. Amen!

  7. I woke up this morning thinking about blocking “no heroine in heaven” from my Facebook. I was getting depressed just from reading all the sad stories and started getting hopeless until I read your story. I know many parents pray for their children to be free like you were and when we don’t see answers, for a minute or two we might think will never happen. Well today I got a glimpse of what God can do when someone surrenders to Him so that gives me hope. What else could I have? Where else can I go; only God has the solution for this captivity that has marked many kids in this generation. God I pray for every parent struggling to believe healing is possible! Abbreviate the waiting time Father and let us rejoice in You while we wait……

  8. What an amazing story, my daughter was on drugs and has been clean for alittle over 2 yrs she has a little girl Rylan and her daddy just can’t get clean heroine is his drug of choice, I’m afraid he’s going to die, his name is Matt Baer, please pray for him

    • Hey Pam!

      I will pray for Matt right now. God I release freedom from the bondage of addiction over matt right now and ask you Lord to bring him into the amazing destiny that you have for him. Break every chain right now. I bind up anything that would hinder your working in his life and ask that Holy Spirit would go right now and grant matt a revelation of God’s amazing love. I pray that out of a radical encounter with God’s love that Matt would come to repentance and into salvation and freedom. Amen!

  9. Andrew, so happy to read your story. My heart is broken over my granddaughter, Brandi, who is a heroin addict…We pray that your story will be her story. We are so afraid that we are going to lose her forever!

    • Hey, I am praying right now for your granddaughter. God can do so much more than we can imagine and is not limited by how good or bad a situation may seem.

      In Jesus name I release freedom over Brandi right now. I declare freedom from the bondage of addiction and declare supernatural breakthrough in her life today. I pray that God would protect her life and bring her into freedom from anything that is trying to destroy her. I pray that peace and joy would right now replace all depression and anxiety not only in Brandi’s life but also in the entire family. God I pray that you make Brandi’s life a miracle, sign and wonder for all the world to see. Amen!

  10. I hope God continues to Bless you, and that you are able to continue your work day in and day out for the rest of time…I am 5 1/2 yrs clean from cocaine and crystal meth and am so happy that I found sobriety. Good luck and God Bless..

  11. What a Beautiful Journey For The Better!! God Is Wonderful! He has Many Great things to Offer, If We Only Let Him In. Thank You For Sharing Your Story, You Have A Wonderful Dad, Who Not Only Believed In You, A Higher Being Our Father In Heaven Who Is At Our Sides Daily, Hoping We All Make The right Choices And if Not, Will Be There With His Love In Good And Bad! Good Luck Great Job!!

  12. I love your story. Your story is my story. I was a meth addicted, food addicted, alcohol addicted, opiate addicted gal who gave her life to Christ in 89. After multiple relapses I went thru a program called settingcaptivesfree.com in late 2010. That coupled with reading thru the Bible in a year (starting Dec. 2010) and continuing as I am on my 4th time thru, I have been clean since then!! It is only by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ by grace alone thru faith alone that I was rescued and redeemed. I am forever grateful. I lead a small womens group at my church today called bibleforfood. My recovery was JESUS Christ and his Word and developing a relationship where I speak w/ him daily….all day. 🙂 Blessings Brother, I look forward to meeting you in heaven. Sheila F. (PS I know now that what was missing all those years was my regular bible reading and prayer daily)

  13. Andrew, I don’t know where to begin…I’m at work right now, having JUST read your story and trying to keep the tears from flowing. We buried our only daughter, (25 years old), this past July 5th after being clean for eight months in a sober living facility. Everyone assumed it was a drug overdose until the autopsy came back “undetermined”. Her heart just stopped. But she was taking Klonopin, Adderall, and alcohol at the same time. The tox report found TRACE amounts of heroin. She died at a friend’s apartment who was known for distributing heroin. This friend died from an overdose two weeks ago.

    My concern now, in the midst of grieving for my precious daughter is our youngest son Todd. He has the same Christian background as you. Accepted Jesus into his heart at 6 yrs old. We put him in a “Christian school” where he was heavily pressured to speak in tongues. We were clueless. He told me recently this is why he has run from God, and goes to church only when “guilted” into it. He’s had two DUI’s, has experimented with acid, and I suspect a variety of other drugs. Alcohol does seem to be his drug of choice, but I know I am a naïve mom. We don’t know what to do! Too scared to kick him out of the house, and too scared to allow him to continue on with his lifestyle. He won’t listen to me “preach” as he calls it. He won’t read anything I give him or listen to anything online I find might be encouraging. He IS grieving also so I don’t know how hard to come down on him. Todd is respectful to us and other adults, quite charming and good looking. People are stunned when I share this with them to pray. I just LONG for him to be changed by God and healed of his past resentments, to be filled with the truth from God’s word, and freed from any and all addictions.

