Many people know Darryl Strawberry as a legendary baseball player who had it all before falling into a life of substance abuse. Darryl and his wife, Tracy, appeared on The Glenn Beck Program Tuesday to discuss how, after years of "emptiness," they found redemption through Jesus.
"We have so many different issues in our lives growing up," Darryl said, explaining why he started doing drugs. "We never deal with them. And they start from childhood ... My dad was an alcoholic, and you know, he beat me and said I never amounted to nothing. So I became a great baseball player. So everybody thought, 'Well, just because you've become a great baseball player, you should be happy.' But inside, I was dying."
Darryl said it didn't matter how many home runs he hit or championships he won -- he could never shake his father's words that he was "nothing." And though he became a nationally recognized baseball player, he never knew who he was "as a man."
"I didn't have the love and the compassion to understand what it is to be a man, how to raise your family, how to be a good father, how to be a good husband," he said. "That wasn't ever there for me. It made it very empty inside."
Darryl said his lowest point was the first time he stuck a needle in his arm to shoot heroin. It was at that point, he said, that he knew he had crossed over from someone who did crack and cocaine to a full-fledged "junkie."
Tracy, who also struggled with substance abuse, met Darryl at a Narcotics Anonymous convention. Darryl said he warned her from the beginning that he was "selfish" and had gone through "two marriages and kids and a family like a tornado" because of how self-centered he was.
But none of that mattered for Tracy at the time.
"We had this component where we could relate so much to one another that we fell in love with this non-judgmental relational component," she said. "But we were very toxic. We had a strong desire to want to love, but we were not equipped to love. We could not love each other no matter how much we wanted to love each other."
But eventually Tracy was fighting more for Darryl's life than he was, and she realized she was losing herself. She let Darryl go, and Darryl said it was a pivotal point in his life -- one of the first times he had ever been told "no."
"I had to go away for the next six months. And it was just me and God. I went and got with God and got serious about my relationship," he said. "All I did was study. All I did was read. And all I did was cry. And I let God really do a purging inside of me. Because it's an inside job, Glenn! Everybody on the outside looks great, but the inside is dead, the insides are empty."
Darryl said he filled himself with women, money, homes, cars, drugs and alcohol, but it was never enough.
"It brought me to an empty place. It brought me to my knees, until I got the transformation," he said. "There's a hard change that has to come about, and there's a mindset change that has to come about for you to be transformed. ... They don't change their mindset, that's why they can never walk into the abundance of life and understand the real purpose. And I didn't do that until I studied the word of God."
Tracy said America has lost its fear of the Lord, and if each individual "put God at the center" of their lives and took responsibility for their decisions, the nation would change for the better.
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