I was born in 1967 to 14 & 15 year old parents. I was adopted out of N.Y. Foundling Hospital. My adoptive mother prayed to the Lord that if she could adopt, she would make sure that her children would know about Him. I came into a very contentious situation. My sister was adopted two years before me and as she got older, she began to resent me more and more. This caused problems with her relationship with my mom. There was always a lot of fighting and I felt I was the cause - that everything was my fault. Our financial situation was also always precarious.
From the ages of 6 to 10, I began to have frightening spiritual encounters. My family was very worried. They took me to doctors thinking it was a physical problem. After many tests, the doctors said I was fine. But on July 4, 1976, while on a family trip to Disney World, I had the worst encounter with the spiritual darkness yet. I was lying on a bed in the motel and began to feel attacked physically, emotionally, and mentally. I didn't know what to say or do or even if anyone would believe me.
A year later my Aunt Marie became a Christian. She brought my cousins and me to Vacation Bible School. It was the first time I tangibly felt the Presence of the Lord. She took us to a Christian bookstore and bought me Christian comic books, one of which was The Cross and The Switchblade. One day I knelt and prayed the sinner's prayer in the back of an Archie comic and became a Christian.
I always wanted to know the Lord more and more but I felt blocked - almost walled in - on the outside and inside. In 2008, a political event occurred in our nation that really upset me. I questioned the church and the Lord. I got really scared and wondered if I really knew who Jesus Christ was. I prayed to the Lord to let me know Him in the deepest way possible. But my life slowly began to spin out of control. Spiritual darkness overwhelmed me. I was trying to spread the Gospel in a public school, but the spiritual warfare was too oppressive.
I began to have a breakdown in August of 2011. Every thought was horrific. I would have panic attacks that would last for days. I tried many avenues of receiving freedom - counseling, books, revisiting my past; but nothing seemed to alleviate the feelings of fear. Finally, in November of 2011, I called an ambulance and they took me to Duke Psych and gave me psychiatric medicine.
My life for the next 3 years was hellish. In 2014, my life spiraled even more out of control when they took my psychiatric meds away. I then just drank to try and calm myself down and forget the loss of everything. I really had lost everything - my job, my car, my home. In May 2014, I went to a rehab where they said I would be able to rely on the Lord, but once again I felt myself alone - standing for the Gospel with no support. From July to August, I drank even more quarts of rum and sometimes up to 48 beers at a time. In all, the police and E.M.S. workers were involved 15 times in 6 weeks. Many times I would remember seeing them, then race up the stairs to my room and check my pulse. I did not want to live anymore and I was going to just trust the Lord that I would be with Him if I died.
My sister flew out from N.J. to help me and my mom. I had told them about Teen Challenge for years. I always loved David Wilkerson and Nicky Cruz's testimonies. The legacy of what Teen Challenge has done for so many is amazing. So on August 27th, 2014, I came to Teen Challenge of the Mid-South. I was in the top bunk and I prayed to the Lord telling Him that this was it - I hoped that this would transform me.
The Lord has been amazing and I had my first major breakthrough with being healed on November 19th, 2014, and have had many more breakthroughs since then. Teen Challenge is the most amazing place to truly come to know the Lord. The miracles that take place here in the lives of the students are just so wonderful to see and be a part of. This has been the greatest experience of my life.
Teen Challenge provides an effective and comprehensive faith based solution to drug and alcohol addiction as well as other life-controlling problems. They teach how to live a life to the point where you can function as a contributing citizen in society by applying biblically motivated principles to your lives, relationships in the family, the local church, chosen vocation, and the community. For more information, visit www.teen-challenge.com.