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A letter from a man who has struggled

Dear Editor:

My name is Jonathan Sheppard. I am 35 years old and have struggled with drug addiction for most of my life. Needless to say, over the years I have been arrested a lot and have either lost or run off everything I ever had or loved, including my family. I have spent a lifetime of messing up.

I know there is a major drug problem affecting us all right now. I just want this opportunity to apologize to everyone for my part in it. I sold drugs for a long time and am deeply troubled for the part I had in this epidemic we are facing.

I  was busted on January 12, 2016. That’s two-and-a-half years ago now. I bonded out on those charges after making up my mind that I was done with that lifestyle and that there was time for a change. I spent the next 18 months trying to show the community, friends and family that drugs did not own me anymore. I stopped running from God and the things He had ready for me. I got involved with a great church and started giving my testimony. Now that I am honestly facing the things I did, my life is now filled with great people who care about me and are proud of the stand I have taken. I have used this new path to prove to myself that I can face anything and, with God’s help, can win.

I want to encourage everyone out there to not give up on family members who are addicted to drugs. Thanks to  God, my family now knows the real me. They have stood beside me through this, and even though I have been in federal prison, they tell me how proud they are of me. Please, people, don’t give up on those who are addicted to drugs. I would not be where I am today without a lot of prayer. I know that nothing is impossible, and again, I know that it may take time.

With a very sorrowful heart, I’m asking anyone I may have hurt to forgive me for the part I played in the drug epidemic. I thank you for the bottom of my heart for considering what I have written.

Your brother in Christ,

Jonathan Sheppard