Saturday, March 2 2024 - 10:04 PM
man at bar
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Saved From Rock Bottom

It was a nice day in July 1967. I had just returned from Hawaii, where I often went. Tanned and driving a new Lincoln, I decided to stop at my favorite “watering hole,” The Golden Horn Bar and Restaurant. I sat at the bar, ordered my favorite drink, and let my eyes adjust to the dark. My vision was already blurred from the drinks on the plane.

I looked around and saw several ladies and a little boy in a booth. Even though the booth was in the restaurant area and not in the bar, I said loudly, “No child belongs in a bar!” A lovely lady approached me in a flash and said that no one belongs in a bar.

“Why?” I asked. “Because Jesus would not be here,” was her answer. What? “What are you doing here, then?” “I’m having brunch with my friends and one of their children,” she replied. (Oops.)

I asked if we might have lunch or dinner sometime. To my surprise, Yvonne agreed to meet me for dinner but said she would drive her own car. That started a long relationship. She had just gotten divorced and had three daughters. Many knew her parents as upstanding Christian leaders. On the other hand, I was an ex-con, a member of organized crime, an alcoholic, and an atheist who had just walked into a different world.

Hitting Rock Bottom

It would be nice to say that Yvonne took me into her lifestyle and immediately turned me around, but she joined me on Satan’s fast track instead. A whose-who from her church tried to break us up or lead me to Christ, but the world Satan runs was too glamorous and tempting, with all the right toys, the fast track of cars, planes, boats, and money.

My drinking got worse, and I started losing everything. Besides all of that, we were ashamed to say we were living together. Our beautiful apartment turned into a shack, a real dump. To make matters worse, Yvonne’s 13-year-old daughter came to live with us. She slept on a box spring we had taken out of a dumpster, and we slept on the floor. Some big spender hotshot I was!

I remember running into a friend and asking for help. He said, “When you hit rock bottom, help will come.” How low was the bottom? Knowing that a change was desperately needed, Yvonne finally talked me into visiting Euel Atchley, a cousin of hers and a pastor.

Peace at Last

We met in the pastor’s study of the Mountain View church. Euell could see that I was scared to death, even though normally I would fight anyone at any time. Every day I drank a quart of booze, smoked three packs of cigarettes, and used all kinds of drugs, as long as they weren’t injected. Euell said, “Looks like you could use a smoke.” I said yes, but Yvonne said, “You can’t smoke in church.” Euell told her to sit in a corner and shut up. (The only person on earth able to do that!)

Then he told me about Jesus and what He would do for me. He said I didn’t have to give up but that I needed to give in. Once before, in the juvenile system, a person had tried to tell me the same thing. I had listened, but he never came back. Now, at age 40, I felt that peace that passes all understanding.

Jesus Pulls Us Up From the Rock Bottom

After two hours with Euell, I went down on my knees, and Jesus moved in, moving Satan out. I was set free.

If you liked this, you might also like Do You Love Me? | How Hitting Rock Bottom Can Be A Blessing 

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About Don McClure

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