Before coming to Adult and Teen Challenge of the Upper Cumberland, I was bound by an IV drug addiction to methamphetamines.  I grew up in storage units, cars, cheap hotels, and run down rentals.  My life seemed hopeless.  It was chaotic and dysfunctional, so I found my solace in sex, drugs, and anything to escape my reality.  As I grew older, my addiction grew as well.  I got into a very bad relationship, and I was miserable.  I could not find happiness in anything, not even my children.  So when I lost them, I did not even try and fight for them.  Instead, I turned to sex, drugs, and hopelessness.  They were the only things in life I knew at that time.  The worst part about it all was I was so comfortable in all this mess.  I did not want anything better, and I did not want out until my very last time in jail.

I was sitting there on my bunk, and I had remembered this girl I had known before.  She had said she was going to Teen challenge, and by word of mouth, I knew she was doing great.  I wanted that so badly.  For the first time, I wanted my children and my family back.  I wanted life!  I prayed, “God, I will do anything if you just get me there.”  I did not want to be broken anymore, I did not want to hurt anymore, and I really was willing to try whatever it took to escape the hell I had created for myself.  I wanted to no longer be the failure that I had become.

Now here I am, a year later! Praise God!  Not only do I have a new smile, I have a reason to smile.  I have learned that my joy is in the Lord and His Son, Jesus.  I have found my happiness is in His promises and in His Word.  I know that with God all things are possible, and that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  When I graduate, I want to stay in the ministry.  I will share the love and the hope I have been given so freely here at Teen Challenge, and I will show my children that it is possible to be happy and to be a family.  The verse I stand on is 1 Corinthians 16:14, “Let all that you do be done in love because without love we have nothing.”