I grew up in a dysfunctional home with a lot of abuse. In my early teens, I was introduced to hard drugs and alcohol. I did everything from methamphetamine to heroin. I ran away from home and got involved in gangs. I have been in and out of jails and prisons for most of my adult life. Through all of this, I was aware of a God that saved and healed people, but I wasn’t willing to give my life to Him.
That changed the last time I went to prison. When I got out, I moved into a Christian transitional living home and attended church regularly. But I still questioned my identity in Christ. I was convinced that I was an angry person, I was not worthy of a better life, and no one could love me after I abandoned my three children. I had agreed with the lies that the enemy had told me. I needed a breakthrough.
During my first few quiet times at retreat, I felt like I heard nothing except the words “lean in.” So I kept doing the work to lean in, even though I wasn’t sure I’d hear anything back. Finally, on the last day of retreat, I heard God. He told me I am worthy and I am forgiven because He is the restorer and He is restoring me piece by piece. He told me that I am His child and that He has a purpose for me and my life. Regardless of the tattoos all over my face and body, I now know I am able to do anything that He calls me to do because I’m sure of who I am in Him.
I still have hard days, but I no longer look at my past and believe the lie that I will always be the same old person I used to be. I know now that God is chiseling me and molding me. Every time I struggle, I embrace correction and allow God to remove the things from my life that don’t look like Him so that He can fill me with His love and His goodness.
I believe that I am truly changed. I’m never going back to the dark places I used to live in. From now on, I have His peace because I choose His peace. I’m so thankful to this ministry for helping me find my identity in Christ.