“Hello, my name is Haley. When you take a look at me, you may see a person who loves their life and is full of joy. That has not always been the case for me. Have you ever heard the expression “little girls are their daddy’s world”?

For me, my dad was my hero as a young child. When my parents divorced and my dad left, I didn’t understand. I thought I had done something to make him leave and not love me anymore. After the divorce, I was able to visit my dad every other weekend. At this point, I was determined to do whatever it took to keep him in my life and earn his love.

Looking back, I realized my addiction start just by taking a few sips of beer as a young teen. Over a period of time, I was a full-blown meth addict. Not only that, but I was always trying to please other people so that I would be accepted and loved. I was blinded by my addictions and I was running from the shame and guilt from my past but even worse I was running from my family and my son. Before coming to Adult and Teen Challenge of the Upper Cumberland, I wouldn’t hardly look at myself in the mirror because the person looking back at me was a person with no meaning or life.

Because of my pride and selfishness, I received two felony charges. Sitting in a jail cell, I started laying the pride down and I picked up humility when I admitted I wanted help. I always thought God was this mystical, angry creature that allowed bad things to happen to good people. Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ was something I had never experienced before until I came to this ministry. I understand now that God is loving, caring and compassionate towards those who love and know Him. I find strength in Him, and He is patient and merciful to me.

I am constantly growing in who I am in Christ and who He has created me to be. I no longer see in the mirror someone with no future, I see a woman of God who is forgiven, beautiful and set free from addictions. Throughout my journey of being a Christian, there is one specific thing that has stuck out to me.Being in control of your thoughts have a huge impact on your life. I used to be negative and self-degrading but since I have learned to change what I think on, it has changed my whole thought process. Fear, worry and anxiety no longer take residence in my life because I no longer dwell on my past. The Lord tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that His plans for us is to give us a future and a hope.

Looking at my future I see myself with a college degree in early childhood education and being the godly mother God has created me to be. I want to one day open my own daycare and volunteer to help with troubled kids who may be struggling with life controlling issues. I want to be a warrior and a willing vessel for the Kingdom of God. The verse that gives me strength and encouragement is Isaiah 41:10, Fear now, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”