A New Beginning
  I've gone to church ever since I can remember. My mom helped
in the nursury and my dad taught my Sunday school class. A life with
Jesus was the only life I knew. As a little kid, it was the only life I
lived.

When I was 13 I found out my parents smoked marijuana. To me, that
was a huge deal. At that time, my older brother was also getting into
his share of trouble. Partying was his main thing and not my parents nor
the police could stop him. With all this going on in my house, I can
honestly say, it made me very curious about what that "high" everyone was
talking of felt like. I figured it was something amazing since my
family was going behind everyone else's back to it(even mine). So I asked my
older brother if he would smoke with me for my first time. And he did.
Everything changed the minute I took that first hit. My thoughts on
drugs, me, life, and God. Nothing was the same. Marijuana soon became
something I strieved for everyday. It soon became the center of my
world. Not long after, that drug became pretty old. I then heard about
ectacy. I was told that the high you get from that would be like no other.
They were right. I enjoyed that drug so much I would take it almost
every weekend.

By the age 14, I had already experienced with marijuana, ectacy,
cocaine, LSD, crank, just popping pills, and basically any drug that came
around. Drugs was my life. It was everything I wanted and needed. If
times came that I didn't have any or any money to get it, I would do
anything for it. Even if it meant having to sell myself. I became addicted
to being high.

About this time, my parents grew stronger in their walks with God.
They got off marijuana and were doing what they could to get me to have
a relationship with God like they knew I needed. I wouldn't do it. I
was enjoying my rebelious teen behavior. I somewhat knew I had a problem
with drugs, but I didn't care. I liked drugs and I didn't want any
help.

In school, I as rarely ever going to class and my grades were
dropping serverly. I also started having a sexual relationship with my track
coach at school. He would invite me to his house to "babysit" his five
year old son. Babysitting isn't exactly what I got paid for doing. At
his house, I received free ectacy, a night of non stop partying, sex,
and money. It was every girl drug addict's dream.

After a few months of "babysitting", we stopped our secret parties.
I stopped going to track practice because I felt uncomfortable seeing
and quit going to school in fear that someone found out and would
comfront me about it. At age 15, I became a high school drop out. My drugs
got more intense and my life was getting nearer nearer to hitting rock
bottom.

Like all parents, mine soon got feed up with my sneaking out,
running away, parting, attitude, ect. They sent me away to a center called
Teen Challenge. Teen Challenge is a Christian based program, so being in
there for just a couple months, I learned so much about Jesus Christ.
But even learning about Him non stop day after day for months did
nothing for me. I ran away from that program. Unfortunatly, I got caught and
was sent back.

After being in there six months, you can't even imagined how much I
learned about our almight God. I was in love with Him so much. But I
felt as if that program isn't where I needed to be. I felt as if I needed
to be out in the world witnessing to others. So, another girl and I
decided to run away and help lead people to Christ. That's exactly what we
did.

We hichhiked around Florida for a few days telling everyone that
came across our path about Jesus and the wonderful life he had to offer.
After a few days, we needed a familiar place to rest our heads. My
partner mentioned a place she lived for about a year before she moved to
Florida, Troy, Alabama. I was shocked considering we were in Daytona,
Florida. But I agreed anyway and off we went.

The minute we arrived there, everything we had runway
for(witnessing) seemed as if it had just left our minds. We weren't doing anything
we had planned. We were just hanging out. We soon got back into drugs
and that partying habbit we were sent away for. Not long after, we got
splitted up. I stayed with this guy that got me using crank again.
That's what I did all day, everyday for two weeks straight. Smoke crank.
After about the thirteenth, fourteenth, or fifteenth day of being on it,
my stomach was aching, my head was throbbing, I was so pale. I hadn't
eaten or slept in two weeks and I weighed ninty-two pounds. I was feeling
and looking extremely sick. So sick, that I cried out to God. I told
Him that I was sorry and that that wasn't the way I wanted things to end
up. I asked Him for help. Since God is such a loving God, an amazing
and unbelievably generous God, He helped me.

That day, this family that lived right across the street from a
small church in this old abandoned motel that the pastor bought for
families with poor financial needs could lived allowed me to stay with them
. They welcomed me in with open arms as one of their own children. They
helped me get off drugs, and start, again, an extraordinary
relationship with God. Even though I lived there without electricity for a few
weeks, I still wouldn't have picked a better place.

I stayed with that family for about three weeks until one day my
dad just came knocking on the door. My dad drove from Naples, Florida
to Troy, Alabama to come get his only daughter, and that's exactly what
he did. When he told me that God lead him to where I was, I wasn't
surprise because I, from experience, knew God answered prayers.

I was gone for five weeks not including the six months I spent
in the program. But now I'm finally home. Life is great! I'm seventeen
and have my GED, a job at a Christian book store, and I'll be starting
college at Palm Beach Atlantic University in the fall. Jesus saved my
life. He gave me a new beginning.

I ask myself everyday, where would I be without Jesus today? I
don't even want to think about it. I was living a life that the reward
was nothing but torture in hell for eternity. But Jesus saved me from
that! My reward now is Jesus' undying love and eternity with Him in
Paridise. What more could I ask for?
 



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