In a way, Eric wore a mask almost all his life. “I learned pretty early how to talk, act, dress, and look like a good Christian,” he says. “But it was just a mask. And by high school, I had enough. So I rebelled, left God behind, and went looking for a good time.”
Instead, Eric found a prison of painkillers, heroin and crack that quickly became just another mask keeping him from ever looking at the hurt, shame, and self-hatred that filled his heart.
“I knew drugs were destroying my life, and I tried to get sober several times,” he says. “But every time, I just wanted to fix my drug problem. I never wanted to fix Eric. So I kept relapsing. I even overdosed three times and almost died. I still couldn’t stop.”
Finally, in October 2017, after burning every bridge to friends and family, Eric decided to check out the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. “I didn’t know it at the time, but God led me here,” he says.
Over the next two and a half months, Eric dragged his feet. “I wanted to change, I just didn’t want God,” he explains. “But the people here cared about me so much. And I could see how God was changing so many other lives around me. Slowly, I opened myself up to the God I never knew, the God who loves me. The real me. The me with no mask.”
Today, God is continuing to use your support for the Milwaukee Rescue Mission to not only restore Eric, but to reconcile the relationships with his entire family. “In some ways, for the first time, I feel like we’re all learning who we really are, and it’s amazing,” he says. “Thanks to donors, I can finally be Eric. I can be myself, with no mask to wear.”