Joel's Story - Chapter 2 "Am I Not Important"

"Growing up adopted, my siblings and I all went down a rough path. I got into a situation where I had some unhealthy relationships, searching for love. I was just trying to find this completion in my life, because I was wondering why was given up for adoption.  I kept asking, ‘Am I not important?’ As all these thoughts were going through my head, I wasn’t angry, I was just confused.


Because of that, right before my mom passed away, I got  a rebellious streak, and everything that you think that you will never do as a Christian completely took a turn of events in my life.

At 15, I started abusing narcotics. I took things out my mom’s medicine cabinet that were prescribed to her for things that she was dealing with. I got into alcohol-- and this was while I was still going to church and leading worship groups. It is crazy how you can put on a different face and pretend you are happy everyday when inside you are really hurt and empty.

Between the ages of 15 and 21, I ended up in the hospital 3 times, almost dead because of the drugs and the alcohol. The third time I landed there was because I had blacked out and rolled my car off of the road. I didn’t even know what had happened. An ambulance had taken me to a local hospital with a concussion. I was only there for a few days, and as I was blacked out, I remembered having an encounter with God. The first thing I remember about waking up was saying ‘Jesus, I need your help. I need to be set free from this.’ I felt his love and presence enter me like never before.

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In that moment, God started doing surgery in my heart. I could feel him fixing things. When I got out of the hospital, I got into some counseling and accountability groups, as well as recovery classes to make sure that I didn’t go down that path again. I realized that I needed to start pressing towards God. So I got back into music and I started touring with my brother in a band. We would go to a lot of youth events and colleges. In that process, we had started recording our second record, and my life started to turn around and I started to become whole again. God had given me a new chance, and the thing is, I had to allow Him to. I had to do the work on my end, and it really paid off.