“I am the older sister of two younger brothers. My parents were loving, but worked a lot of hours. When they were home our household became one of tension and anger. It was not a surprise that when I was thirteen they sat the three of us down and said the word I was so afraid to hear, ‘divorce.’ By this time I had become pretty good at stepping in and out of the ‘parent’ role. I shoved down my own emotions in efforts to care for and protect my brothers from the pain.
The divorce began a course of rebellion in my life and marked the start of a string of bad relationships. I sought out my love and self-worth from the people I was hanging around, especially male attention. At seventeen I met my high school sweetheart. About a year into that relationship some friends introduced us to taking Vicodin recreationally. One pill led to many and I graduated quickly into harder things. A friend got concerned enough to tell our families and they staged an intervention. I ended up at a methadone clinic, and he ended up getting better.
I met a man at the clinic who introduced me to crack-cocaine. I left home and I found myself in the hands of an abusive man. I took to the streets- jobless, homeless, and without any contact with family. By the age of twenty-four I ran my life so far into the ground I could no longer see a way out. It was by the grace of God that man went to jail. I could see I was finally facing a choice. I had literally nowhere else to run. I got down on my knees for the first time and cried out to God for help. I called my family who was relieved to know I was alive, and that was the first time my mom suggested Teen Challenge.
Since being in the program, God has been my one and only focus. He has given me a heart for His ministry and a special compassion for people in the depths of addiction. After completing the program I am now doing an Internship, feeling called to serve other women like myself who need to be set free in Christ. Thank you all for your prayers and support for us and for this program. It reaches farther than you could ever imagine.”