Beauty for Ashes - Introducing James Levier

Tragedy is often the fertile ground for the seeds of hope to spring into new life.

August 16, 2013 will forever be the darkest day in the life of James Levier. Kids playing with a gun not knowing everyone’s life would change in the blink of an eye. On the day that Jaylin died we all lost a friend but James lost a son.

Before this day James’s life was marked by a nagging drug addiction that seemed to regularly rob opportunities at the worst time. He says, “I wasn’t happy, I didn’t fit in anywhere. Addiction was the daily process of my life.”

Then with losing Jaylin, a dark season got even darker. After the blur of September, James only knew one way to cope with the pain and he fell deeper into his addiction. On Oct 1st his probation was revoked and instead of being thrown in jail, a caring Judge decreed James would be enrolled in Drug Court.

The road was tough, but Jaylin’s death was new motivation for James to succeed. This structure was the change he needed and quickly he began to excel. What brought him the most joy was his mother seeing the change in him she had always longed for. On January 2, while at a NA meeting receiving his 3-month chip, James got the news that his mother had passed away.

Though heartbroken, this time James was equipped to handle the loss. He now had two reasons to press hard and never quit. James and his brother Jimmy began to pursue a lifelong dream of catering together while investing back into the family home left to them by their mother.

In October of 2014 James was asked by Jamie Jeltema to co-chair two NA meetings that would be hosted at Hope for Opelousas. For the next year James served and invited friends to attend. In August of 2015 Jamie moved back home after marrying her sweetheart and James assumed full responsibility for the meeting.

Regularly on Monday and Wednesday evenings, men and women who know they need help and hope gather together to love and support one another. For me as the Director of HFO, it gives me so much joy to see one of our fathers leading other men and women to pursue healing in their lives. HFO has always been a place where God allows people to work out their callings to love others, and that continues on with James.

God is a God for the hopeless; for those who can’t find their way! He gives beauty for ashes, a garment of praise for our heaviness. May you be encouraged in your darkest night to know that the sun comes up in the morning!

NA Meetings
Monday and Wednesday @ 7pm @ 330 E. Madison St.