I started cheerleading when was five. It was my life! I was at the gym every free minute I had, striving for perfection! Cheerleading was my outlet. I absolutely loved it!  My sophomore year my world came crashing down.  My cheerleading career ended when I injured my back in a car accident.  At the same time my parents got a divorce after 23 years and my uncle died of a drug overdose.  I didn’t have a future anymore and I didn’t know why I was still living.  I found out quickly that pills made me not feel anything at all. I started experimenting with every drug I could get my hands on. School was at the bottom of my priority list.  All my time was consumed with drugs to the extreme.

I had new friends every time I turned around. I was “living good” and loving it.  I was always getting to know more druggies and their sources. I completely indulged in the drug game.  I didn’t care about anything or anybody I lived for the next high.  Sometimes that was the only reason to wake up in the mornings!  You would think that almost dying one night from ecstasy and too much alcohol
would open my eyes, but nope, I kept going.  Neither of my parents wanted me near their homes,and my older brothers didn’t want anything to do with me either.  The conversations with family consisted of, “We love you and you need help.  I thought they had the problem, not me. I thought I was fine I had no idea how bad off I was.

I constantly stayed in trouble,and selling cocaine became my source pf income, I was my best customer.  I totaled three cars, went into inpatient and outpatient rehab, AA and NA meetings, and jail
three times.  This last time I was in jail, something clicked. I realized that in order for me to have a life, something had to change and it had to be me!  I was ready for a new lifestyle. I was sick of
pushing rewind, trouble, and no one to turn to – sick and tired … literally!

My mom had talked about a program called “Teen Challenge.” My uncle had gone through this program and died so I thought my mom and the Pastor were crazy. After I got out of jail, I called my Dad one night crying. With no money, no drugs, coming down from the night before, I was walking up the street with no place to go when my Dad showed up with a cop.  This cop could tell I was on something. My choice was go home with my Dad or go back to jail.  That’s when I realized what I had to do. On December 18th, I arrived at Teen Challenge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The Lord brought me out of the pit and set me on a solid foundation.  I now have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I have hope for a better life.  Instead of waking up for the next high, I wake up to find out more about Jesus and who I am and who I can be! I can tell people how God has changed my life and how He can do that for anyone!  I’m so thankful for Teen Challenge because it gives people like me an opportunity to turn our lives around with the Lord!   Not only has He changed me and softened my heart but my family has sin cerely forgiven me and they see the changes too!

It feels so good to know that God is in control!  Instead of looking for answers from people who tell me anything they think I want to hear.  I now ask the Lord for answers in the Book of
Life, the Bible!  I have learned so much since I’ve been in Teen Challenge and I know that life is all about choices.  God is definitely a God of many chances! I’m grateful and thankful to the Lord most of all but also to Teen Challenge and to my fa mily for believing in me!  Today I stand on the Scripture Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who give me strength!”