Robert “Rome” Dameron’s Story
“Before I entered through the doors at Trinity Rescue Mission, I was in a very bad place in my life. I’ve always felt displaced, lost, abandoned and hopeless, and was surely in a state of despair that I thought I’d never escape. I never would’ve imagined I’d be where I am today, fulfilling the goals that seemed so far past the horizon every day I opened my eyes to life. Overcome by my addiction to alcohol, marijuana and pills led me to being homeless for about seven years. Life had defeated me until one day when Jesus opened his arms and invited me to learn of him. Then a journey embarked that I could never turn back from even if I tried.
From the perspective of a recovering addict, I wanted to be clean and sober more and more every time I entered through the front doors of TRM, and I imagined I was always a little less addicted each time. It was one less day intoxicated, one less bag of weed, one less pill. I believe this was because after every attempt, I became slightly more conscious of how much I wanted to escape that lifestyle. Furthermore, I also believe the main reason I never gave up was because I was eager to know what it meant to live a life clean and sober. I knew what it meant to live a life intoxicated all the time and where that path always led, but I didn’t know where my life could go if I changed my mind and direction. I began to imagine the life I could start living. Those thoughts, along with what God says about me and to me through his Word, began to illuminate my mind and heart every day that went by. I wanted to discover what life could be – the opposite of the life I had known. I always went in the same direction until I started to consider that if I changed the course of my path, who I could become, where I could go, and what I could accomplish.
The truth is, I considered this journey I was treading, and I realized by my own strength I would fail like I have time and time again. I cried out to God because I wanted to continue with my sobriety, but I knew I didn’t have the strength to wake up each day and fight the urge or craving or desire to pick up one drink or smoke one hit of marijuana or pop one pill. Relying on my own strength and fighting this battle, by any means I could imagine, would not help me overcome my addiction. This was and always has been an insurmountable mountain.
Then I considered the words the apostle Paul left Timothy when his race was near its end. Paul told him, ‘Thou therefore my son be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.’ I soon after realized apart from Christ, I could do nothing; on the contrary, I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me. As Paul told Timothy, so the Spirit led me to see it is by the Lord’s grace that we are not consumed, and his mercies are new every morning. Moreover, it is the supply of the grace of God that strengthens me in all the areas I am weak. Where my natural body, mind and strength fail me, and a thorn pierces my side, God’s grace is there, always has been and always will be enough.
Today I am almost one year clean and sober, and I see a promising future that is filled with joy and my hope is forever alive. I have a very good job at one of the Amazon fulfillment centers here in Jacksonville, and I am very well on my way to the stable life I only dreamed of – based all on what Jesus has taught me and continues to teach me daily. When I said I changed my mind and direction, I simply repented. Then, I renewed my mind in the knowledge of God – daily. Instead of eating the fruits of failure, bitterness, resentment, anger, rejection, loneliness and depression, I began eating the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, meekness, goodness, temperance and faith. I started enjoying my daily bread – the Word of God. His Word allows me to see I am no longer a victim, but a victor through Jesus Christ, who at a very crucial time in history, filled humanity with hope that would last forever when he said, ‘It is finished!’
I am focused today not only on serving God whenever the task is presented, but I have a desire to one day become a seminar speaker on the epidemic of addiction across our plagued nation. I live my life on purpose with God’s purpose. I know, believe and trust that ‘Through God all things are possible!’” – Robert “Rome” Dameron
We love seeing life change happen here at the mission. We could not continue to impact the homeless, addicted and abused without your generosity. Thank you to those who have given and to those who continue to give to make a difference here in our community.