Xavier was finished with failure. His whole life had been filled with it, and he knew that if he were going to ever stop perpetuating the cycle of brokenness, fear and destruction in his life, it would have to be now. No more excuses. Xavier was desperate for something different in his life.
“From the first time I got to The Harbor, I made a commitment to God,” Xavier said. ”No matter what, I was going to finish this program.”
Easy to say, of course, but from the getgo, Xavier knew it would be anything but that—he knew he was going to have to give it everything he had. Repeating his past was no longer an option and Xavier was ready to experience life as God had intended.
“I have never had the freedom to reach for my dreams,” he explained. “Drugs, alcohol, dislike, hate—everything stopped me.
“But I am free today and I’m going to pursue those dreams now. I’m going to do things I never thought possible and give it all to Jesus.”
Xavier’s journey hasn’t always been easy, though. He recalled one time, in particular, when he was approaching a crossroads at The Harbor. Dealing with the extremely difficult reality of recovery, Xavier had grown discouraged. Despite his commitment to the process, he was ready to throw in the towel … but then he heard a passage in the Bible that altered the entire trajectory of his time in New Life Ministry. It was Jeremiah 18:1-6, and it talks about allowing one’s self to be shaped by God’s hands in the “potter’s house.”
“God told me to quit looking at the tools … tools can be work, they can be hard and they can cut you. Look at the hands that control them and appreciate the work being done,” Xavier explained. “It woke me up and gave me an entirely different outlook on my journey.
“I’ve learned to appreciate God ‘s hands, and I’m blessed He’s taking the time to reshape me into who He wants me to be.”
Xavier has found his purpose, and his future has never been brighter.
“God’s got me. He’s guiding my every step,” he said. “I know now how to take my hands off the wheel, slow down and let Him be the driver.
“I don’t have to run out and get high. I don’t have to medicate to try and cover up my past mistakes. … None of those have power over my anymore. With God and accountability, if I want to medicate today, I got the good medicine.”
Xavier is a failure no more, and he plans to tell everyone about how God saved his life at Portland Rescue Mission. He is currently in Service at The Harbor, which is an optional second year in the program focused on vocational training and includes additional leadership responsibilities at the facility.
MENTOR JAMES HELMS ON XAVIER’S JOURNEY AT THE HARBOR:
During our time together, there are three qualities that have really stood out to me about Xavier in regards to the impact he’s left on me. One is his love for God. From the very first time we met together, whenever Xavier would speak about God, he’d smile from ear-to-ear. You can just feel the love of God exuding out of Him, and it’s never wavered. Two is his determination. For Xavier, there was never a concern he would be here today at graduation—that was a given. What was a concern for him is how much he could learn at The Harbor. How could he take advantage of the time God gave Him here to be at the Mission. He wanted to capture everything he possibly could and not miss a thing. And the third thing that stood out to me about Xavier is his desire to serve. He is always looking for what God has in store for Him and what areas of ministry God is directing him to go. … I’m so proud of Xavier, and I admire him for the road he’s traveled to his graduation.
XAVIER’S FAVORITE SCRIPTURE OVER THE LAST YEAR:
JEREMIAH 18:1-6 (NIV) – This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.”