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Clayton's Story

Clayton
“But when I walked in the doors of the Mission, I immediately felt warmth. I felt love, and I knew I was in the right place.”

Clayton

Somewhere deep inside, Clayton knew that was exactly where he needed to be. “I’d lost all sense of hope. I was so off track,” he says. “But when I walked in the doors of the Mission, I immediately felt warmth. I felt love, and I knew I was in the right place.”

Clayton’s life felt shattered to pieces. “I found myself kicked out of the place I was living after losing my job, my house, and my car.” And most painful of all, Clayton had lost his loving relationship with his three grown children — who he’d moved to the Seattle area to grow closer to.

Upon arriving in the city, Clayton had become mixed up with a bad crowd. “In my early 50’s, I was introduced to meth. That just started my downward spiral for the better part of two years.” For those two troubled years, Clayton was involved in heavy drug use. But even in the midst of it, Clayton firmly believed his life was still very much under his control. “People I barely knew kept telling me, ‘Hey Clay, put the pipe down. It’s going to kill you.’ I’m talking about people that were in active addiction telling me this,” Clayton explains. “I said, ‘No, I’m good man, I’ve got it.’ But I didn’t have it. It had me,” Clayton now recognizes.

Addiction was in control

And that day — when he got kicked out of his apartment — he finally realized the addiction was controlling his life. “My roommate and I were arguing, and he just looked at me and said, ‘don’t ever come back to my house again.’”

Clayton had no idea where to turn for help. With most of his relationships estranged, he called his sister, who lived across the country. “Can you please help me get a hotel for a couple of days?” he begged. “Stay right where you’re at,” she replied. “We have an Uber coming. It’s taking you to Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

"I knew I was in the right place"

Somewhere deep inside, Clayton knew that was exactly where he needed to be. “I’d lost all sense of hope. I was so off track,” he says. “But when I walked in the doors of the Mission, I immediately felt warmth. I felt love, and I knew I was in the right place.”

He describes every class and every program he participated in at the Mission as “worth its weight in gold and beyond that.” He feels immensely grateful for the time he’s spent learning about God’s unconditional love for him. “I’ve gained so much life back,” he shares.

It’s Clayton’s reconciliation with his children that he counts as his biggest blessing. “I can actually be the example that God has intended me to be. I’m in their lives and involved with them in everything they do.” Even though he spent several years wandering, lost in his addiction, Clayton knows God is restoring that season of life. He feels renewed hope. He trusts God is in control, and that’s the best place to be — safely surrendered in the loving arms of his Heavenly Father.

What the future looks like

Clayton completed the men’s recovery program. As he was praying through his next steps, he clearly heard God say, “I’m not through with you yet. I have more for you.” So he recently accepted an internship position as a Safety Team Supervisor at the Mission, and he’s enjoying every minute of it. When he proposed the idea of staying on another year to his three children, they were ecstatic. “Go for it, dad,” they told Clayton. “They’re really happy with what their dad’s doing!” Clayton shares with a joyful smile.

“I can actually be the example that God has intended me to be. I’m in their lives and involved with them in everything they do.”

 

Through the Mission’s recovery program, Clayton found hope and a start to a new life!

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