In 2006 I made the biggest mistake of my life.  I was involved in a relationship with someone that would attempt to change my life forever and push me down a road that would surely not have a happy ending.

The start of this road was when a doctor in Florida gave me 6×30 mgs of Percocet a day for my lupus. My girlfriend at the time, talked me into selling some of them while I was taking them also. I soon found out I couldn’t do both. Now addicted to the pills, I would do unspeakable things to get them. I would rob others and even steal from my family.

Next thing I knew, my girlfriend told me heroin was cheaper than pills and we could sell my pills and I still wouldn’t be sick. I quickly became a full blown heroin addict. My addiction and chasing the next fix caused me to get stabbed, shot and my nose broken in 3 spots by a 12 Gage. Every finger in both hands were broken from fighting for my life. I prayed to die. I tried to overdose every way I heard possible with the drug.

The name of this coalition is (NC Parents Coalition for CHANGE). Change is a big word. Change of any kind is never easy. So, I can only tell you what changed for me; more like what changed in me.

November 2013, I was on probation for selling drugs. I was homeless, living in an abandoned house with three feet of snow on the ground out side and one foot of snow inside the house.  I was setting a fire in a coffee can trying to stay warm and eating out of trash cans. In that moment, I realized that prisoners were warm and eating three meals a day. I also knew I couldn’t beat this addiction on my own. So, after crying and praying, GOD showed me a path. I called my parents and said just that. I told them that I was going to violate my probation….. to get the help no other place would give me (because I was born also with an autoimmune disease called Myasthenia gravis).

So, I skipped probation and the authorities issued a warrant for my arrest. When they took me to county jail I weighed 110 lbs. For the first time in history the jail issued someone two trays of food per meal each day; that someone was me. The doctor said I was literally starving to death.

Thirty days later I weighed 200 lbs. Three months later in court, the Judge blessed me with three years in prison. I spent the next three years eating better than I had in years. I prayed daily and about every decision. I had structure for the first time in a long time. I had my parents back. I had me back. My Mother, Gina Parker and my father, Reggie Parker went out of their way to send money for food and they accepted all my collect calls. For the first time in ten years…. my Mom and Dad had comfort knowing for at least the next three years they wouldn’t have to stay awake a night wondering if they would get that phone call that I was dead. My Mom became my best friend, my rock, my world. My Dad became the man I wanted to be instead of the man I wanted to kill.

Once I got out of prison it was time for change. Starting with getting away from the one person who had led me down the wrong road. Unlike before, this person no longer had any power over me. I had three years of talking to my mother and father; people after God’s heart, and a father and mother who were walking God’s walk.

I had no time to look at the past. I was ready to claim my inherited and blessed future. I was blessed with an amazing job, with great pay because I was honest and told them my history. I have a boss that treats me like a son. Then, God sent me a woman that I don’t deserve; one that was willing to walk hand in hand with me, one that challenged me to change …. and still does. She won’t catch me when I fall because she refuses to let me fall.

So back to CHANGE…I changed my heart and God changed my life. My life is by no means perfect but I’ll tell you this much,  it’s very close! 😁 —Chris Parker