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God's Offered Grace Healed My Body and Soul

by Joseph LaValley  
8/27/2015 / Miracles

I was all of three years old when I first came to live under my Grandmother's roof. This four foot ten inch women was both tender and tough, and took on the job of raising me. She was the first to teach me who Jesus Christ was, and what he had done. In her bedroom she kept a large cross, which hung on the wall above her bed. It certainly held my attention. I wanted to know who this man was that hung on that cross. It was Grandma who told me that He was our Savior, and that he'd had to die on a cross for our sins - the things we'd done wrong. She spoke of Him as being her Lord. As a young child I thought if He was her Lord, I wanted Him to be mine too.

Being a good Catholic, she made sure I went to church, and got all the required training to receive my first communion. During this time, I learned more about God, and more about His son. This showed me, that God was the biggest deal in life, so I sought to please Him. Ignorance isn't always bliss. I didn't understand God's character, nor the fullness of what He'd accomplished through Christ's death and resurrection, so I became like the proverbial hamster on the wheel - a lot of extended effort getting me nowhere. This led to frustration and discouragement.

As the saying goes I threw in the towel. That's what a boxer's manager does when his fighter in the ring is getting the stuffings beat out of him, with no hope of victory. He'll throw the towel into the middle of the ring gesturing to the referee "We give up". The match is over. I found that trying to please God in my own strength was a contest I could not win. I had given up. Disillusioned, I stopped seeking the things of God.

At fifteen I began drinking with a few of my buddies. My friends and I would buy a pint of Seagram's Seven from an enterprising elderly lady in our neighborhood. We'd polish off the pint and get a buzz. The summer that I'd graduated from high school I began smoking weed on a daily basis. From there I'd tried speed, LSD, barbiturates, and finally settling on heroin. Heroin, my drug of choice, became my addition. I'd been raised not to lie or steal, but here I was bringing them both to an art form. There came the day, when I "OD'ed" (overdosed- in street terms). My lips turned blue, my skin turned ashen white. My partners in crime, thought I was dead. When I regained consciousness my girlfriend gave the Dr. Frankenstein yell, "He's Alive!"

To say I wanted out of that lifestyle would have been an understatement. I had kicked the habit a couple of times on my own. The withdrawals weren't a "walk in the park", but I'd gotten through them. Whoever said, "What doesn't kill you will make you stronger", was stupid. I didn't get stronger because my soul was sick. Eventually I'd always end up at the same place, getting high again. When I wasn't high that bone weary loneliness, fear and feeling of purposeless living would drive me right back.

I wanted out so I began seeking God again. I started carrying a full size Catholic Bible in my van. It's one of those family Bibles that weighs about twenty pounds. At times I'd go down by the beach, start smoking some weed and reading my Bible. While in the midst of these meager efforts entered Anne (name changed). She'd hung around the same places I did. She wasn't addicted to hardcore drugs, but used to smoke weed and drink. But she had changed. Now here she was telling me about Jesus Christ playing an active part in her life. She told me personal stories about healing and answers to prayer that were pretty astounding. I began wondering "Could this really be for real?" I knew she wasn't getting high anymore, but yet she was a hundred times happier than I'd ever seen her. I really wanted it to be true.

It didn't take long to find out. God's agenda for my life was still "on". God was offering His open hand of grace and was waiting for me to choose. Anne kept inviting me to small home fellowships but each time I'd planned on going, someone in my "line of work" would offer me free heroin. Now it doesn't take a PHD in Theology to figure out where that was coming from. One night however when I was already high, I went to the fellowship anyway. A young man who was about nineteen years old taught about God's promises. He said they were available to anyone who would believe. In those days there wasn't a lot of teaching along these lines, particularly in my former denomination. I was starting to get interested, but what happened next really got my attention. There was a guy who had come that night who could barely walk. His legs were twisted inward. After the Bible study was over, the teacher took this young man aside into another room to pray for him. I was sitting near the door where they were, and could hear some of what was being said. I heard the young teacher say to the guy "Come on! You can do it! You can do it!" And out the door they ran, first this guy and then the teacher running right behind him. They ran past me, out the side door and down the driveway. Then this guy came back into the house with tears rolling down his face, and legs as straight as yours or mine. He's healed! Right before my eyes, I saw this guy take God's extended hand of grace, His promise, and he was healed. To say this got my attention would be an understatement.

I began attending fellowships with Anne on a regular basis. I still had a heroin habit, but knew God's word, the Bible, had my answer. The day finally came when I'd heard enough of God's word to know that He loved me personally and that He would heal me. I learned that He had already moved in Christ, and was waiting on me. One evening I'd decided that this was the night I was going to trust Him for my deliverance. I sat down on the edge of my bed and prayed. I told Him I was sorry, and that I believed that He was going to heal me in Jesus Christ's name. Now honestly, I expected Him to strengthen me to get through the withdrawals. But He far exceeded my expectations. I fell asleep that night and slept like a new born baby, and had no withdrawals. When I woke up the next morning I realized that God had performed a miracle. I was elated! I went down to my old stomping grounds and began telling everybody. As the days went by I noticed that those elusive quality's, joy and peace that I'd always wanted in my life, were in me, and in abundance. No more quiet desperate living, my soul was healed too! I was no longer a heroin addict looking to find his next fix. I was a liberated son of God, healed, transformed and made whole by His grace. website-

My name is Joseph. I became serious about walking with the Lord back in 1972. My wife and I have been married since 1975, and have two grown daughters. We presently live in Texas. Our e-book -"Come Walk With The Father" is available at

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