From an early age, I battled depression, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive rituals. I remember feeling suicidal and hopeless at times. I did, however, give my life to Christ as a young teen, but I hadn’t yet established that intimate relationship with him. I began experimenting with drugs in college, but managed to still graduate. My world truly spiraled out of control when I became addicted to prescription pain killers. I worked in the medical field at the time, so it was fairly easy for me to find ways to get them.

My use continued to escalate and my tolerance grew higher and higher. How no one noticed I was using during work is a work of the devil. God was telling me during that time “if you don’t quit, you’re going to die,” but I continued to ignore his warnings. This continued until June of 2009 when I finally responded to that still, small voice and cried out to God for help. God heard my cry for help, and it came in the form of an arrest. He locked me in a jail cell to set me free. It was in those next nine months that I went from religion to a real relationship with him.

When I returned home from jail, I went to the doctor about my problems with physical pain. I thought I could handle taking the prescription pain killers under doctor’s orders, but I was so wrong. I began that vicious cycle of addiction all over again. I began living a double life. I was active in my church and even taught Bible school. My life looked normal, but I was physically sick, emotionally desperate, and spiritually torn. I finally expressed my thoughts and feelings to my family and asked for help.

Shortly after, I detoxed and came to the Women of Hope. I learned so much from Pastor Marcie and all of the leaders here. My relationship with God developed to a whole new level and I knew I had found a safe place. Even when I thought I had it all together and decided to leave the program early, they welcomed me back with open arms. It is because of completing this program and growing my relationship with Christ that I am now truly set free.

God has done a miraculous work in my life and has offered complete restoration. I now know that I cannot change my past, but I can let God’s love change me, and he has! I have joy that I never thought I would have again. I am so grateful that God had a plan for a hope and a future for me, even when I couldn’t see it. I’m also thankful for the Women of Hope for helping me to discover that hope.