I am Freddy J. Orosco from Peralta, New Mexico, USA, and I am studying the free Bible education online at CLI. I grew up in a Catholic family. I learned that if I didn’t follow the rules and standards of the Catholic Church that God wouldn’t bless me. My dad was a great provider, and my mom a great homemaker. In my early childhood, I attended catechism, was an altar boy, and attended church every Sunday with my parents.
In school, I struggled. I was easily distracted and unable to focus on the task at hand. Failure became my close friend. My parents grew up in a time where failure was ridiculed. I frequently heard phrases such as, ” You’ll never amount to anything,” or “All you’ll ever become is a ditch digger.” Growing up with my nephews and nieces and being the oldest by five years, I frequently heard that I was the oldest and the dumbest.
During my teenage years, I discovered I liked the effects of alcohol. I barely scraped by through High School. After high school, I gave following in my father’s footsteps a try in an attempt to win his approval. Once again, I failed.
Feeling God’s Call and a Jonah Moment
Despite my failings, ever since I can remember, I felt a tugging at my heart that God wanted to use me. There was some purpose He had for me in my life. I just could not fathom such a calling. After all, I failed at everything. Why would God want with such a failure as I?
At nineteen, I had a Jonah moment (one of many). I joined the Navy in one more attempt to win my dad’s approval since my dad was a veteran. While serving, I was introduced to racism, growing up in a small rural community in New Mexico; the color of one’s skin was never an issue. Aboard the ship, I was given the name wetback. I was also frequently hazed in ways that I find it difficult to mention.
I drank more and more to escape the emotional pain and anguish from the frequent hazing. I served three and a half years before reaching a breaking point. My military career abruptly ended. Once again, I failed. My dad told me that I deserved what I got by joining the service and abandoning him and my mom.
I experienced frequent nightmares and episodes of anger to the point of rage. I had difficulty holding jobs, keeping friends, and relationships. My parents were done with me. They felt all I had to do was to get what I was experiencing out of my head, and all would be better. It didn’t happen that way.
Although there was a respite from alcohol in my first marriage, there was still the untreated mental and emotional issues. After three years, the marriage ended bitterly.
Feeling God’s Call and Another Jonah Response
I continued to feel the tugging in my heart that God was calling me. Once again, I ran like Jonah. I ran to Arizona from New Mexico then back to New Mexico. I ran to witchcraft, to fortune-telling, to alcohol, to cocaine, to my second wife, and methamphetamine. My second marriage was a five-year meth party that ended up in another Jonah moment.
San Antonio, Texas, was my destination this time. It was 2004. The next eight years were like a roller coaster ride. There were passing attempts at getting my life straight, failed relationships, lost jobs, and addiction. I never had any real control over my situation.
In 2012, my dad had a heart attack. I had a major breakdown and a stay at the VA hospital in San Antonio. While there, I expressed my desire to better my relationship with God. A nurse at the VA suggested a local church. It had a great recovery ministry in addition to many opportunities to serve.
For the next three years, I went through two recovery programs the church had. I served at the church in audio and visual ministry, all while pursuing an associate’s degree in music. One thing was missing, not that it wasn’t available. I was not feeding my spiritual hunger with God’s Word. I still had the idea that just doing good would fix everything. However, it didn’t. It was nothing more than a temporary fix for a long term problem.
Rock Bottom Rescue
I found myself at the losing end of life’s playing field. I found a quick temporary fix that led me to crack cocaine. This run lasted about eight months before I hit rock bottom. One morning in mid-March of 2016, I was drug sick, hungry, and ashamed. I didn’t want to live the life I was living. Also, I didn’t want to face the daylight or anyone bringing any kind of hope.
A family member I hadn’t seen for some time knocked on my door. I ignored the knocking, but the more I ignored it, the louder it got. Finally, I answered. The first words out of my family member’s mouth, “I had a feeling that if I don’t get you out of here immediately that you won’t live another two weeks. Pack a few things; you are leaving on a bus to Raton, New Mexico in the morning.” I had a friend I went to school with that lived in Raton at the time.
I fumbled around the mess my apartment was and gathered a few clothes. My life was starting over. The bus ride was a nightmare. It was worse than any experience I had ever had before in my time doing drugs. I was physically sick from cocaine. I got to Raton. Where I stayed, I was isolated from the outside world.
For a week, I slept. Then, in an instant, I woke up and felt that tugging in my heart once again. It was even stronger than before. It felt like God was telling me that the time is now for me to start serving His purpose. I had to quit running and face my demons with God’s help. It became apparent surrender was imminent. My knees hit the floor and gave my life to God. Life became real, and something was different. I relied on the comfort of God’s Word more and more.
Back in 2012, I was finally diagnosed with significant PTSD. My dad survived his heart attack but had the onset of dementia. My mom, my dad, and I came to the point of forgiveness for the years of hurt we caused each other. It happened before my dad’s dementia took him completely. My mom had to take care of him alone. God provided the resources for me to fly from San Antonio to Albuquerque for summer, spring, and winter breaks from college.
New Life and Free Bible Education Online at CLI
Ending up in Raton was the beginning of a fantastic walk with the Lord through the help the Lord provided. Being spiritually fed by His word, I am fully restored. Through God’s grace and mercy, I have a beautiful family, a wonderful Godly wife, two special daughters, two sons-in-law, and a beautiful grandson. Sometimes, where we think our testimony ends, it begins.
Now I am studying the free Bible education online at the Christian Leaders Institute to strengthen my walk with God and prepare for the ministry God calls me to do. Wherever God leads and whatever God wants me to do, I will be equipped with the online Bible education at CLI.