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Restoration Written by the Hand of God

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Looking back on his life, Chris Pieczynski recalls, “When I got released from prison after the first time, I intended to stay clean. I tried to stay clean, tried to do right. It wasn't long before the craving started coming back and I was in pursuit, chasing that high again.” From the time Chris first tried drugs at 14, he couldn’t get enough. It was a way he and his friends could have fun and escape their dull lives in rural Texas. He says, “I never really thought about the consequences or anything like that of it. I was doing it just to have fun.”

By Chris’ senior year, fun had turned into something he couldn’t do without. He dropped out of high school, got a fast-food job, and stayed high as often as he could. It wasn’t long before he found coke… then he started shooting meth. Chris recalls, “When I found that methamphetamine, that gave me a high, like nothing else ever had. The euphoria and the feeling of it was unlike anything I'd ever experienced.”

Unable to hold down a job, Chris started committing petty crimes for quick cash to buy drugs. He says, “Maintaining a high, I think, was more important to me in my mind than anything else.” At 21, he married and had a son he named Christopher. Despite many promises to get clean, Chris couldn’t break the cycle of addiction, crime, and now prison. He refused to see the toll it was taking on his wife and his growing son. Christopher says, “The first few times it was, it was devastating. He’d get out and be in my life for maybe two or three months. And back to running and gunning. It did not make me feel loved.” Chris recalls, “It was selfishness 'cause I put the drugs before them.”

Eventually, Chris’ wife divorced him. As for Christopher, he was following in his dad’s footsteps and using drugs by the time he was in high school. Christopher recalls, “I was definitely into all kinds of drugs. I was selling 'em, I was stealing stuff for 'em. I mean, I was just, the whole works. I didn’t really see the commonalities; I just had that resentment built up. There were times when he was supposed to come see me and he didn’t and that would hurt. Just seems like whenever I got high and stuff, I didn’t think about any of it.” His dad, Chris, recalls, “When I found out my son had started getting high, I was really devastated. So, I tried to reach out to him and tell him, you're gonna end up in the same place I'm at in prison.”

Sure enough, at 19, Christopher landed in prison where he would serve four years for his crime. In that time, he started getting letters of encouragement from his dad still promising he’d get clean and be a good father. But no matter how many times Chris was imprisoned and released, he never shook his addictions. Chris says, “That craving hits again, and you take that first hit, it’s just like it throws you right back into the same addiction. It doesn’t gradually happen. It’s just like it comes in like a flood all at once. I think I kept making those promises to him so that he wouldn't think any less of me. Trying to repair a relationship between us that I think I had destroyed.”  

By age 43, Chris had been battling addiction for 25 years, 11 of those were spent behind bars. It was then he was arrested for the 23rd time and was looking at another 40 years on felony charges. While waiting for his trial, Chris faced the fact that he couldn’t change on his own and turned to God for help. He says, “I knew I wanted a different life. I knew I wanted a chance to have a better life, a chance to make up for the time, that I wasn't there for my son. I cried out to God and asked him, ‘Lord, please take my addiction from me. I hate my life. I hate my addiction. I hate what I become. I hate the hurt that I've caused my family. I hate going to prison and God, I don't wanna do this anymore.’ And I asked God, ‘If you take this addiction from me, I promise to serve you all the rest of the days of my life.’ When I finally lifted my head and said, 'amen,' I physically felt the weight fall off my shoulders right then. And I just felt something that was in me that was different from that moment forward.” 

Incredibly, Chris only received a two-year sentence. He began studying the Bible and praying. Now his letters to Christopher, carried new meaning. Chris says, “I asked him to forgive me for not being there throughout his life. Apologized for being a drug addict for going to prison, all the, you know, the 25 years of his life.” Christopher recalls, “Through time, you know, we were able to mend those fences.”

They also found forgiveness. Both were released in 2018 just a few months apart. By then, Christopher had also accepted Christ as his Savior. Christopher says, “I found God myself through letters that my dad was sending me. And then I was able to complete parole successfully, and I've been clean and sober since then.”

Today, both are married, and Christopher is raising a family of his own. They say through God’s love and forgiveness, they have the relationship they’d never thought possible. Christopher says, “I never thought I would be on speaking terms with my dad, let alone him coming over to family functions and things of that sort. So, I just want everybody to know that as long as you find God, it can change your life. It's not too late. It's never too late. God will redeem you. God will save you.”

Chris says, “I had shame that I missed out on so much of my son's life. But Jesus says there's now no condemnation, no shame for those who are in Christ. I mean, He delivered me from a 25-year drug addiction that I thought I could never be free from. And following Him has really changed my life.”  

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About The Author

Ed Heath

Ed Heath loves telling stories. He has loved stories so since he was a little kid when he would spend weekends at the movies and evenings reading books. So, it’s no wonder Ed ended up in this industry as a storyteller. As a Senior Producer with The 700 Club, Ed says he is blessed to share people’s stories about the incredible things God is doing in their lives and he prays those stories touch other lives along the way. Growing up in a Navy family, Ed developed a passion for traveling so this job fits into that desire quite well. Getting to travel the country, meeting incredible people, and