She had a round belly & a sweet smile. I didn't know a thing about her but she would soon become a dear and close friend. Her story is one that brings tears to my eyes every time. It's an intimate story of brokenness and heartache but the "ending" never gets old. I am so honored to call her my friend. I thank God for her every time I think of her and her precious little girl. God is mighty Redeemer. Oh, He is so so good. This testimony shouts His glory! He makes beauty from the ashes! Please take time to read her story...
My story starts in a very dark place full of bad decisions. I was so lost and felt like there was no way out. I had been sucked in, like the "adults" always said it would do to you. It started out as fun on the weekends and slowly became a lifestyle. When I was 18 years old, instead of putting in college applications or a having graduation party, I was in the hospital from a meth overdose.. I had somehow managed to survive and escape a real life crack house in Florida days before. My mind was so clouded, it felt normal to be sitting in a room with strangers smoking crack and for the first time, I was an IV drug use meth user.. we can fast forward past my great escape, and I'm in the hospital. 98 pounds. with a collapsed lung. I can remember my family, they all looked so scared but that wasn't enough to scare me. I was sent to my first rehab in June of 2011. The decision was made to move to Pennsylvania with an aunt I had only met a few times.
This woman showed me love and understanding, she opened her home to me and I thought for sure that I could do this "recovering addict" life I had been thrown into. I was in the narcotics anonymous program going to meetings. I got my 30 day chip, my 60 day chip... and 86 days into it, I slipped. I remember it was so easy.. like all the hard work and meetings and support from my family was in one ear and out the other. I thought I had it figured out, thought I could do it.. That's the key. I was only looking to myself for the strength. Of course, now knowing at this time, that I could not do it alone. Therefore, 3 months later, I was once again in a rehabilitation program. Needless to say, those 28 days were useless. A few weeks later, I ended up living in a fellow heroine junkies grandmothers attic. Not a new dorm room, not my own apartment, but sneaking showers when this 80 year old lady was asleep. I was working and spending every nights tip money on drugs. I remember being so numb, it was just life. There was no future there so back to Tennessee I came. Back in my hometown the addiction grew. My grandparents had given up on me, showing me tough love. There were many cold nights I would sleep in my car. I survived from shoplifting and helping other addicts scrap stolen metal. This lifestyle continued into 2012.
By April of that year, I had met an older man that cooked methamphetamine and was living with him. I was lucky to eat once a week, or even sleep for a few hours. My life was out of control at this point. I used every day, all day, and that was the only thing I was concerned about. It has consumed me. There were needle marks all over my arms, I did not even try to hide it anymore. I had no one but myself, and of course my addiction. There were times I would swear that I was crazy and could hear voices. I have always been a beautiful young lady, but I was a skeleton with scratches all over her face from self mutilation. Like I said, I had gone crazy; there were so much anger and hopelessness inside. I was surrounded by other people exactly the same way.
I want the point to get across how horrible my life was. I am not proud of these details at all, but these are necessary for the Glory of God. Bear with me if you can. So here we are, I'm 19 years old. I was getting sick a lot, and started to realize that this drug could possibly kill me. I decided that enough was enough. I went to my grandmother and begged to come home one last time. My grandma, being the loving woman she is, welcomed me back. Here is an interesting fact. After being at my grandmothers house for 2 days, I picked up a newspaper. There on the front page was METH BUST in large bold letters. It was the house I had just been living in. Had I not left when I did, I would be in Jail. PRAISE GOD, RIGHT?
On June 28th 2012, on a whim, I took a pregnancy test. POSITIVE! Wow, did not see this coming at all. But actually, I was not scared. MY life had already hit such a low point, nothing could be much worse. So here is where all the amazing grace starts. I called my cousin who was active in a local church and asked if I could go to church with her. It was a Sunday night so it was a lifegroup in a home. I had no idea that this church had been praying for me for months. I did not feel like a stranger, I felt welcomed and loved. On the spot I started to cry, and asked Jesus into my life. From that instant my heart was warmed and I felt the spirit of the Lord fall on me. It was insane, I had peace, and hope within seconds. I have never been the same. God has shown me the wonderful things about life, I was made brand new. I am no longer defined by my addiction.
I can officially say that I am recovered through the blood of Jesus. I have not touched a drug or needle in 2 and a half years. I started this journey with a box of stolen clothes. I can honestly say in the 2 and a half years I have been saved and cleaned I have never wanted for anything, nor has my precious little girl. Gods plans are higher than my own, my daughters birth was a blessing. I went to school and had a job within 4 days of finishing my last class. That's a God thing right there. All throughout my addiction I was blind to God's hand in the situation. I came out of the crazy lifestyle with 0 charges, and more importantly MY LIFE. I could have been seriously injured or DEAD. I continue daily to thank God for all he has done for me and inside of me. Like I had said earlier, my strength alone could not help me. I found the missing piece. I rest in God's word. I believe that God works everything out for our good. I am a true testimony that Gods not dead. I can now give back to other young girls suffering. I am a normal human being now that smiles everyday, and takes care of my responsibilities. I continue to grow and learn in the Lord. I give all the Glory to God, because if it was up to me I would still be that lost little girl. God love us, and he is waiting to step in and clean us up. Don't wait, don't think you have to be "ready" to come to God. I encourage everyone to welcome him into your heart no matter how broken or messy you think you are. Everyday I wake up, I thank Jesus for what he did on the cross, that through his blood I was made free.
I was once the poster child for what not to do. Now I am a true testimony of God's amazing grace. Everyday is a blessing because I am free from the chains. I am normal, I am a child of God. I had to grow up fast, I had reality hit me quick but I know that God has a purpose for my life. God was there through it all. Every night my poor grandmother prayed for me is worth it. All around us are answered prayers. Words can't describe the change that happened inside of me the moment I asked Jesus into my heart. It went from darkness to light and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God's got this all under control. I have learned to sit back and let him lead me where I need to go. I know what happens when I try to take back control. There are some new changes coming this year, I don't have all the answers to the what ifs... but I know there are great things in store. I get chills to tell this story because His power is real. Please share with others struggling.
YOU ARE LOVED!