“Hell. Hard.” Those are the words 47-year-old Steve Croyle uses to describe his journey out of addiction at the Muncie Mission. Fresh from a seven-month stint in jail, Steve literally had nowhere else to go. He had been evicted from his apartment and his belongings had been discarded because of bedbug infestation. Feeling lost and alone, Steve searched for a place to call home. His stepmother suggested that he go to the Muncie Mission, but after leaving jail, Steve did not want to endure yet another structured environment. However, being court-ordered to complete an addiction recovery program made coming to the Muncie Mission, where that was available, more palatable.
It wasn’t just about the physical addiction to drugs; he’d been through withdrawal in jail. He was sober, but he still hurt. The pain didn’t come from the shattered hip in 2005 for which he had been prescribed pain pills. Pain came from memories of being paid for rides with heroin by a so-called friend when he could no longer afford the pills. It came from being so desperate for drug money he stole from his mom’s bank account. Steve discovered that real healing would take digging deeper than ever before. He had to tackle the reasons the addiction took hold in the first place. He had to uncover the pain behind the addiction that he had been numbing with drugs.
Early in his stay at the Mission, Steve heard Bible verses that rocked his world: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).” This passage resonated with Steve and he recognized truth that day. He began paying attention during chapel and devotions and started asking questions … lots of questions. Steve was burdened with the addiction, loss of his possessions and loneliness. He thought being “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” sounded pretty appealing. The questions continued, both about faith and about how he had hit rock bottom in his personal life as he became more involved in chapel and bible study.
Answering these questions was by far the hardest thing he’s ever done. He uncovered the truth behind his pain when he went through the recovery program at the Mission. Steve tells people that he is grateful that the Liberty Street Recovery Program isn’t a “slap a Band-Aid on it” approach. He learned to address the root causes of his addiction. He found that it provides men with resources for overcoming addiction. Although difficult and painful, the program pointed him to the only real solution: a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Since graduating the program and sharing his testimony to many people, Steve’s family has recognized a deep change in him that has prompted questions about attending church. Through his struggle and being pointed to Christ, he now points others to Christ through his testimony. His family has gone from being victims of his crimes to being his biggest supporters. Steve is grateful for this change and now has a way to deal with the pain behind his addiction, resting in Christ. He recognizes that all of these things happened through the grace of God at the Muncie Mission.