I am Raleigh Stone. My story is both complicated and simple. I am a man that has had it all and has lost it all.
My story begins with a completely lost man but, in the world’s eyes, had everything - a family, a six-figure salary, cars, a home, what the world defines as the “dream” life. That “dream” life came crashing down without any warning. I lost my family. Going through that situation, I turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. Instead of facing the pain that I felt, I chose to run. That run lead me down roads that I never thought I would travel.
Lonely, isolated, addicted, homeless, and angry lead to more poor choices. I didn’t want to exist anymore. I wanted out. I contemplated suicide, and I had it planned out.
And that’s when GOD stepped in! When standing in the back of a little church, my heart cried out to God, “If you are real, I need your help.” That was my cry, and God heard me at that moment. That moment was life-changing. He opened my eyes, and it felt like the weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders. He began to heal the broken places, steady my feet, and love me as I have never been loved before. What a beautiful moment that was. I found worth in Him.
God began to show me that I still had to face the consequences of my poor choices, and I chose to walk in obedience instead of running. I was tired of running. You see, because of the life I had lived before this encounter with God, I was a wanted man - wanted by the law.
Wanting all that God had for me, I listened to His voice. I turned myself in to the authorities, which lead to my being locked up. Going to prison, I felt freer than I had ever felt before because God was pouring Himself into me. He met me where I was, and I became a diligent student of His word. I served my time and was released. Being a free man and going back into the world, I dealt with overwhelming anxiety. However, God was faithful yet again and gave me a little job at a convenience store that forced me to interact with people, and through that, anxiety left, and peace came. God has so blessed me. He provided a better job, a home and restored all that I had lost. He has given me a heart full of compassion for others that have gone through or are going through addiction. He has placed a deep desire and calling on my life to love and help others, which has birthed into a process of Bonnie’s Hope, a nonprofit organization to help those that are struggling.
Today, I am still here because of a loving, forgiving, and merciful GOD.
Hi, I am Raleigh Stone - a changed life, a child of God.
And that’s my story - from lost to found, from hopeless to hopeful, from addicted to delivered, from death to life.