As a young girl, growing up I was raised in the church by my parents. When I became a teenager and could better understand the Lord I soon got saved and gave my heart to him. My faith was strong and I was spiritually fulfilled within myself and within my life. My father played the guitar and him and I would sing together in church, public gatherings, and we would also voluntary go and sing to the elderly in nursing homes.
As a child, you really don’t think about what all your mother and father have to sacrifice at times in order for you to have that new pair of shoes or the game system you’d been wanting. As I soon became older, I quickly realized all the struggles and responsibilities that came along with being a parent. I had my first son at the age of 18 and then my second son at age 23. Their father and I divorced due to a violent and controlling marriage. I then became a single mother with two children and for the first time, I truly knew what it felt like to be scared. Working a full-time job, and at times I even had to work two and raising my boys alone, quickly added an overwhelming amount of stress to my life. I love my children and I was doing the very best that I could to provide for them while also juggling the role of being mommy and daddy.
It wasn’t too long after my second son was born that I quickly found myself in the company of the wrong kind of crowd and soon became involved with things I never dreamed I could ever do. I started to experiment with drugs and quickly it led me down a path of destruction. I heard people say how good drugs made them feel and that they would help take your mind off the stressful situations you were dealing with in life, but for me, it became the stressful situation I was dealing with. I would like to call it “The Devil In Disguise.” It’s like a little voice inside your head telling you, “Go ahead I know you’re going through some hard times, I’ll take all your worries and heartaches away, I’ll make you believe there’s nothing to live for or even fear.” So you give in and let “The Devil in Disguise” take over and once you do, it’s a daily struggle that only you and your faith in God can get back.
There were so many times I wanted to quit using and even tried to but I couldn’t physically cope with the sickness and withdraws that came along with it. I then became involved in a relationship with this guy who I soon found out was even more involved with drugs then I was. My life started to become one big roller coaster ride that I sure didn’t want to be on anymore. I wasn’t this person that I had become and I sure didn’t want my boys to ever find out that their Mommy was using drugs. Thinking that they were too little to no what was going on I tried hiding it from them by doubting my children’s intelligence and that was my mistake because I soon learned my oldest son knew all along. I prayed that deep down he didn’t hate me for what I was doing. I’ll never really know if he ever did, but what I do know is that I had let him and his brother down.
Time went on and one evening the guy that I was dating sold some drugs to what he thought was a so-called friend of his. I had a weird feeling about that whole situation that night but he didn’t listen to me. When the police came knocking on my door we quickly found out that my uneasy feeling that I had felt was getting ready to turn into something very real. Before the police entered my apartment the guy who I had been dating and who I thought cared about me, quickly proved me wrong and ran from the police and left me standing there to pay the consequences alone. His so-called friend had worn a wire on him and the police had the whole transaction and conversation between them on tape. I was arrested and transported to the county jail. The apartment that we were living in was in my name along with all the bills as well. So even though I didn’t actually sell the drugs, I was charged with a dealing charge because the transaction had taken place in my apartment and because they never caught the guy that I was dating. That was the last time I ever saw or talked to him. I was sentenced to a year and a half in prison and including the time I had spent in the county jail, the total amount I did was 19 months. Standing there in front of the judge scared to death and nervously waiting for my sentence, I somehow felt this peaceful feeling inside and I didn’t understand why.
One day you hear people talk about prison, and the terrifying stories behind it and all you can think is how awful that would be and how that could never happen to you. Then in a blink of an eye, your world comes crashing down and you’re living that terrifying story others had only talked about.
Setting in a concrete cell day in and day out gave me a lot of time to think and let me tell you something, sometimes that can be a very bad thing for a person. All I could think about was how selfish I had been. I mean here I had been whining about how hard I was having it out there and struggling to provide for my boys, who by the way never complained to me about the things we didn’t have and now I set in prison while my boys were left without their mother. They were the ones who were having it hard, not me. I felt like the most worthless person and mother on the face of the earth. The pain I was feeling inside was unbearable and as the tears continuously fell from my check and my heart literally feeling like it was breaking in two, I thought about a friend of mine who I hadn’t talked to in a while. As I began to pour my heart out to my friend up above, I knew at that moment it was going to be a long night, and oh let me tell you, it sure was. I talked to the Lord for hours, cried, wiped the snot from my nose, and then I talked to him some more. I told him how sorry I was and that once I was able to go home I would tell other people that were living the life I once was, about a brand new and wonderful life that they could live with him. I thanked him and ask him to give me the strength to get through this because I knew without him I couldn’t do it alone.
The next morning when I woke up I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I smiled as I thought about it because at moments when you think you can’t take anymore, He shows up right on time. The rest of my stay wasn’t easy in there but holding onto my faith in God and the power of prayers, I walked out a different woman.
Today, I have been clean for 3 yrs and 3 months and I’ve become a much stronger person and an even better mother. My boys are 19 and 13 now and my oldest has a daughter who is a year old. I believe that the Lord put her in my life especially just for me because when I look at her sweet little face and wrap her in my arms, there’s no drug or drink that could ever bring me that much joy. I have God by my side, my children, granddaughter, family, and friends in my life and I’m living proof that prayers do come true. I am truly blessed. Thank you, Lord, once again You came right on time.
You ask about what Bible verses I leaned on while I was in prison, well there were quite a few. The one I held onto though, and I think I read just about every day was, Isaiah 41:10
“So do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Boy, that verse is so true about the Lord strengthening you, because he sure did for me. If he hadn’t had, I don’t think I could’ve made it through without him.
Philippians I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Psalms 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers and his faithfulness will be your shield.
This is another one of my favorites because he did just that for me. He gave me so much hope. I know as long as I keep my heart open only for him, my future could never look more beautiful.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.
Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.Isaiah 43:2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
And today, this is the one I read daily.
Psalms16:8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
The reasons that keep me from traveling down that dead in the road again, are many. The number one is the Lord. The day I walked out of that place was the day I never looked back. He has taken all desires of that way of life from me and I also changed my people, places, and things. There’s also my two boys. You know they’ve never judged me, held anything against me, and they loved me through it all like I never did a single thing wrong. I couldn’t imagine my life without them, they are truly amazing kids. My little grand daughter. I could just go on and on about her, she is my gift from God.
Addiction is something you really can’t even explain. I know that it will take you under its spell, so quick, that you never even see it coming. My heart breaks because I’ve been out grocery shopping or taking my granddaughter to the park to play and seen someone I use to no still struggling with addiction and I feel so sad for them. I pray every day for the addicts that are still suffering. The only advice that I can give them and I know without a doubt that it is 100% guaranteed, is that if they will look to the Lord for answers, strength, and an everlasting love, he will deliver along with so much more.