    God Bless you and your ministry.

    • Wow! My mom read the book of Jonah during this time and it really ministered to her. I would recommend reading it and asking the Lord what he wants you to do.

      I pray right now for supernatural breakthrough in his life. God I release a revelation of Jesus and ask that he would come into the amazing destiny that you have for him. amen!

  14. What an amazing turnaround. Thank you for sharing your story, it truly gives me some hope. My whole family all suffers from some kind of addiction, especially my brothers. One is incarcerated after cocaine led him to rob someone at gunpoint. I would truly covet your prayers.

  15. Andrew, i met you several years ago when you and my daughter dated for a while. i live in south carolina but had sent her to treatment in GA. I just want you to know what an amazing, miraculous story you have; I am so very proud and inspired by you and how very far you have come. I wish I had known you were speaking in Columbia a while back, because I certainly would have gone to hear you. . . oh well. The power, mercy and grace of Jesus Christ is the ONLY thing that has sustained my family and me through our struggles the past 5 or so years. My daughter is now married, w/ 2 beautiful children and has nearly 4 yrs. of sobriety; i have a son who just turned 20 & also had to go into treatment in GA after nearly dying of a drug overdose in 11/2011; he now has 2-1/2 yrs of sobriety. I know that Satan tried to destroy my family & my children, but I knew that God had already won the victory, so i held on for dear life during a horrible ride. We have all made it through that storm. Though I know there are no assurances where drug addiction is concerned (my children had one of their dearest friends to die of an overdose just last week), I do have hope now where for so long i had none. I hope you will pray for our family, just as I will be praying for you and yours. May God continue to bless you and the wonderful work you are doing, Andrew–you are an amazing young man.

  16. You have me in tears. May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you in His everlasting arms of peace while you yet walk this earth. You have much to do here, that is abundantly clear. He will give you grace and more grace to do His work! You are BLESSED, and the beautiful thing is now you know it.

  17. Thank you for sharing your story! You always inspire me to be on fire for God! I have watched and listened to you at the Emerging leaders sumitts and I love your enthusiasm for the Lord….Thank you Andrew for the outreach we did this year it was awesome!

  18. Amazing testimony Andrew! I never knew your whole story…wow! You are an inspiration! I wish somehow I could share your story with a “certain person! “

  19. Andrew, thanks for your amazing story of redemption. My son, Luke is in his 13th day at Sonrise Ranch in Oklahoma. Please agree with us for total Redemption for Luke.

  20. Your story is a beautiful illustration of one of the main reasons I serve Him and His praise will forever be on my lips. Thank you for sharing and may God continue to use you for the Kingdom and may you realize your omplete destiny in Him! Amen.

  21. Thank you for your testimony. Please tell me…..how do you die and give your life to Him? I can’t seem to shake old ways. How can I be successful?

    • Jennifer – When I prayed I told Jesus that I would give him my whole life and follow Him. I asked Him to forgive me of all of my sins and to come and fill me with His Spirit.
      Matthew 6:33 – This is the only way to be successful. By seeking Him first then all these other things will begin to work out.

  22. Thanks for sharing your testimony, it really hit home for me and has gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going. You know it’s so much easier sometimes just to give up than to keep going. I know and can’t wait for the day to tell my story without crying. I wake up every morning and pray. I tell myself I am worth it and I believe him all things are possible. Thanks again.

  23. Andrew,
    I remember your Mom visiting Susanne in the hospital in 2009 when she had no idea where you were. I remember telling her I just knew one day God had great things in store for you. So glad I have been blessed to watch the metamorphosis of Andrew Chalmers. Blessings and Godspeed to you and your family.
    Love,
    Pam Noble

  24. What a beautiful testimony. Our stories are similar and it still amazes me how God can take the broken and transform it into a person of light and love. I left home at 14 and traveled a similar road. We are both lucky to be alive and blessed with loving families and a father who is so so good. May God Bless you always.

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