I had to be broken to be made whole

My name is Jessica, and I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. I suffer from hurts, habits and hang-ups, but I celebrate recovery from drugs and alcohol. I was born into the cycle of addiction; both my parents were alcoholics and drug addicts. My father was very abusive to my mother, almost killing her on several occasions. My childhood was one traumatic event after another. I lived in constant fear of what each day would bring, till eventually that fear became a “Who cares? It can’t get much worse” attitude. My parents divorced when I was around 8. I felt completely alone, unloved and not accepted at home. So at a young age I started to believe that no one really cares, and being close to other people was hard for me. I had a twisted view of God. I believed that if there was a God, He was unfair.

My road of bad choices and addiction began at the age of 13. Drinking, smoking and doing drugs became a way of life for me. At the age of 13 I had already lost my virginity, ran away several times and rebelled at all authority. At 15 I couldn’t find a job, much less support myself another way, so I stepped into the dark and twisted world of adult entertainment. This went on till I met my first husband. I was 17 when we met and he thought I was 22. We married and I went back to school and got my GED and Associates in Accounting. I gave birth to my first daughter at the age of 19. We had begun using meth and drinking a good bit. Then we began selling meth. As soon I was making enough money selling, I once again ran away. I moved out into my own place, going into the adult entertainment business again, but this time just as a place to sell drugs. Partying and this fast life had drawn me back again.

This next phase of my life is where I had to be broken to be made whole. Alcohol got a grip on me like no other drug ever had. I would go to work and do everything I felt I was supposed to, like clean, cook dinner, bathe the kids – the whole time drinking daily. This behavior continued till I got my first DUI. I flipped end over end, walking away with a few scratches from a vehicle that was completely totaled. I was taken to jail, blew twice the legal limit. I can see where God was trying to get my attention here. I would like to say I stopped, got help, and lived happily ever after, but that is not what happened. I was bitter and angry, mad at the world. I had still no knowledge of Christ and I was angry at God because I had ruined my own life, just like my parents, with my own sin.  In just a few months I had gotten 2 more DUI’s, one of them being another flipped car. The judge told me I had a drinking and driving problem and that made me a danger to the community. I went to jail. I have never been so broken in all my life.

Within a few days of being there, my husband had pushed a divorce through and was awarded custody of my children. Part of my divorce decree was that I go into treatment, and I can see now where God was working behind the scenes. In all this, I cried out to the Lord! I surrendered and let go! I no longer controlled my own situation. I went into general population and started going to the jail ministry with the dorm. Someone that I worked with wrote me a letter and asked if there was anything they could do to help me. I wrote back and said yes, you can help me find a rehab – and it was not to get out of jail, it was to get well. I had been in jail for almost 4 months when I got accepted to Damascus Way Home for Women and Children. Again God was at work behind the scenes! He knew where I needed to be to grow closer to Him and read His Word, to get the tools to live life like He intended.

While I was there I developed a love for the Lord and His Word that I really can’t even put into words. I never went on pass while I was there. The only people I knew were doing the same thing that they were doing when I left, and I knew that I couldn’t hang around them. I graduated in April 2011. I now have a good job with benefits, and I have moved into my own home.  My oldest daughter is in Columbus full time, my younger children are here every other weekend, and I am sharing with them what I have learned about the Lord – and I promise you there is nothing sweeter.  I can tell you there is healing power in God’s Word, and in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I know what my God can do – He is a God of restoration and miracles.