I was brought up in a home that was normal. I had loving parents and a brother. We lived on a couple of acres with cows, horses, dogs and cats. I had an upbringing that taught me between right and wrong.

At age 12, I found out, I was adopted.  Later that night, I asked it was true. They said yes, and told me if I had any questions about my birth parents to ask them, and they would tell me what they knew. I felt betrayed, unwanted, thrown away, and a hole deep inside me. I fought these feelings for the next 6 years of school — putting on a face to show everything was okay.

After high school, my anger and resentments all reached a point to where something had to give. I used pot a couple of times and figured it was okay because it was not a bad drug. I would smoke more and more to calm myself down. After a few years, I started drinking beer so instead of shots, I would mix drinks and they became my best friend. I had found a solution to my feelings and I felt in control of my actions. That led to a 4-year meth addiction and my first DUI. That was in 2005 I got clean from meth but I continued to drink, started to get depressed a lot, and figured I needed to drink more to feel joy and happiness. I switched from hard alcohol to beer thinking I still had control of my life. I drank almost every day for the next ten years. I got my second DUI in 2012. I woke up in the ICU with internal bleeding. The doctor said we want to do exploratory surgery but I refused. They said I could die if it did not stop; I closed my eyes and prayed to God asking Him to heal me. If it was his, plan to keep me alive. I walked out of the hospital after three days. In 2015, I ran from the police in my grandparent’s car with my birth sister in the passenger seat because I was afraid of getting another DUI. I rolled the car and she was ejected from the vehicle. She broke her collarbone and I had a black eye.  My life has been me yelling from inside for peace and hope, looking in all the wrong places.                                                                                            

I made the decision to check out Teen Challenge. Therefore, I got ahold of Cory and set up a tour. When I walked into the hallway, I felt something I have never felt before. The feeling was not shock, extreme heat, or anything like that. It felt as if I found what I was looking for. Three weeks into the program during a chapel service with Kevin Pemble, I went to an altar call and accepted Jesus as my personal savior and leader of my life. My need to drink was taken away from me and cast into the fiery depths. God has shown me how to heal. God never left my side.

Isaiah 40:28-31 says: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, and they will walk and not be faint.”                                                                      

I can truly say that because of god’s grace, I am more confident, I have more hope and inner peace. My thoughts, actions, attitudes and emotions have all changed. I am a new creation given a new life. This time I am playing for the team that is going to win. The more I learn about who Jesus is and how I am supposed to live a more fulfilling life is becoming. I cannot wait to see what my new life in Christ has in store for me.