In the summer of 2014, inside the county jail, Dustin Kirby was jumped and hit in the head. The jail staff took him for an MRI and found something they did not expect: a baseball-sized tumor growing just over and behind one ear. “Somebody was looking over me a long time before I cared,” says Dustin today.
Dustin grew up in a small town with a hard-working single mom who poured love on him and his sister, but by age 11, Dustin felt a need to fit in with the bigger, cool kids in the neighborhood. After a family tragedy when he was 18, he found his way to prescription pills. Dustin was trying to numb himself, and he succeeded for a long time.
Fifteen years later, he was unexpectedly released from a year in jail with nowhere to go. Dustin credits his mom with making her best and hardest decision at that point by not letting him stay with her. It forced him to go to the Muncie Mission. In the first day he was there, he realized that if he did not stay to complete the recovery program, he would be put back in jail for a very long time. His mind was made up.
Being here has kept Dustin clean and sober, has led him to forge bonds with true friends who desire to change as much as he does, and has deepened his understanding of who he is. “I’m not just a worthless drug addict,” says Dustin. “I can do something with my life.” One of Dustin’s favorite verses, confirming the possibility of change, is I Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” Dustin also learned that he has both weaknesses and strengths; these new thoughts have pushed Dustin toward pursuing a dream of becoming an addictions counselor himself.
After surgery last year, Dustin had a respite, but his tumor is starting to grow again. As he begins chemotherapy and radiation, Dustin is scared but secure. He has surrendered to His Father and knows that His plan is good. Please pray for Dustin as he heads into a new phase of his journey with God; for healing and strength, for guidance, and for his heart to remain open to God’s truths.