Embracing Second Chances: A Journey of Redemption

Postured for a Second Chance

If Dewayne’s story shows us anything, it’s that second chances are possible. His life took a dramatic turn from addiction and crime all because of the grace of a second chance. 

You might find yourself hoping for a second chance. Or maybe you need a reason to hope that a family member or friend finds a second chance. Perhaps it’s even someone you drive by every day on your way to work. It’s easy to wonder if can people really change.  

What makes a second chance possible? How do you get a second lease on life? 

Dewayne is a living testimony to the power of a second chance. If we look closer at his story, we’ll find a few ingredients that lead to life change:

1) Embrace Humility

Dewayne’s second chance began after he hit rock bottom and began to face the consequences of his actions. Arrested for burglary and struggling with addiction, he found himself at a crossroads. However, in his darkest moment, he chose to cry out for a second chance. This pivotal moment of surrender led him to a profound spiritual encounter.

While you may not need to hit rock bottom to change, one ingredient is required: humility. 

The Bible says God gives grace to the humble, while he resists the proud (1 Peter 5:5). In many ways, humility is simply acknowledging you need help – that you can’t do it alone. When we become acquainted with our need for God, we’re poised for Him to meet us. That’s what Dewayne did when He cried out to Jesus.

2) Discover the Way

When Dewayne cried out, He heard a simple reply, “I am the Way.” 

This is a name Jesus called himself when he told his followers that He was a perfect reflection of His Father, Creator God. 

He said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). Just like that, Dewayne knew it was never about his religious past, but Jesus and Jesus only. There was no need to look anywhere else.

A real encounter with Jesus, as He is revealed in the Bible, changes everything. The life Jesus offers us when we surrender to Him gives us the power to change. 

3) Choose to Follow & Live Faithfully

Dewayne’s life dramatically and immediately changed after his encounter, as Jesus broke the power of his meth addiction that very day. However, he desperately needed Jesus daily. There were still consequences and a prison sentence hanging over his head too. Dewayne discovered that the Bible would be his guide for life, and he chose to live a quiet, faithful life for Jesus. And God rewarded him. If you haven’t watched Dewayne’s story yet, watch it to be inspired by a profound picture of grace.

Jesus Gives Second Chances

Whatever your life looks like, there is a proven path to a second chance. It starts with embracing humility, discovering Jesus, and choosing to follow Him with a faithful life. 

Cry out to him today in prayer. Or you may want to consider calling a friend who walks with Jesus. He is just one humble request away from meeting you.

Video Transcript

My name is Dwayne Peters and I was born and raised right here in Eugene, Oregon. 

I’m going to pick up right here in this wooded area where I was arrested in 2008 for breaking and at the time I was running from the cops. 

We were in a house about three blocks down and a police officer showed up in the driveway and we had bags of stuff loaded up. We run out the back of the house, jump and we’re running and I’m running for like three blocks and I am not in shape I’m a meth addiction tired, and probably no muscle I’m probably 110 pounds maybe I look and I see this wooded area behind me and I’m thinking to myself if I can make it to that wooded area I’ll get away I’m running and I’m running and I got so tired I fell right here just gave up and take me.

So they loaded me up in the car around the block and in that car, I remember feeling just terrible like what if I made of my life I never expected to be in the back of a police car for robbing a house I had racked up a minimum sentence of 15 years – all things that they had me dead to rights on.

It all culminated one night when I was facing the 15 years of prison sentence I could hear my son in the next room, he was about two years old playing around and my wife and my mother-in-law were watching him take his first steps and there were a moment in there where I was just so desperate. So, prison sentence, not the father I wanted to be, and in that moment, I just cried out to Jesus. 

I didn’t even know Jesus at the time. I was raised in the church but I cried out in my heart just something that was a deep longing then I heard a voice talking back I could hear it as if you were here talking with me I was asking him questions about religion. What’s the true religion? he would say, “Well what do you think the true religion is?’ But in that moment what occurred to my heart was, “I am the way.” It wasn’t about religion it was about Jesus only. 

I was like, “Okay, you’re answering some questions here,” and so I said, “Well, how do I know what you have to say to me? How do I know how to live my life? 

I had a vision in my brain and just the Bible and I remember feeling stupid after I even asked him the question like, oh, duh. That night, I gave my life to Jesus. It was Easter and I were up two days straight so you could argue and say, well, maybe you weren’t hearing Jesus and that would be valid but my heart was changed from that point on. 

I gave my whole life to him. I said, help me make up for lost time because I’ve botched this life and I don’t want it anymore. It’s yours. I asked him, “What do I do now? You’ve made yourself real to me. What do I do now?”

I did not get an answer for that but I got a feeling in my heart that I was okay. I was safe. I was secure. I felt like a child with my father.

Amazingly that prompted a whole lot of changes in my wife and me she wasn’t my wife at the time we ended up getting married the whole wedding was all set for Jesus that night when I gave my life to him he the meth addiction I tried twice after that to use and it didn’t work I was a drug addict for years so there were still a lot of things I thought living life with Jesus was going to be perfect and easy and good after that I realized that I’m more messed up than I possibly could know and so I’m still very dependent on him.

Year after year I had to call the DA’s office every week for about four years. I’m living my life and I have this this feeling inside that if I’m just walking with Jesus things are going to be fine. 

So eventually, four years went by and the charges were all dropped. I was going to a church at the time. This lady sweet lady, walks up to me and says, Dwayne, you need to know that what happened with you is a miracle. I couldn’t tell you for the last 4 years but I was one of the DA clerks that you would check in with every week. 

What happened is the DA agent that was processing your case, he fast-tracked all the people that stayed in trouble and because he was retiring that year, he let everybody else off but there wasn’t a whole lot of everybody else. It was years one of the cases that just got dropped altogether. She says, that never happens and so I just like yay Jesus like you’re faithful you just looked after me and told me to keep my nose straight I did and I felt rewarded for it. 

I want you to know no matter where you’re at Jesus loves to meet people in lost places and that was what changed my life that’s what changed my heart and that’s why today I can stand firmly where I was arrested and I could say that Jesus breaks chains. 

Jesus to me is I mean he’s a friend. He’s a constant source of strength. The idea of him being outside of space, time, and matter, and yet I still matter and he shows up and he does little stupid miraculous things to interact with me. 

Jesus is everything. He is life itself. I couldn’t imagine living life without him.

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