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Final Prayer Turns Man From Drugs to Fatherhood

Caleb Wood - 700 Club Producer

“I remember scoring goals and I remember I could hear my dad when I would have the ball. He was the loudest voice on the field every game,” Tyler Trotter said. “I felt like ‘dad, he's proud of me, our relationship is good, everything is great. But it was just for that hour-and-a-half.’”

Tyler Trotter was an infant when his parents divorced and his dad took custody.  It was a strict household, and Tyler spent his childhood fighting for his dad’s acceptance.

“I remember the first time that I brought home a C on my report card, I got a whipping for that,” recounted Tyler. “And that was when I learned that ‘average wasn’t gonna be acceptable. If I don't perform above average, in pretty much everything, things can get difficult for me with regards to the discipline I would face at home.’"

So, Tyler began rebelling and smoking pot. By 14, he left his father’s home in a nice, Tennessee suburb, to stay with his mom living in the projects. He was soon using and selling harder drugs like Cocaine and Oxy-Codone.

“It felt really good,” he admitted, “and just feeling good in general was a big deal, cause I didn't spend a lot of time feeling good.”

He also worked to be someone he wasn’t.

“The persona that I adopted was one of like a strong, confident, masculine type of guy, ‘the drug dealer,’” Tyler said confidently. “Wanted them to see me and maybe even be intimidated by me because I really didn't want people to see that like deep down inside, I was really this soft, scared little boy.”

When Tyler was 19, his girlfriend got pregnant and they had a son. For the first time in years, Tyler felt joy.  

“It was like a fulfillment of a life purpose,” Tyler said plainly. “Like Everything stopped. Everything that was going on in life, all the drug dealing, all the fake character - everything that was going on stopped while I was just a father to this little boy. I was a ‘daddy,’ not just a father.”

They had another child, and Tyler felt the only way to provide for them was dealing drugs. But he also kept using. Eventually the Department of Child Services caught wind of his habits and threatened to take his kids away. 

“I had a drug test that was coming up and in order to pass a drug test for opiates, which is what I was using, that's also what I was withdrawing from, you had to be clean of them for three days.” Tyler continued, “But I remember on the third day that the withdrawals were so bad, and I remember I had the drugs in my hand and I was thinking that ‘If I use this today, there's no way that I’m going to pass the drug test. I'm going to lose my kids.’"

Tyler succumbed to his addiction, failed the drug test and lost his children. And not only did he and his girlfriend break up, his mother kicked him out of the house. At 21 Tyler was a homeless, desperate drug addict.

“Completely and utterly hopeless. You're-you're not fit to be a father, you're definitely not fit to be a ‘daddy’ based on evidence,” Tyler said to himself. “You just need to spend all your time trying to get high cause there's no way, there's no other way you're going to remove yourself from this pain."

For the next couple of years he would crash with friends, sell drugs to stay high, and serve several stints in jail. Then in 2011 Tyler was out on probation, when he saw a TV show about long time inmates that made him finally realize he was headed down a path towards life in prison.

“I'm literally deciding that I'm not going to be able to be a daddy to these kids, they'll be better off without me and I knew that I didn't want that,” said Tyler. “I just kinda said like this prayer, more like a conversation in my head with a very vague God who I wasn't sure that I believed in. It was basically just a ‘hail-mary’. God, help me.’"

Through that prayer, Tyler found the courage to enroll in a 12 step program. There he was encouraged to seek a ‘higher power.’ It was then Tyler called a man whose life God had changed – his father, who had given his life to Jesus Christ.

“I was still very candid about ‘This has to be real.’ And dad said, ‘He is real.’” Tyler began again, “And I went down a list of everything that I could think of that I'd done wrong, both outwardly and inside. I just told Him, ‘I’m sorry that I did these things, and I want a relationship with You and, Jesus, I want You to come into my heart and be the Lord of my life.’"

Through his new commitment to Christ, Tyler not only conquered his addictions for good, but began to see himself as a cherished, child of God.

“I no longer have to tell people ‘I am an addict’ because the book that I'm reading now tells me that I'm literally a new creation,” Tyler said happily. “My spirit has been made brand new.”

A few things have changed since then. Tyler now owns a barbershop, where you can book an appointment for a cut, and a prayer. He also reconciled with both his parents – and even saw his mother come to Christ before she died in early 2020. 

“Seeing what God did in my mother and my father’s life was just, redemption, restoration, repair,” said Tyler. “Everything that was broken was fixed. My relationship with my father is everything today that it was supposed to be from the beginning.”

Tyler is now married to Laurie and has regained custody of his children. Most of all, he knows that through Jesus Christ, he is good enough. 

“I have that freedom,” Tyler said with confidence, “I have a heavenly Father that says, ‘There's nothing that you have done that makes Me love you any less.’ And it was real.”

For more information on Tyler or his barbershop, check out the links below:

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