My mom and I attended church every Sunday, where she was my small group leader.  As a child I enjoyed Sunday school and was very involved in the church.  I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at 11 years old.  Growing up, circumstances were strict. Seldom was I allowed to get out and do things.

At 14 I was told I needed to get a job, so I started working at McDonald’s.  The second semester of my freshman year I was introduced to marijuana. I would skip lunch to get high, and then return to class.

By the time I turned 18 I was fed up with living at home.  My dad and I did not have a good relationship, butting heads a lot.  At one point we got into a physical altercation, which resulted in me moving out and leaving behind my younger brother and sister.  Instead, I moved in with my boyfriend and his parents on their farm, and I stayed there the remainder of my senior year.

After graduating in 2011, my boyfriend and I got our own place.  Moving back to the city it was very easy for me to find the drugs I wanted, especially when things weren’t going right in our relationship; I ran to drugs for comfort.  Our relationship lasted 5 years, ending in February of 2014.  We still remained close friends, but my drug use got in the way. 

At this time, I decided to move to Texas, and from there up to Colorado to get away and start over.  After only three months I returned to Fond du Lac.  I was still broken and wore my heart on my sleeve.  At this point God was not the center of my life, drugs were.  I basically used whatever I could get my hands on.

Again I chose to get involved with the wrong group of people.  I found myself hanging out with a guy who claimed to be part of the M.S. 13 Unit Gang. I quickly became addicted to cocaine, and used crack here and there.  Satan really had a grip on me.  I was sexually abused and taken advantage of more than once. 

Searching for a way to hide the pain and my emotions, I began using Percocet, which quickly led to heroin.  I ended up getting Hepatitis C, but on June 24th of 2015, almost two months after being in Teen Challenge, my blood results came back negative. God healed me, without needing any medical treatment

The power of prayer is amazing!  Looking back I have a better understanding of why my dad was so hard on me.  I tended to be rebellious, and considering he’s a Marine, he didn’t tolerate much.

Regardless of the things I’ve been through, I take full responsibility for my choices.  I thank God and give him all the glory for sending the Holy Spirit to guide me back on the right path. I’m thankful and happy to be living my life for Christ again.

The scripture I stand on is Psalm 143:8 – “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

On June 3, 2016, I graduated from Teen Challenge. I am pictured in the second row, third from the left. Our speaker was U.S. Senator Ron Johnson. Thank you for supporting Teen Challenge and individuals like me!