Five years ago on Easter Sunday, Jordan Wilson’s life changed forever. At the time a drug addict who’d found himself increasingly low on hope for the future, Wilson begrudgingly accepted an invitation from his father to attend church. On that day, he took his first step toward sobriety by accepting Jesus into his heart.
A recent Facebook post by Wilson reflected on that day. That post included past mugshots next to a new photo of a happier, healthier Wilson with his family. The message went viral, garnering more than 56,000 shares within a few days.
“You can see it all over my face — I was angry,” Wilson said of the mugshots he shared. “I was probably sick, or about to be sick, in every one of those. It looks like — and really is — two different people. Now I’m a totally new person.”
Now the development director at Friends of Sinners and the youth pastor at HIS Church in Henderson, Wilson leads a busy, fulfilling life far from the one he led before.
His drug use came into play through partying. While other people his age were able to tone down the partying as they got older, Wilson got to a place where he couldn’t stop.
“It all came to a head that day [at church],” he said. “I was feeling so hopeless about my addiction. I could not have cared less about my life.”
Wilson — who was addicted to pain pills, meth and suboxone — was also facing yet another day of being out of drugs. With nothing left to lose and everything to gain, Wilson said he walked down the aisle and submitted his life to Christ that Sunday. There were 500 people attending church that day, he said.
“I thought, ‘I can act. I can change right now. This is my chance,’” he said.
Wilson attended a treatment center called Isaiah’s House in central Kentucky. He detoxed for a week before committing to the long-term treatment facility for another three months. The staff there put him to work on the landscaping crew, where he worked for free.
Three to four months in, the staff gave Wilson a job in the office. That led to a full-time position where Wilson led classes and gave drug screens to new intakes. After one year, the CEO at Isaiah’s House told Wilson he was putting him in a public relations position.
“I love people, I love Jesus, and I’m an extrovert,” Wilson said. “PR was a good fit for me.”
Even though Wilson described himself as a “bad client” in the past, he stayed close with FOS Executive Director Joe Welsh over the years. He asked Welsh if FOS needed a marketing department. Coincidentally, Welsh said he had just gotten out of a meeting to discuss how badly the organization needed one.
Wilson attributed those moments in his life to God, saying each time he felt led to take his life a step further or in a different direction, he felt God pulling him to do it. So far, those choices have paid off every time.
“There is a big difference in becoming sober and becoming set free, and Jesus is the difference,” Wilson said. “This life I’m living now is easy. I was sober before and it wasn’t easy. When you’re just white-knuckling it every day, it’s hard. When you give that burden to Christ, you’re free.”