Hi, my name is Carrie and I’m 22 years old and I grew up in Missouri. My stand on scripture is Romans 12:2 “Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” I’ve been in Teen Challenge right under five months and in that time I’ve started a transformation myself.
Addiction for me started very early on. My mother was stuck in her own addiction when she found out that she was pregnant. She was unable to break this so at the time of my birth I to tested positive for the substance. The state picked up on the charges and the day I got to leave the hospital it was in the arms of a social worker. My mom tried to get me back and would for a period of time but it never lasted. She just couldn’t break free. She lost two of my other siblings and then got the news…. Her rights to me as a mother were terminated.
“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.” -Jeremiah 29:11
I internalized all this, at this age I didn’t understand what was going on around me, but I felt as though I had done something wrong, I felt unloved, unwanted. So I started putting up walls and not feeling I could get close to anyone. Really that’s all I wanted, was to feel loved! I was placed into a loving foster home and felt love there; I felt wanted. Then another change came and I was adopted out and placed into another family. They are amazing and wonderful people. They are my parents. Life was great! I moved out to the country, I could play in the dirt, I had brothers around me at all times, and I really never had to do without.
As I started getting older, however, I was still hurt on the inside. I still felt as though I was unloved. I started having questions… Why was I adopted? Why didn’t my own mother want me? What did I do wrong? Why would she choose drugs over her own daughter?
I started experimenting with drugs and alcohol to see what the hype was about, to see what the big deal was. I soon started using them to numb the pain and to feel accepted, to fit in. Then it just became part of my life, to the point where I was unable to stop. I started getting into legal trouble, in and out of jail , distancing myself from my family, and facing time in prison. I found myself pregnant, and unable to stop. It seemed as though it would be so easy, to just give it up. I lost that baby because of my drug use. I now understood addiction first hand; I needed a miracle. I went to prison and knew it was time to change! This is when God stepped in!
I got out and spent Easter at home with my family we had talked about me finding a program to get into. So the following Tuesday I came into Teen Challenge, and haven’t looked back! God has softened my life and filled that void, hole, hurt, and pain that I’ve carried for so long. He is my Savior and also my friend. Teen Challenge is the foot hole, the foundation that I needed! I am so thankful to be alive and hope that one day I could help someone else find their way and their Savior. God has restored my families. I now have a relationship with my adopted family as well as my biological family. God has only started to bless me. I can’t wait to see the surprises he’s got in store!