Home for the Holidays by Tim
No one should ever feel lonely at Christmas. But I did. And not just at Christmas. I've been lonely all my life.
Growing up in a large family, my brothers and I weren't close, my father was distant, and my mother was too busy. I finally found love and the girl I wanted to marry in high school. One day, as we were walking to Washington Park, someone drove by and shot us. I lived. My girlfriend didn't.
I never got emotionally close to anyone again. I was so angry and hurt, I moved to Las Vegas and threw myself into every addiction imaginable: alcohol, weed, cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, and gambling. I once won $163,000 playing poker — and I blew it all in three days on drugs, partying and women. But probably my worst addiction was sex. I was so lonely. And the only way I ever felt connected to someone was through sex.
My life spiraled out of control. I lost jobs, savings, my health — and I ended up homeless.
In January 2014, I returned to Milwaukee. I didn't have any money or any place to stay, so I came to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. Two months later, a lightbulb went off and I realized God was calling me to Him. I found the Lord. He took away every addiction. Even better, He led me to a group of guys who love me. And I love them. Through our fellowship, I've found the connection and love I've searched for my whole life. For the first time, I feel like I'm not alone. I have family.
Last December I experienced my first real family Christmas. Now I'll forever be “home for the holidays.”