Hello, my name is Jason Reece and I am the Logan County jail chaplain through Oklahoma Jail and Prison Ministries (OJPM), but I am also a drug addict/alcoholic who happens to be in recovery. Here is a bit of my story.
I was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. I started out at Acton’s Furniture and Pianos where I worked from 1996-2009. Working there changed my life in a few different ways, some for the good and some for the bad. I currently own an appliance repair business in Guthrie that I absolutely love. Working at Acton’s also required picking up heavy objects which led to a significant back injury which led to opiates. The first time I was prescribed opiates was in the summer of 2007. This cycle repeated itself over the course of the next two years.
One evening my wife and I were out at dinner and I ordered a glass of wine not thinking that I had ingested a couple opiates earlier and once I felt that combination of the two it was something I needed more of. That feeling ruled my life over the next 6 years and led to being arrested multiple times for DUI.
I could not get over having my name shamed and had become a bitter man. In all of this my wife is on her last straw. I remember one evening as I was going to the store to buy more alcohol with pills in my pocket for my cocktail my wife grabbed my hand and hit her knees and begged and pleaded with me to not go, to not continue to do this to our family. I looked her in the eye and forcefully got away from her and told her that if she had to divorce me to do so, that I was doing nothing wrong. That was the night I lost my wife. I continued to stay at the house but something was different with Marsha. I let this go on for about two weeks, but I knew something had to change so I moved out even though I did not want to.
My wife filed for divorce and I had two more DUIs. Then in 2015, while I was in the Logan County jail (I was outside of the courthouse sweeping as a trustee), one morning I happen to see what appeared to be my wife’s Tahoe driving up. As the vehicle approached, I looked up and the two passenger side windows rolled down and it was my two youngest children. At that very instant my life changed. Once they were out of sight, I walked up those detention center stairs and entered the restroom and I hit my knees and I cried out to God like I had never cried out before and life-change occurred at that very moment.
Addiction cost me precious things: I missed my youngest boys first steps (rehab) and missed my daughter’s graduation (incarceration). I have entered three different rehabs, one mental institution and had 13 accidents in 11 months (three of those accidents were totals).
Today I am a good father, I am a good husband and I am a good friend. The same drug court that was there for me in my darkest times is where I help co-counsel several of the men going through what I went through. I am also a very small part of a great organization called OJPM where I get to go into the same place where I was a hopeless soul and share the good news.
Today I am an asset. Today I walk other men through the process of getting their life back together. Today I have found my purpose.
And the greatest thing about all of this is I get to see my wife smile every day. I would tell her when we were separated that I knew that I could make her the happiest woman alive. Today I get to see that. I will end with this. If you put Christ at the center of your life magical things will occur. God bless you all and thank you for allowing me to share my story.
John 8:36 says, “If the son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.”