I love autobiographies. I still read a lot more books about theology but autobiographies are kind of where the rubber meets the road and you get to see what faith and a transformed life look like in the real world. The book which prompted this post is about a guy called Joe Tarasuk and his journey from cocaine addict and seller to being under the influence of a cult leader to serving jail time and finally to finding freedom in Christ. It is a fascinating look into a dark world that not many people have experienced (or am I just naive?). Joe recalls his journey from bondage to freedom but also that of his wife’s struggles with her own addictions. It is easy to recognize the dangers of hard drugs but there are addictions that are not as obvious but can be just as dangerous to us. Ordinary people can get addicted to things like alcohol and sex or as is the case in this book, pain medication. The consequences of abusing these kinds of things can be just as destructive as hard drugs even though they are all legal.
What makes this story inspiring is the sheer honesty Joe shares with his readers. Rarely is the Christian life portrayed as a journey of learning to crawl before one can walk and learning to walk before you can run. It also gives hope that anyone can still turn their life around. If a guy with a reading disability who once found himself in a rubber room who struggled with a cocaine addiction and was facing a very lengthy prison sentence can find freedom then anyone can. I am not really a fan of most of the pastors or books that get mentioned (the ones who I knew about anyway) in this story but in a sense I appreciated the fact that my spiritual family is bigger than the group of people who think like I do in every way and that God works outside of that.
All money raised from the sales of Against all Odds goes toward the CrossRoads Freedom Center which is a ministry started by Joe and his wife that helps people who are going through similar struggles to what he went through. You can check out the book over here.