Jesus changed my life. Here’s my story.

I grew up in Fort Lauderdale. I was the kid who always worked and played hard. I knew I could be anything I wanted to be if I just put my mind to it. I loved sports and exercise. I pretty much had a normal childhood…except for the physical and mental abuse I endured from my father when he was drinking. That abuse led me to a life far from what I had dreamed of as a child.

I never knew real love from my father. I only knew broken bones and fighting with him. He was very physical, and I was scared to death of him. The abuse grew worse as I got older. My sister escaped the turmoil of our home by leaving for college and marrying soon after.

My mom did her best to hold our family together. She smoothed over the bumps and made everyone feel loved. She took us kids to church on Sunday, and I attended occasional youth activities. But church was just something I did; God was just someone I called on to get me out of trouble.

There was a lot of pain in my heart because of my father’s abuse, and early in my teenage years, I became a binge drinker. It helped mask my pain and confusion. It also seemed fun at the time.

When I was sober, life was good. People loved Sober Scott. It didn’t hurt that I could fix just about anything. My friends’ parents loved me! But when I drank, it always ended badly for me and those around me. Every good relationship I ever had was blown because of alcohol and self-centeredness.

Because of my substance abuse, I had numerous run-ins with the law in my teenage years. To straighten myself out, I enlisted in the Navy immediately after high school graduation. I hoped military life would change me.

It didn’t.

In the Navy, I continued to use alcohol to the extreme. Because of an injury, I was honorably discharged in 1979. The drinking and drugging continued, and I racked up six DUIs. In 1982, I was sent to prison. It wouldn’t be the last time.

Not long after my release from my first prison term, I met the girl of my dreams, got married, had two great kids, and moved to England. I was doing very well and was known by those in the community as “the Yank plumber.” I had picked up the plumbing trade from my father.