After a harrowing near-death experience in 2015, former NBA star Lamar Odom said he’s been saved. Odom says that Pastor R.A. Vernon of the Word Church in Warrensville, Ohio, helped him understand God’s salvation, according to the Christian Post.
“Nowadays I’m doing the best I can in walking with the Lord,” he said in an Instagram post. “Thanks to Pastor Vernon, I got saved at the Word Church this weekend.”
His girlfriend, Sabrina Parr, stood beside him at the service and later praised him on Instagram for his commitment.
“Nothing better than a man of God!” she said. “Keep pushing through life baby!! God willing I’ll be right here by your side!!!!”
Odom credits God for keeping him alive after he overdosed on drugs at a Nevada brothel in 2015. He was found unconscious and placed on life support. Doctors only gave him a 50 percent chance to survive. But the athlete rallied and is now back to good health.
As he recovered, he began to open up about his struggles to The Players’ Tribune in 2017 and credited his teenagers for encouraging him to go to rehab and stay sober.
“My daughter, Destiny, is 18. She’s beautiful and smart…When I was able to talk again, she told me straight up, ‘Dad, you need to get yourself help or I’m not going to talk to you again.’
“So I went to rehab, and in rehab you learn to submit to everything. I’ve always been a really anxious person. I’ve been a worrier my whole life. But I’m learning to release everything. Or at least I’m trying to learn,” he said.
He also launched a memoir earlier this year called Darkness to Light. In it, he opens up about his addictions to sex and drugs.
“When you’re sober, you’re present,” he said in an interview with CNN. “And when you’re present, you kind of understand the consequences and repercussions of what you do, and therefore I have no will to do any drug that isn’t marijuana. I understand the consequences and repercussions of getting high.”
“I’m trying to go forward and trying to move forward,” he continued. “If I do drugs, that’s moving back yards. If I live moving backward, that means I’m living to die.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Rich Fury/Staff
Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine. She blogs at mikaelamathews.com.