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Coming Clean with God and Self

Randy Rudder


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“It was a Thanksgiving that was like no other. I mean, I really had something to be thankful for, that I was out and got to spend this one with my family.”

Robin Brown has much to be thankful for. In 2014, just before Thanksgiving Day, he was reunited with his family and released from prison. His time behind bars was a result of a lifetime of drug use and crime. He began using methamphetamines when he was a heavy equipment operator. “It terrified me to fall asleep, which I’ve done many times,” he says. “There’s just something about a diesel engine running and the vibration it just – it put me to sleep. It was offered to me, I tried it, and I liked it and we just started doing it. It just progressed from a weekend thing to an everyday thing.” 

Later, a friend told him about a lucrative income source: cooking and selling meth. “He said, ‘You want to make some money?’ I said, ‘Sure why not? Who doesn’t want to make any extra money?’ So we were selling to my truck driver friends and my sister, and they were wanting to know where this is coming from because we were – the grade of stuff that we were cooking was above anything else that you could get back there,” Robin adds. So everybody wanted what we had.”

Robin and his wife Gail were addicts for years. He made good money-- all the while trying to stay one step ahead of the law. “I had my 16-year-old son helping me sell it. If there was anything I could ever take back in life, it would be doing drugs with my son and having him help me in the process,” Robin laments. “We went around, we got ingredients. We would kind of hotel-hop, you know, just go from one weekly to another and we’d cook our batch and get out. People started going to jail. That’s when it started getting real. After that, I got my stuff together and got out of Dodge.” 

But then the 2008 recession hit. Robin was desperate for more ways to make money, so he began stealing and selling copper to pay his bills. “I was actually out of work for two-and-a-half years. My unemployment was running out. I had a truck payment, so my friend and I, we started going out and stealing copper wire. We actually went out one night and Gayle begged me not to go.”

But Robin went anyway. After loading his pickup with copper, he and his friend sped away from the scene of the crime. “When we got pulled over. I was about a block from--I could actually see my house on the way home. And I had all this wire in the back of the truck and it just – it went downhill from there.” 

He was arrested and was given probation. However, after a failed a drug test, Robin was sentenced to two to five years in jail. While there, he began watching a video series on the history of the Bible that changed his life. “I was in jail. And I’m sitting there watching the Story of the Bible and my whole life just started going before my eyes,” Robin recalls. “I went back to my bunk, and just begged God for forgiveness. I could feel it. I could feel the Holy Spirit in me. And it just – it was just something I had never ever felt before. And that was the first time I had ever felt like I was born again. And I got up and I felt like a new person.”

Robin decided he would spend the rest of his sentence living clean and preaching the gospel.

“I would just pray. I read the Bible four times, cover to cover. It’s like I had – I had no desire for – to cuss, my addiction was gone. I mean, I just –it was like a clean slate for me. From that moment on, I was a different person."

He was released a week before Thanksgiving, 2014. While he was in prison, his wife also gave up drugs and came to Christ. “I really had something to be thankful for. We didn’t have a lot. I’ll put it that way, because I had just gotten out of jail,” he says. “But it was probably the best Thanksgiving I ever had.”

Robin is now a part of the organization, ‘God Behind Bars,’ and is now ministering to inmates struggling with addiction. “If you’re living this lifestyle and your life is just in disarray, and you hear this voice in the back of your head saying, ‘Stop, I’ll help you,’ it’s the voice of God. 'I’ll help you. All you have to do is ask.’ If it wasn’t for going to jail I’d probably be doing the same thing I’d been doing for decades. I wouldn’t have the story I have and wouldn’t be where I’m at today,” he says. “Life has been totally different, and all I can think is ‘Why did I take so long?’ That was probably the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.” 


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About The Author

Randy Rudder

Randy Rudder received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Memphis and taught college English and journalism for 15 years. At CBN, he’s produced over 150 testimony and music segments and two independent documentaries. He lives in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, with his wife, Clare, and daughter Abigail.