Testimony of the Month-Jen’s Rescue Story
Jen’s Rescue Story
It is my hope to take you on a journey with me as I tell you my story of the girl I used to be. My parents were children themselves; my mother was 15 and my dad was 17 when I was born. Looking over my childhood I’ve never known my mother not to be under the influence. She was consumed by so much brokenness that it engulfed both of our lives.
At age 5, the sexual abuse started and continued into my teen years. I also learned at an early age that my father was a homosexual. It was through this, that I felt my first form of rejection, I did not fit into his desired lifestyle. All of this was the beginning of me having a very warped view of love, acceptance, and myself in general.
As a teenager, I searched for something to take my pain away. I cried out for help constantly to my mother. My plea for help, however, fell on deaf ears. I told her about the sexual abuse, and she did not believe me. I started practicing self-mutilation and faked suicides, just to get my mom’s attention. Yet it was to no avail. This created a void in me. All I could hear, feel, and see was that I did not matter. I too was lost in her addiction. This further rejection turned my heart cold towards God, and that was when I first began hating Him for allowing all of this in my life.
At the age of 15 I started using drugs. For the first time I had felt like I had finally found my best friend. It was everything I was looking for. It took my pain away….so, I thought! As you will see in my story this was the first of many lies from the enemy that I believed. I Peter 5:8 says, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” And boy was he feasting on me!
I had my first child at the age of 18 and was married shortly after. My second child was born when I was 20. Then I was divorced at the age of 22. For the next 6 -7 years I was a single mother and a closet user. I was in and out of relationships. I was still seeking something and needing love that always seemed to be out of my reach. I had become my mother…
I would always comfort myself by taking pride in the fact that at least I wasn’t as bad as the other users I knew. After all, I was a single mom keeping it together. Let me be clear, I was there, but I was not present for my children. There were so many lies I told myself during this time. Creating my own reality that reflected very little of the actual truth, but hey, I was better than most, so I thought. I had a job, a home, and my kids had the necessities. Matthew 6:23 says, “But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep the darkness is!”
I moved to Georgia with my mother at the age of 27. I didn’t realize it at the time, but God was putting me into a position to find Him. I can look back now and see God’s hand of protection and love all throughout my life. Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
To try and get control over my addiction, I started going to the methadone clinic. It was at this time that I got pregnant with my third child. When she was born, I tested positive for drugs, so Defacs got involved. I tried running from them, to avoid the consequences of my actions, but in the end of the ordeal I lost my kids. The stress of everything just further aggravated my addiction, the only coping mechanisms I had ever known. The drinking, along with everything else, just got out of control at this point. I was in and out of jail, rehabs, relapses, and I just wanted to die.
After a short stay at a rehab, I obtained sobriety for a few years. I had a good job and was really keeping it together. The motivation driving me was strictly to get my kids back and this is exactly what happened. This success was short-lived though. I was not truly healed, and I was not truly free. It wasn’t until I met Jesus that real freedom and healing began! John 8:36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
When I was 7 months pregnant with my son, who was my fourth child, I relapsed and started using again. Defacs once again got involved and I lost my children once more. There was a no contact order with my younger children. I had once again chosen men and addiction over my family. This is when everything came to a head. I started shooting heroin, smoking crack, in and out of jail, staying in drug houses, prostitution, homelessness, physical, and sexual abuse. It was at this point my daughters disowned me.
With the lifestyle I was living, dying was a strong possibility. I was consumed by the fear that if I died, I would be a Jane Doe and that no one would even know who I was. This fear haunted me! Primarily because the truth of it was that I was a Jane Doe. I had estranged myself from my family. No one knew where I was or what I was doing. I was lost to them and to myself, but not to God! Psalm 139:3 states, “You discern my going out and my lying down: You are familiar with all my ways.” Romans 8:38 says, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.” Oh, how I was trying to run from God’s love for me. I hated God and I blamed Him for everything that had happened in my life. I was addicted to the game and the lifestyle it came with. I couldn’t function without it and I didn’t even want to try at that point. But then there was God. My hatred for Him had NO impact on His reckless love for me and He came after me hard!
