My name is Paul Smith. I am 43 years old and this is God’s Story. I grew up in a middle class family. I had no needs in my life. My parents were wonderful providers for me and my two sisters. From an early age, I wanted to feel love from others. To give love to others was my passion and my heart’s desire. On the outside looking in, our family’s life seemed great and almost perfect. On the inside there was lots of trauma in my life including molestation, rape and a physically mentally abusive father. There was a brokenness- a void inside me that overwhelmed and consumed me every second of every day. I would start a long journey by myself trying to fix me and fill this void.
After entering the military. I found and discovered alcohol and drugs thinking they were the answer and solution to my problems. They would numb all my emotions and feelings allowing me to never have to look at myself or the life I was living. The road and journey was long causing much harm and pain in my life. As I ripped through the lives of those who loved me like a tornado, it would cost me every friendship and relationship I had. My addiction took me to divorce, loss of my children and family. I went to jail and to prison. Losing jobs, houses and everything I had in life.
A year ago I died twice in five days and was revived twice. I looked into my mother’s eyes and whispered the words. “I just want to fall asleep and not wake up. I can’t go on causing any more pain and suffering in the lives of those who care about me”. That was a year ago.
I walked into Isaiah House not knowing the blessings, love and grace God was going to pour over my life. I didn’t know that I couldn’t give, receive and share love with others until I love and forgive myself first. Isaiah House has opened the doors to my knowing God’s unconditional love and his forgiveness. It has taught me that my life is not defined by my past. My life is defined by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of all sins. His life given on the cross has washed all my sins away. For the first time in my my life, I love myself and have forgiven myself. It is only in God’s love and grace and knowing He is always with me that I have been able to find a new way to live.
Isaiah House is God’s love pouring out and touching the lives of so many men. Changing lives one life at a time. This Holiday season was the first time in ten years, my family welcomed me with open arms. I have truly just began to live. God is restoring and reconciling my family and relationships in my life. God has given me a life I don’t deserve and it is amazing. I had nothing to do with it. I sure tried to get here by myself for so very long. God is a way maker. I just had to finally step out of the way.
I thank Mark and Tammy LaPalme and every single person at Isaiah House for sharing and showing me God’s unconditional love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 “these three things remain faith, hope and love but the greatest of the is love.”