26 Jan Lawrence’s Journey
“I grew up in the projects in Indianapolis but we went to church and I got saved at a young age. I knew God had a plan for my life but I didn’t want to do it His way. I ended up graduating high school and making it all the way to the end of my junior year of college, but I got hurt playing basketball and dropped out.
When I moved back to the projects I started dealing drugs and eventually started using too. One day while I was out selling, I got shot in the leg. The guy came up to me while I was on the ground, put the barrel to my head and said he should shoot me but then he immediately ran off. I knew God had spared my life but I still didn’t want to follow Him.
I decided to move to Denver with a girl, thinking that changing geography would change my circumstances. Before I left, my brother came to visit me. We drank and he tried to talk me out of moving, but we went our separate ways. That was the last time I saw him; I even missed his funeral last year because I was still just living for myself.
Once I moved to Denver, I still lived just as riotous a life as I did in Indianapolis. When I got busted for selling drugs, I ended up in prison for 10 years, lost contact with all of my family and even lost my mom’s phone number. After my release, I continued to live in Colorado until early in 2020 when I got a call from my daughter. She found my number and told me my mom was sick in a nursing home. God used two of the dearest people in my life to get my attention. After the call, I moved back to Indiana to live with my daughter and reconnect with her and my mom.
But I wasn’t able to find work and, not wanting to be a burden to my daughter, I headed to a homeless shelter. At the bus stop a lady suggested that I go to Good News Mission. Even though I had never heard of it, I figured I’d try it since it was on the bus route. When I walked in, I knew God had brought me to the right place to get help.
I finally started to make my relationship with God a priority and follow His plan for my life. Through counseling, Bible study and church attendance, He began to change my heart. I had been running away from God but in His mercy He allowed the trials in my life to bring me back to Him. I was like the prodigal son. I knew God had so much for me, but I walked away from it all. Then He pulled me back to Him, and now He is giving things back to me!
When you come to a shelter, you really don’t want to be there. It means that life has beaten you down to nothing. I know what it’s like to have everything taken from you and be left with nothing. Now when new guys check in at the Mission I can share what God is doing for me and tell them there is hope.”