Article | - 1:09 pm
At a very young age, I started getting involved in gangs, hanging out on the streets with the wrong crowds, and eventually began drug dealing, leading to my life being on the line.
First, the guys on the block “embraced” me. They made me feel secure, like I had a “family” on the streets. I eventually started learning the ropes of it all. The drug dealing, and I started using.
The first time I smoked was probably 12 years old at the time. I was 15 when I started selling marijuana. As I got older, I started selling heavier drugs like crack cocaine and became addicted to drinking alcohol. I would drink every single day.
I never really wanted the streets, but they chose me. It was all I saw and all I knew. I had no other example to look to but the streets. The lowest point of my life was when I had an altercation with someone from another gang. My gang had a rivalry against his gang, and on that day, things got heated. One word led to an argument, and the argument led to a punch. When I punched him, he retaliated and came at me with a gun.
He pushed me onto the floor, held the gun over my head, and tried to kill me. He had shot the first shot, and the gun had jammed, and instantly I could get up and run away. I took that as an opportunity that God was saving me because my life had been on the line at that time, not to mention many times before that, because of the life that I lived.
My mom was attending the church already and praying for me. God has honestly changed my life today. That young boy I was growing up would have never thought I would amount to anything. I never knew it would have been possible to be happy the way I am so glad today. I gave that old lifestyle to God. He indeed showed me the good life that he had for me and he gave me peace. I no longer gang bang or have my addictions to alcohol or smoking marijuana either. When I go on the streets, I no longer worry. I wouldn’t trade where I’m at today for anything in the world.
You, who are reading my story and want to get out of that lifestyle, I tell you, if you make the first step to God, he will make His steps to you and help you change your life.
-Saladine from New York