When you think about life change and humility, many things may come to mind. One statement you probably don’t immediately think of is “I thanked the officers who arrested me.” But for Bobby Jacks, that statement was a turning point in his spiritual journey and in every way in his life.
Bobby Jacks grew up in church and began attending Belle Isle in 1997. His life progressed in line with the all-American dream: he got married in 1999 and had two beautiful daughters, Lexi and Emily. Not in keeping with his original dream was his divorce in 2010; Bobby struggled with addictions to pain pills and gambling which eventually led him to a meth addiction.
Bobby recalls a dark milestone in his addiction. “I was using intravenously and was trying to hit a vein for several hours. I stood up and saw blood running from my neck, arms, legs — I saw myself in the mirror and all I said was, ‘God help me.'” He remembers that meth didn’t have any effect on him after that point; he continued using for six more months and found himself in a jail cell. He didn’t know then, but that arrest would be his very last.
“I was sitting in jail and I remembered that I asked God for help. It didn’t come the way I wanted, but it did come. I asked Him to put someone in my life who could tell me what to do, because I didn’t know what to do.” Bobby’s uncle and Crossings Clinic Director, Steve Turner, prayed for him and helped him enter into a six-month rehab program. Following that program, Bobby went to Living Faith, a ministry to men who are coming out of prison. He met a man named David McBride who helped him by providing him a place to stay and help growing in his relationship with Christ.
Everything didn’t go as planned, though; when Bobby got a great job as a dental assistant, he was faced with the challenges of addiction again. “Someone asked me if I wanted to go get high,” he remembers. “To me, that was saying, ‘Do you want to give up your relationship with Christ? Do you want to go back to the hell God just got you out of?'” He lost that job because he said no to that temptation. “I stood up for what’s right. I’d do it again tomorrow.”
When Bobby’s life and the life of David Prater, Oklahoma County District Attorney, intersected at Living Faith, God used both men to create a powerful relationship. “When I heard about Bobby losing his job, I said, ‘I’m proud of you,'” David remembers. His next question to Bobby was “would you like to come work with me?”
Bobby didn’t hesitate to leap into a new job with David. “When I run into David in the halls,” Bobby says, “I find myself saying, “‘we’ve got people to help today.’ That doesn’t mean to pardon them, that doesn’t mean to write them a free ticket. Locking someone up is, at the time, the worst thing that could happen. But it truly saved my life.”
Bobby recalls a verse that was crucial to his spiritual growth: Psalm 23:2.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters.
“My pasture was a prison cell. He made me take time there to think about the green pastures in my life: my future. In jail, I thought, there’s no life in here. But it dawned on me that I was having a conversation with God. My green pasture was finally talking with Christ.”
Bobby continues to work with David and grow in his walk with Christ every day. He says there is only one goal he’s pursuing: “to one day hear Christ say, ‘well done.'”
You can view Bobby Jacks’ full story below.