The following is a word for word account of an actual letter that was written to me by Nigel Spacey, Team Manager of Newport Drug Rehabilitation back in 2011.
Your supervising officer Cath Gittoes has spoken to me about your excellent progress on your DRR (Drug Rehabilitation Requirement). I am writing to you to congratulate you on your hard work in achieving a successful completion on your order which has been revoked on the grounds of good progress on the 6th May 2011.
I just wanted to take the opportunity to note your hard work in achieving and your commitment to making positive changes in your life and for taking advantage of the opportunities that have been offered to you at the DRR. Well done and may I wish you every success in your future.
If memory serves me right, my probation officer had not asked for a DRR to be revoked in over three years.
The keys to my success were threefold. (Success was a brand new experience for me, by the way!)
Firstly, I went back to church and stopped doing drugs.
Secondly, I surrendered entirely to God’s plans and purposes for my life.
Thirdly, I decided to trust God for change because I recognised that I urgently needed change.
I believe once you have made up your mind to change you are halfway there. I made up my mind and heart to change whatever the consequences.
Change doesn’t just happen. Normally it is a very driven process. Change always begins with a desire for change. The main catalyst in my life was that I began to take responsibility for myself, the way I thought, the way I felt and the way I behaved. I needed a format to help bring about the change I so desperately needed. A blueprint, if you like, for me, was having a personal relationship with Jesus. I decided to follow Jesus and God’s plan for my life. Eleven years later I can see clearly how that has worked out so wonderfully for me.
I finally worked out that my biggest problem had been me. I came to realise over time that the God of the cosmos was more than able to change the entire fabric and direction of my whole life. Just as importantly, I came to believe over time that God cared enough about me to want to do this.
Consider this. Each man is the architect of his own life. He builds it just the way he wants to. However, after he has built it, more often than not, he will decide he does not like this thing he has built. At this point, most people look for someone or something to blame for the course their life has taken. This was how I used to think and behave.
Max Depree said, ‘We cannot become what we want by remaining where we are’.
Final thought: ‘If you don’t like where you are, move! You are not a tree’. Jim Rohn
Alan Hamilton is an ex-addict who is now the pastor of Gateway Elim Church in Ammanford, South Wales. Alan is also an inspirational teacher and is a regular speaker at Fixed.