I broke my no contact order with my son. I had a warrant out for my arrest and was caught at the house with him and I was arrested. Due to me breaking the no contact order, my son was taken from his father by Defacs and he was put into a foster home. The time frame of everything becomes clouded, but my son’s father reached out to me, letting me know that my son’s foster mother had mentioned a place called the Abba House. If I was interested in going, she would pay my tuition to attend.
What I didn’t know was at this point my son’s foster mother had fallen in love with him. She made him a promise to find me and to get me help, she held true to her word. I Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” She was the hands and feet of Christ in my son’s life and mine. I will forever be grateful for her! Don’t ever underestimate the powerful impact you can have in someone’s life when you choose to love them for Christ.
I reached out to the Abba House. The lady on the phone spoke to me in such a way, I knew that she had been exactly where I was. After being on the streets for some period of time and having just depleted the last of my dope; I finally agreed to go back home to meet the lady from the Abba House. When I arrived at my house, I manipulated my son’s father for some money, saying it was for some basic needs at the Abba house. He happily gave me $30. It had been days since I had slept, so when I was waiting for her to pick me up, I crashed on my couch. I woke up to the police, fire department, and two ladies, who I had thought were from the Abba House, standing in my living room. They thought that I had overdosed and was dead. I agreed to go to the hospital to detox. (I later found out that one of the women standing in my living room that day was my son’s foster mom.)
Once everyone had left the hospital, I was alone with an internal struggle. While I was wanting to go to detox, I also wanted to get high. My addiction once again won out. I left the hospital with the $30 dollars and I had my dope dealer pick me up. When we pulled out of the driveway, I saw the same two women from the house do a U-turn and start pursuing me with vengeance down the street for 2 miles. For the first time in my life I was faced with the realization that someone actually loved me!
I did escape that day and ended back on the street. However, over those next two weeks I know these women prayed for me. James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” Never underestimate the POWER of prayer! I may have escaped the first time, but I could not escape the out reaching hand of God that these ladies prayed into my life. It was something I could not run from. It was bigger than me!
I was arrested within those next two weeks. When I went before the judge the lady from Abba House was in the courtroom. I was released on a conditional bond to the Abba House. So, I went, and this was the beginning of my healing process.
The people at the Abba House literally loved me until I was able to love myself. They fought for me until I was able to fight for myself. They believed in me until I was able to believe in myself. Through this process of healing, my son’s foster parents never left my side. They wrote to me and they prayed for me. My mentor never gave up on me and continued to fight for me, even when I wanted to quit and when I ran away. She spoke words of life and hope into my heart that I just wanted to dare to believe in. You see, all of these people were an extension of God’s GREAT love for me.
To sum it all up, it was all God’s love. It was His love I had been longing for my entire life, and it was pouring in on me at every angle. It was God’s love for me that saved me. It was His love for me that changed me. It was His love for me that kept me alive when I wanted to die and found me when I thought I was lost and hidden from His sight. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
The Abba House was a tough program, but I found so much healing there because I found God. After four months at the Abba House, my son was able to come live with me. I also ended up having my wedding there. Mr. Jim, walked me down the aisle, because I didn’t have a father that could. My son’s foster parents stood at the altar with me and Tuan, as our best man and matron of honor. I finally have a family. A family of God-filled healthy relationships. God has restored my relationship with my now husband, my brother, and most importantly my children. I do not deserve the privilege to be their mom, but, with God’s redemptive grace, He has given them back to me. God fills me with His love every time I get a phone call from my children. Every simple conversation I cherish and hang on to. I am blessed! Joel 2:25-26 says, “The Lord says, I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the LORD your God, who does these miracles for you. Never again will my people be disgraced.”
I used to feel abandoned, rejected, alone, scared, unlovable, unworthy, lost, hopeless, defeated… and now I am God’s daughter, worthy, loveable, accepted, found, a wife, a mother, a mentor. I am a part of Celebration Recovery and I am honored to be a part of all that God has for me in the future. Luke 7:47 states, “I tell you, her sins – and they are many – have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”
If God can come and get me where I was, then He can most assuredly come and get you too! Zephaniah 3:17 says, “the Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
This is my redemption story of how God’s GREAT love changes everything. Thank you for taking this journey with me. I hope God’s love, power, and redemption shines through for all to see and that hope is found in knowing that He can do the same for you.
Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly. He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel. The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.