“Me, 26 Years Later…”

I was born in northern Indiana.  My Mother was severely mentally ill and my father was an alcoholic and drug addict. I was 14 years old when I found my Mother dead on the couch.  After that I started drinking and doing drugs.  At 17 I hitchhiked to Panama City Beach where I’ve been ever since. Over the 26 years after my Mother’s death I experimented with almost every drug possible as well as drank.

I have been married twice and have two beautiful children, a daughter and a son, ages 15 and 14.  I have been married for three years to my second husband, who is also a recovering addict and we both have mental health diagnoses of bipolar disorder.

Because of mental illness I spiraled out of control and as a result I ended up unemployed, homeless, and alone for over a year. One day I was walking in the rain and I wholeheartedly cried out to God because I was so tired and hot and couldn’t take any more.  I was past ready to die.  A couple of days after that doors started to open.  I was on the beach and a lady came up to me and said that God has a big plan for me. Then right after that my husband tried to get me into Titus 2’s residence for women and told me to fill out the application.  I did and Cathy told me no.  It was the day before Thanksgiving and for days I felt a tugging on my heart like a child nagging his mother for a toy, but it was God nagging me to call her back and ask her to please reconsider letting me into the Titus 2 program. She set up an interview with me.  I did get in but I had to wait until Sunday.

I spent Thursday night on the dock at Rick Selzer Park until Sunday.  I was to get picked up Sunday afternoon, but I stopped and got drunk so Cathy took me to detox where I stayed for three days before I could go to Titus 2.  As soon as I entered the door at Titus 2’s residence I was delivered from drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. I wanted this program so bad that I finished my 12 steps in 4 months and during my 6th and 7th steps I felt a miraculous transformation that God was doing.  I felt him pull the scales from my eyes, open my ears, and basically just renew and transform me to be His.  I also started journaling (which I hate) to break my rebellious spirit.  Since being here not only did these miracles happen, so have several others that brought me closer to God.  I also have a deeper understanding of God and a closer relationship with my family.  I am working, have my own transportation, and looking forward to having my children back with me soon, and continuing to grow in the Lord.