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Justin Yearns To Provide A Stable, Loving Home For His Daughter

Aug 22, 2018

Justin’s struggle with drugs started early, getting hooked on pain pills when he was just 16. At a party, a friend offered him a pill. “He just said, ‘It will make you feel good.’ That’s all it took.”

Justin finished high school and met a girl who he married at 21. “She got hooked on pills too, and we started doing it together. We were just poison.” Over the next few years, they would often try to get clean, especially after their daughter was born. “I got pretty good at still working and making sure the bills were paid. But times when I thought we were both clean, I’d find out she was using behind my back, stealing from us, not paying the rent, cheating on me.”

Another big blow came with the loss of Justin’s cousin. “She was a sister to me,” he said, in tears. “We were the same age, we looked alike. She got hooked on heroin. She asked if she could move in with us. She said, ‘I know your daughter is young—I won’t bring anything into your house. I just want to get clean. Will you help me get clean?’ I said yes, but my wife said no. Four days later, I got the call that she passed away. I kind of blamed my wife, but I wanted it to work for my daughter.”

Justin’s wife started disappearing for months at a time. “I gave her ultimatums—it was drugs, or me and our daughter. She’d try and then after a couple months, I’d wake up and she would be gone.” During this time, Justin started going to church. “There were people who rode motorcycles and had tattoos. I felt like I was accepted. I ended up getting baptized and I started listening to the Lord.”

The last time is wife left, Justin snapped. He started hanging with the wrong crowd. His daughter was with his parents. “I really pushed God aside,” he said. “I put myself into situations where I didn’t care if I lived or died or went to prison. I should’ve lost my life, but God was with me the whole way through it.”

One night, Justin was beaten badly and had his throat partially slit. In the hospital, he was visited by a pastor, who told him about the mission. Nine months later, Justin is nearing graduation. “I love it. I have brothers who are in the same situation as me. We have devotions every morning. By the grace of God, everything is going to work out, as long as I stick to my walk and have faith in God.”

In May, Justin’s wife and daughter entered the Lighthouse for Women & Children program in Oxnard. “My daughter is really happy there,” Justin said. “She’s 6 now, so she’s like a big sister to some of the younger ones. … I want to be a man of God for my wife. I have faith that this can restore us.”

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