Glasgow & Argyll

True Freedom - A Personal Story

September 20, 2018

Robert McGivern regularly attends Govan Free Church which is led by Rev. Norman MacKay. Here shares his incredible personal story of how God has worked in his life.

Robert McGivern

My family roots are in Govan and like lots of young men in Glasgow housing schemes, I got a real buzz from gang culture and substance abuse.

Probably it is true to say that I shouldn’t be alive today as I overdosed many times and sustained life-threatening stab wounds on multiple occasions. Strangely enough, prison was not always a bad place for me to be since it brought structure into my life.

As I attended lots of recovery groups in Glasgow I heard about the Free Church work in Govan. There is a lot of respect for what is happening through this fellowship, and right away I felt as if I had come home.

Gradually it dawned on me that addiction is more a matter of the heart than it is an illness and that Christ fulfils and replaces these old cravings with new desires. Simply stopping drug use is good but mere abstinence doesn’t touch on the deeper issues of why we take drugs or the role that sinful habit and choice play in addiction.

Up until 6 months ago, I had been addicted to street and prescription drugs, as well as alcohol, for a period of 30 years. Now I am free and am working hard at building new godly habits into my daily routine. Given the epidemic of drug abuse in our scheme, I see that my own background actually helps a wee bit in getting alongside others who are enslaved to using as I was.

Govan Free church is like a family to me and it is a community I have come to love and one that God is working through.

Speaking of Robert’s testimony Norman who leads the church planting work in Govan said, "As a fellowship, we are working hard at creating a community within which addiction, trauma, and chaos, as well as anti-social attitudes, are all turned around. Robert’s life was defined by all these things but no longer. It is great having him as part of the team down here in Govan and like all the others who make up our fellowship, he is just like family."