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Sidney Smith Offers Advice on Recovery

The recovery counselor offers advice for those who are struggling with addiction and loved ones and friends who wish to offer them support and encouragement.

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Hi, Guideposts, I’m Sidney Smith. [I] used to be a drug addict, homeless person on the street eating out of garbage dumpsters. Today, God has blessed me to have a master’s degree and the ability to help other people who are in the same position that I used to be in.

You know, hope, for me, I think, comes from two different places. Number one, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over the fact that God changed me. And yeah, I’m just so, so grateful. It is hope that, you know, if this could happen to me and that God loved me enough to change me, he must love everybody the same way.

And you know, what motivates me to get up every day through that gratitude of what he’s done is that I get an opportunity to be a witness. You know, whether I’m talking about Him to someone or just being present, if I can help somebody else to know how He loves and how He has the power to fix anything…pretty big.

I think one of the most important things for me was to begin to believe differently about myself. Other people have different ideals and viewpoints of who you are as a person, And they can see a hidden potential that you don’t necessarily know is there. And they have faith and they have Christ and they have lots of other things that, you know, we may not know about during our addiction.

So the advice that I would give to spouses, loved ones, family members–first off is not to give up. You know, we’re not God, we don’t know when He’s going to intervene, but we trust that He is, if we really, really believe that He can. And He can, and I’m that evidence.

So another point that I would tell you or advise you to do is educate yourself about drug addiction, educate yourself about, you know, the history of my life, like you’re doing right now. You know, these are all injections of hope, not only for you to better love and show the love of Christ to your loved one who is struggling with addiction, but it’ll help you to have peace through that process.

So Christ is the groundwork. He is the platform. And I cannot tell you how important it is that if you claim to know Christ and you claim that He lives inside of you, let other people see Him. That is the solution in the healing for our community and drug addicts in general. If they can see that and experience that in you, versus what they always get from other people, I cannot tell you how the Holy Spirit uses that to speak to the hearts and heal people.

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