Before coming to Adult and Teen Challenge of the Upper Cumberland, I was bound by an addiction to opiates and Xanax.  For the most part, I had a pretty normal childhood.  My single mother and grandmother raised my older brother and myself.  My father was really never in the picture.  He would pop in and out every 4 or 5 years or so.  I started doubting my self worth at an early age.  Not having my father left a void in my life that I would continually try to fill with substances and people. 

Through my teenage years, my mother worked 2 or 3 jobs at a time, which gave me lots of freedom.  I experimented with different drugs and alcohol as well as men.  In October 2008, one day after my 17th birthday, my brother was killed in a car accident.  Overcome with grief, I went into a full-blown tailspin of addiction and rebellion.  I did any drug I could get my hands on, and I began sleeping around to try and kill the pain of loneliness, anger, and sadness. 

In September of 2009, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter.  I decided I wanted to give her a good life, so I completely stopped everything.  I did quite well for a short while.  The stresses of being a single mom, working full-time, and running a household eventually started to take its toll on me.  I turned to drugs to cope, and for a few years, I managed my addictions. I always held a job, took care of my daughter, etc.

Before long, I was no longer managing my addiction.  It was managing me.  I even started to sell my body to get my fix.  I was no longer being a mother to my daughter anymore.  I ended up getting arrested six times in less than two months.  I was facing a lot of time behind bars, but my Savior had other plans.

He placed an amazing lawyer in my life that introduced the opportunity to go to Adult and Teen Challenge of the Upper Cumberland.  At first, I was super skeptical.  To be honest, I just wanted to get out of jail.  The Lord began to do something in me.  I have not been the same since.  I no longer think, talk, or even look the same.  The joy I have now is so much better than any drug you can get.  Jesus radiates through me.  I no longer feel unworthy or that my worth lies in what I do or do not do for people, my appearance, or my past.  I know now I am worthy and loved because my Father says so.  I am a new creation in Christ Jesus.  I have been made new, and I am redeemed.

Upon completing Adult and Teen Challenge of the Upper Cumberland, I plan on being the Godly mother that my daughter deserves.  I am going to disciple her and teach her about the One who never leaves us or forsakes us.  I also plan on going back to school to get my degree.  I want to become all God wants me to be.  He has a plan and a future for me, and I am not going to waste the opportunity.  I will continue to tell anyone that will listen about His goodness.  The verse I stand on is Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”