Editor's note: Rev. Doug Taylor is an inner-city minister who offers thanks to those who helped him turn his life around.
LEWISTON — When you spend three years in the ninth grade, drop out of high school, leave home at 16, become a teenage alcoholic and bounce from one rehabilitation center to the next, it is not likely you will become a success in life.
As a young adult, homeless missions and soup kitchens became common stomping grounds for me. Jail time and a separation from my wife and children, with a likely divorce waiting in the wings, is not where you want to be when you're only in your early 20s. So as I write this short story celebrating all the blessings in my life — 23 years of marriage to the same woman, four wonderful children, grandchildren, my career as a minister and a beautiful home with two very nice vehicles parked outside — I must stop and give thanks to those who have helped me in my life.
To God be all glory, honor and praise. What would have happened to me if God had not used so many people in my life to save me? Death, divorce, prison, homelessness or worse — maybe Hell.
My mother, wife, children, counselors, friends, pastors, employers and G.E.D teacher have all played an important part in changing my life into what it is now. Even my judges, lawyers, probation officers and jailers have played essential roles in my transformation. I have a saying: No one can appreciate what God has done for me more than me.
I hope this story will encourage people not to give up on those who have struggles.