After returning to SA, events unfolded that motivated me to step back from church ministry. Feeling I could not handle people’s expectations I grew bitter towards the church and resigned. Guilt that I had failed God consumed me.
An opportunity arose to start a business in the coffee industry. Although I felt my calling was not in business, I promised to use the profit gained to further God’s mission and utilize it for His kingdom.
Having unresolved issues and not being able to forgive myself or others, I turned to the comforts of the world of delusions and got swept up by a whirlwind of success, entertainment, and fleeting happiness.
During this time, our fourth son was born. I opened several coffee shops and experienced great success, although life’s struggles and inner turmoil resurfaced once again. Being under a lot of pressure, constant challenges and time constraints forced my unresolved root issues to surface, restarting my battles once again. At this time, I would not face nor get the help that I needed. This brought about a desire to escape and drugs seemed to be the answer to that.
Being exposed to a hard-core substance one evening got me gradually experimenting more and more. Things began to get complicated, and problems grew bigger and bigger. Eventually my business failed and my addiction to substances became known to all. The cycle of addiction was filled with denial, unmanageability, guilt, and pain. I eventually attempted treatment and recovery but was not willing to surrender my life to God or deal with issues. Substances became a familiar friend, one in which I would turn to during any storm.
I made numerous attempts at getting treatment and going to various centres in desperation. I made many promises and had the best intentions to recover. Even with the best intentions one can still fail at making right choices. This led to continued disappointment, selfish pursuits, and destruction from all angles. Not only were my choices killing me, but they were killing all those who loved me. My oldest son became so angry due to all the pain that I put the family that he did everything in his power to protect his mother and his siblings from me.
My family eventually gave up and my wife, Estelle, divorced me. I was in a long-term treatment centre currently. This is when the penny dropped. I no longer had support, nor did I have any more chances. Reality hit me like never. The next attempt at Recovery became the real and final turn-around, there was nothing left to lose, and repentance seemed sweeter than ever.
I began the journey of surrendering to the will of God for my life and accepted that God had another plan. No longer was I going to do my own things and hold onto the things that set me back. Transformation started to occur and realisation of my true worth in God brought about a turn-around.
God started to restore the relationship I had with Him and then all else began to fall into place. Once I gave up trying to do things my own way, I found myself depending on God in a totally new way, for the very first time. I discovered that God’s love endures forever and found freedom from hurts and habits that kept me stuck in my past. Years had passed and my family continued to have reservations, but they began to see that the new Peter was a different kind of person and decided to give him a chance.
Tough love and consequences played an important role in getting me to reach the end of myself. I learnt that trust would not be built in a day and that respect needed to be earned. My efforts to bring the pieces together would have been futile if God was not a God of restoration. Changed behaviour and pure desires characterised this new lifestyle of repentance and freedom, living that out with my one and only true Saviour.
Eventually, after many years I remarried the wife of my youth and mother of our four children. God had restored what seemed impossible to man; the family has gained all that they had lost, and more.
Today. Life has shown that there is no short-term solution, and that faulty beliefs and bad habits develop over a long period of time, and the recovery process takes time and commitment.
Behind and beyond: meaning, purpose and hope.
Still in line with behind and beyond our journey and experience must have meaning and purpose. The bible teaches that all things work together for the good for those who are called according to his purpose. This journey had to make meaning there must have been a reason behind and beyond. There was a purpose, and I had to use this journey to helping others. Once I was safely on the journey of recovery, I began my first support group called Drug Stop back in 2004, I also opened a helpline in the Star newspaper for anyone struggling with addiction. I began preaching every Sunday night at church on the theme all Freedom from Addiction. My ministry to addicts evolved into opening a haven for addicts back in 2007. The ministry to addicts continued and initiatives such as Recovery Café support group. This was an outreach to addicts normally run from a coffee shop on Friday nights. 2013 we opened Healing Choices Sober Living home; we continued this ministry all the way till January 2021.
TODAY I do personalized counselling for people on all types of addictions, writing addiction recovery training materials and training facilitators on how to run addiction support groups.