Life Transformation

Jason Fanning talks with Eric Copeland of Kingdom Causes

Jason Fanning came off the streets of Bellflower in August 2006 and just celebrated his six month graduation from Bell Shelter. He spoke with his friend Eric about the process of recovery over the last six months.

What have you learned in the last six months?
People need to be aware of resources.
When I was on the street I was after what I could get. It was always gimme gimme gimme. Gimme Gimme Gimme has no future. But there was a point where I wanted to change. There is a difference between wanting help and just gimme gimme gimme. The help is people teaching you to help yourself.

What has it been like to interact with church people?
When I was on the streets and they would come week after week to where I stayed. I thought “these people are crazy”. I thought, “My life is done. Trashed.” They were persistent and made me understand that God is there and God is real. It’s like they would say that they are His workers.

When I was finally ready to help myself, it was good that I had someone to call. Without it [interaction with Christians] I would be a wreck. Because when I get stressed, I call them and they help me see that it is going to work out and be alright. It helps me see that the dope man doesn’t have to be the next stop.

The healing process is about being reconciled to God, yourself and to others, how does that relate to your last six months at Bell Shelter and your new relationships?
WOW, like with my mom. I think for a while my mom was really freaked by how I turned out. I went wild. It broke my mom’s heart. I, for the first time want to make her proud. We had this talk the other night. We talked for hours and we took terns. We listed to each other. No one interrupted. She told me stuff about our childhood that I never knew. She said how she had all these expectations of like it being all happy and then us kids went all wild. I really see that maybe I abandoned my mom and, now, I see how we are both survivors of some real heavy hard times.

What have you learned from your discipleship partner (Ryan VerWys)?
Ryan helped me understand that things that happen really are like things that happen in the bible. I will tell him something that happened and he will show me how something like that happened in the Bible. I certainly never have thought of things like that.

Remember we talked about the miracle question: If God did a miracle in your life what would it be? Now that it is playing itself out, what does it look like?
Well, one day having a family. I mean. Getting up, locking the front door and going to work.

But at the same time I get scared that I will snap if someone yells at me. The first thing out of my mouth used to be you know. Bleepity Bleep. Consequences meant nothing. Now, when I get angry I take a twenty minute break and work it out. I just look at one piece at a time. I think about what is important. One day at a time. One foot in front of the other and then my friends help me see that it is going to work. I mean I just got back from court and I probably would have just said forget it all. But now I can see it all still working out.

Do you want to say anything else?
I am grateful. I am a recovering alcoholic. This time it was all easy and I just know that it isn’t me. Its faith. One day at a time.