I lived out of a car for 2 years with my little girl because of my addiction. I would get high in the front seat while she slept in the back. We bathed in swimming pools of random apartment buildings. My daughter would wake up from naps, and literally begin pulling her hair out, because she was still trapped in that car.
I started doing drugs when I was 12, and was a full-blown heroin addict by 19. I had planned on going to college, but heroin changed that. I caught my first felony case over a bad drug deal – a girl ripped me off and I pulled out a gun.My life went downhill after that.
I got involved with a group of criminals and started doing all kinds of things I would have never imagined, like mail fraud. I was in and out of jail for 10 years. I would go to jail for 8 months, come out for 3, and go right back in. I caught case after case. I grew up in jail: I knew all the sheriffs and I knew the system. I was locked up when my mom died of cancer; I beat myself up over that for years.
In 2016 I was facing another 4 years, but my lawyer had me court ordered to a program. I went to Heritage House North in Anaheim, a residence for women with children. This was the sixth program I had tried, and the first one that had anything to do with church. I believe God placed me there.
NorthEast of the Well came every Friday to offer us a Bible Study, and I went to both that and their Anaheim service on Monday nights. I found myself starting to pray. I have always been a believer, as I was raised Catholic – but I hadn’t prayed like THIS before. There was something different about NorthEast. I wasn’t judged for being an addict. I wanted to be like the girls I saw in leadership and have a relationship with Jesus.
I used to reconnect with God every time I went to jail. My bunkies would answer my questions about Jesus. But outside of jail, I’d fall off and not pray or read the bible. At NorthEast, I had away to keep that connection with God going. After my baptism with Pastor Laura,I really felt things change inside.
My life doesn’t look like it used to. I am present in my daughter’s life: I take her to ballet and Girl Scouts, instead of spending all my money on heroin and meth. I’ve held down a full-time job for 2 years: a position I got through the McCrackens, long-time supporters of NorthEast. I graduate Irvine Valley College next summer and have plans to further my education. I make car payments and pay all of my bills. I’m now off probation, after 13 years. I’m married and faithful to my husband.
I used to smoke heroin in the front seat of my car with my daughter in the back,and today we sing worship music as I drive us to church! I know Jesus shattered the chains that held me captive for so long – He was the only one strong enough.
I’ve been set free. And you know what? I LOVE BEING FREE.