From An Addict To A Pastor : Billy Graham's Grandson And His Long And Painful Road Of Atonement

Family & Kids

January 29, 2019 11:54 By Fabiosa

At 16, the grandson of the great preacher Billy Graham rejected everything his family stood for and fell hard into a life of drug addiction and theft.

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Heartbroken parents

Tullian Tchividjian did not want anything to do with God or the church that had raised his mom, Gigi Graham, and so he left home.

In her essay, I Wasn’t Prepared for a Prodigal, she opens up about the pain of watching him turn his back on a loving family.  She says:

I never expected unsavory friends, drugs, theft, wild dress to go with even wilder behavior, or calls from detention centers.

An internal revolution

After repeatedly forgiving and taking him back, they asked him to leave home. At that moment, he sat in the backseat of the police vehicle that had come to escort him out of his parents home after a violent confrontation with them, he felt no iota of remorse or regret.

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He felt finally free to live his dream: surf and have fun.

He told CBN he was afraid of finding God:

My great fear was if I surrendered my life to God, he woud strip me of all the fun and excitment this life had to offer.

But then, he dropped out of school and fell into a life of stealing and drugs after the friends he tried to live with kicked him out as well.

This continued until he met his first wife, Kim. Trying to be a better man deserving of her love made him go back to his parents for a reconciliation. And gradually, at 21, he found God again.

Finding true freedom

These days, Tullian is a divorcee and a dad of 5. He teaches people about finding God in the midst of suffering and pain. He wants people to give up placing their identity in accomplishments and fears that loving God means losing yourself.

His life is a shining example of how choosing faith is the gateway to true freedom. 

READ ALSO: No Fear Of Death: Billy Graham's Daughter Anne Lotz Continues Her Battle With Cancer, But Is Not Afraid Of The Worst Outcome