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Starting with a childhood that no child should have, I had been sexually abused not only by random men, but by my own step grandfather - the people that as a child you think you can trust. I never have known my real father.  My mother was a heavy drug user while I was growing up and that put me in a lot of situations that never needed to be. I was a very angry person, hurt and let down by everyone that came in contact with me. That continued into my teenage years.  My mother was off of drugs, but she still had all of the baggage that came along with using.  She was very verbally abusive.  
I have ADHD and as a child it was really bad.  My parents put me on Adderall and that, in turn, was my gateway to heavy drug usage.  I started smoking pot and drinking.  I also lost my virginity at the age of 14.  Things progressed from there.  By the time I was 16, I had my first child, and the second child ten and a half months later.  The father of the children got married to another woman a month after the birth of our second child and it devastated me.  Still using to some degree, I also used work to escape life’s reality, leaving my two kids with their grandmother all the time.  She and I did not get along at all at that time.  I took the girls from the home and did not let her see them for a long time. I was in and out of relationships with men and women.  Most of them were either drug dealers of some degree, or very physically abusive.  Until I lost my children due to drugs in the year of 2009, I thought I had things handled.  
After losing the girls, I lost all hope in life at all.  I started shooting up drugs and was with a man that beat me daily.  I thought I deserved it for all the wrong I did.  After trying to commit suicide several times, God made a way out even though I did not see it at the time.  The cops knocked on the door to arrest the man I was with.  Me, I was shame stricken with track marks all up and down my arms.  The cop looked at me and said, “I don’t ever want to see you like this again.”  Knowing he could have taken me away for possession, he let me go with nothing but the clothes on my back and fifty dollars.  I was so lost bouncing from house to house, staying wherever I could lay my head.  I ended up in Scottsville, Kentucky, where my life would be forever changed.
I was with a guy that was feeding me all kinds of pills and eventually, I had overdosed on too many uppers and downers.  Laying there passed out under a bridge in a ditch is where he left me to die.  A driver passing by happened to see me and called the police.  After being in Allen County Detention Center for three days, I woke up not knowing how I got there and I freaked out.  I had never been to jail before.  I was scared and confused.  I asked to talk to someone and said to them, “I will do whatever is needed to get out of here.”  I told my mom I was done this time and I would go wherever she wanted.  I had hit my “bottom.”  That’s where I met Sue Cline, founder of the Hope Center for Women.  I asked her if I could come stay there, and she said yes, but if I stayed a month longer.  Knowing this was my only hope, I said yes.  I was released July 2010.  God had allowed my life to be shaken upside down, so I would truly call on Him.  
At the Hope Center for Women, I was taught how to hear the voice of God and how to have a personal relationship with Him.  The more I focused on Him, the less using drugs was an issue for me.  He showed me my worth and value.  I had gotten a good job and was on the right track now.  I wanted my kids back and I could not even see them cause their dad did not see fit.  I filed a motion for contempt and got visitations four hours every other weekend.  After that it went to having them the whole weekend.  I meet my soon to be husband around this time as well we dated six months, then we were married.  Having my life even more on track, my girls wanted to live with me, so we went to court and fought and lost, even though God had given me Scripture on how He would give my kids back.  I was crushed, the kids were also crushed. But I still believed what He had told me.  Two years later, I filed for another court date.  Then their father handed them over to me and said that they wanted to live with me.  Two years after the girls coming home, I now have a son that God had also promised me.  
This is the God I serve.  The God of restoration.  I am currently a full-time youth leader at Christian Life Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where God works through me to speak to young women.  He told me that if I just believed, that He would give me the desires of my heart.  The One who died to be in my place.  And for that I will serve Him till the day I die.  
The Scripture verses below are the ones I stood on for years during the waiting period before God granted me my children back.  I hope they encourage all who read this as well.     
"See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.  Your children hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you.  Lift up your eyes and look around; all your children gather and come to you. As surely as I live,” declares the Lord, “you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride.
(Isaiah 49: 16-18 NIV)
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