Damon West had it all…
He grew up in a loving Christian home in Texas…
He was the star quarterback for the University of North Texas…
But then his football career ended suddenly due to a shoulder injury … and his life gradually spiraled out of control.
Damon first developed a dependency on prescription drugs.
Eventually he began dabbling in cocaine … ecstasy pills … and “nearly every other drug in the book,” he admitted.
When he was introduced to meth in 2004, he says he became a “full-blown drug addict.”
To support his habit, West began breaking into storage units and committing robberies…
He went from working on Wall Street to being homeless on the streets of Dallas…
In 2009, West hit rock-bottom when he was sentenced to 65 years in prison for Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.
While in jail in Dallas waiting to be moved to state prison, West was told by other inmates that the only way he’d survive in prison was to join a gang.
But an older black inmate gave a different perspective, telling West instead, “Be a coffee bean.”
The inmate explained that being in prison is like being placed into a pot of boiling water. Whatever goes into the pot is going to be changed by the heat and pressure:
- A carrot gets softened by the heat and withers up and falls apart
- An egg looks the same on the outside, but becomes hardened on the inside
- But a coffee bean changes the environment around it for the better. It transforms the boiling water into coffee.
This advice led West to finding God in prison … and to a spiritual awakening and transformation.
With the help of other inmates who were attracted to West’s “coffee bean” mentality, “I learned how to pray, and I got into recovery,” he said.
Damon West was paroled 7 years and 3 months after he began serving what was essentially a life sentence.
“God opened that door,” West said. “Nobody makes parole with a life sentence. For me to make it, God had this plan the whole time.”
West now shares his story of hope and redemption with schools, churches, and prison inmates all over the world.
He has authored two books … and shares the Coffee Bean analogy with college football teams, businesses and school groups.
Praise God that His grace is without boundaries or limits!
Watch Damon West tell his story in this short video (6 ½ minutes).
Here’s another interesting 12-minute interview Damon West had on the Great Day Houston TV show.
What do you think? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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