I am twenty-seven years old and from Cleveland, Tennessee. I grew up in a loving home and was happy and content. When I got to high school all I wanted to do was fit in. I had friends, but they were not very good friends. I got pregnant at nineteen with my oldest son and gave him up for adoption which was the hardest thing for me. So I turned to drugs to deal with the pain and heart break of what I did. I went to a Teen Challenge two years after giving up my son. I stayed for about ten months, then left.
I fell back into the same crowd of people, got back on drugs, and was back in jail a few times. I got pregnant with my second son. I was doing well during my pregnancy with him, but he was premature. He had to stay in the hospital for the first month. That was so hard, but I actually dealt with it very well.
About a year and a half later, I started dating a guy that abused me and was on drugs. So I started my drug usage once again. At one point, I found myself in jail for ten days, got out and went right back to him again. After he got arrested, I felt lost and by myself. That was when I knew I needed help.
I was relying on everybody else to make me happy. Since coming to Teen Challenge of the Upper Cumberland, I have found hope, joy, love and a reason to wake up every day. My family is being restored, and by the grace of God, He has given me a second chance. I am learning how to be thankful for everything I have and the people that God has placed in my life. I am also learning how to be a leader and not a follower.
When I graduate, I would like to intern at a Teen Challenge and help other women find that same happiness I have found. I would also like to be the mother that my son needs. The verse I stand on is Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”