To Testify or Not to Testify?

Imagine the feeling of finally seeing someone with a lifejacket on the side of a boat nearby while drowning in the open ocean.

You feel fatigued and helpless. The more you struggle, the more seem to dip under the water. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a boat appears.

As soon as they throw the lifejacket to you, hope overwhelms the fear. You gain your footing and begin to overcome the water that, seconds earlier, had been overcoming you.

This is what sharing our story does for families who are dealing with addictions.

Someone in the family is addicted, and the entire family feels like they’re drowning. The harder they strive, the more they try to help, the worse the situation becomes.

Then, they share their story.

Suddenly, a breath of fresh air flows into them. Instead of drowning in the addiction of their loved one, they feel a sense of support.

In fact, there are three amazing benefits to a family sharing their story of addiction with others.

Let’s consider each...

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After 19 Years I'm Finally Free | Angel's Faith-Based Recovery Story

I have spent over 19 years in active addiction. I was an iv drug user to methamphetamines, blackout drunk, and would consume pretty much anything put in front of me.

I've been to jail more times than I can count. Alcohol is usually what got me there and drugs were what kept me on probation and going in and out of jail so many times. Detox and hospitals took me in a few dozen times for fights, blackouts, and 2 failed suicide attempts that gave me over 25 stitches on my wrists.

For many years towards the end of my addiction, I was homeless pushing a shopping cart and collecting cans to survive. I was living in a state of complete hopelessness waiting to be able to go to sleep each night wishing to never wake up the next morning, but I always did.

On November 2, 2016 I was taken to Mountain Ministries in Rainier, Oregon by Glenda Thompson from M Seed Thrift Store and Outreach in Oregon City. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I slept for 7 days straight.

I found out I had...

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The Win-Win Testimony

Have you ever been inspired to achieve something great after hearing someone’s personal story of success?

Think Bill Gates who dropped out of Harvard to create Microsoft.

Or perhaps you’ve been encouraged to hear of someone you see as successful but who admits to having failed in the past?

Think Michael Jordan who didn’t make the basketball team in high school.

There’s something special about a story. It has the power to move us, to inspire us, and to awaken the best in us.

And these are the exact things people struggling with addictions need. They need to be moved out of their situation into a better way of living. They need to be inspired that change is possible. And they need to be awakened to the fact that other human beings have dealt with addiction, just like them, but have overcome it and have moved on to lead successful lives.

This is the power of our testimonies. Sharing with others the freedom we found in Christ from our former lives of addiction...

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How to Cope with Being Apart from My Loved One

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder.

But is that really true?

Does space between two loved ones create closeness?

If we’re going to be honest, that saying makes us feel better when we can’t be with someone we love. But distance doesn’t bring us closer. Instead, it brings us pain.

It’s easy to see this when thinking of “distance” as being geographical such as when one spouse is away in the military, a new couple living in separate states sparks a new online romance, or a company sends a parent away for a month to forge new business prospects.

What’s not quite so easy to see is when “distance” occurs in the same geographical location.

This is the difficult experience families and loved ones of addicts have to endure.

And it comes in two forms.

The first is when the person struggling with an addiction goes to rehab. In some cases, geographical distance is a factor here. But not always. Either way, however, even if the...

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Amy's Faith Based Recovery Story

My name is Amy Landin.
 
I’m 44 years old. I am an only child and was raised by my mother and stepfather. I started doing drugs at the age of 11. I had no rules and was enabled almost all of my life. This lead to crack cocaine and 20 years of prostitution. Many trips to jail, loss of children to cps, and many times almost my life. I went to 3 rehabs 2 were faith-based and I left or graduated and fell off. The last straw God led me to Teen Challenge. This is where surrender began. ( mind you in jail I got saved in 2006) this was in 2012. After this program, God granted me the privilege of working on staff. It was the longest I had ever worked!!! It was 5 years, and I graduated from Bible school and am now a licensed minister!
 
God has connected me with people to give me intense Deliverance with all the sexual partners I had I was tied to many. Also, God has linked me with prosperous business people. He is in process of restoring my children and has granted...
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From the Big House to The Freedom House

My name is Rob Reynolds, i am 43 and from Martinsburg WV. I spent 17 years there as an addict. I grew up with parents who were addicts . I got into drug dealing around 15 or 16. Was heavy into it by age 16. I drank a lot then and smoked a lot of pot. I was selling around 100 pounds of weed a week. I did that through most of high school.

I graduated from Hedgesville High School in 1993. I was moving on to heavier drugs by then,cocaine and a lot of acid. I stayed out of trouble for the most part ,meaning i never got caught. I had my first daughter in 95 and gave up a lot of the dealing. Then got married in 97. Around 99 i started working in Leesburg doing plumbing ,still drinking and using. I started selling cocaine in large quantities after working with a lot of drug dealers in Va. It wasn't long before i was strung out on cocaine and running out of money and resorting to criminal activity. I was stealing credit cards and maxing them out and then cutting them up ,trading the stuff...

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How to Tell If My Loved One Needs a Program

It’s about that time of year!

Leaves are falling, turkeys are freaking out, and Santa Claus is coming to town.

Everyone is looking forward to the holidays, right?

Actually, no. For many of us, the holidays are not times of fun and family but rather painful reminders of broken homes, loved ones who have passed away, and a deep sense of loneliness.

Many things can exasperate these feelings. One of those things is, unfortunately, drug and alcohol addiction. Gathering for the holidays can be yet another remaindered that someone we love is destroying both themselves and our family with their problem.

And year after year, we see them getting worse. Feeling unable to help, we ignore it. But this doesn’t help because it doesn’t go away. Feeling helpless, we give up.

But the hope in all of this is that we don’t have to. There is something we can do.

But what?

Understandably, we cannot make the person change. And we cannot force them to get help. But we can certainly...

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There is hope from the street life

One of the biggest challenges a person who struggles with addiction will ever experience in early recovery is learning how to live life on life's terms clean and sober. I've shared in previous blogs about what it's like trying to move on after living the street life and overcoming trauma. Chronic fear and heartache used to plague my mind and soul, and it's what kept me out there for so long. Anxiety and depression is usually caused by unprocessed trauma. I've mentioned before the nervous system gets stuck when we don't process our pain and grief. What people need to realize, especially those recovering, is that addictions were but a symptom of what's really taking place on the inside.

When I first began my journey of recovery, it was hard just living your normal everyday life. I had to learn how to fall into normal day to day activities like holding a steady job, a steady home, being a stable mother, grocery shopping, paying bills, etc. What seemed easy for others was a...

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I shouldn’t be alive today but God..

I grew up in church. I’m 27 years old. I fell away from church in high school and started getting into worldly things. Drinking, drugs, sex and alcohol. I thought I was living the fun life, staying high and drunk all the time, treating girls like objects instead of the jewels that they are. I had a son when I was 19.

I was so far gone on bath salts, meth, pills, weed, and drinking I didn’t care about anything but chasing that high. On my 20th Birthday, I wanted to die. I was so strung out I was tired of life.

I remember praying for the first time in years that God would change me. Help me become a better person, a better dad for my son, even if that meant jail.

My son was 5 months old at that time and I hardly ever saw him. I just wanted to get high all the time. Not even a month later I was arrested. I overdosed one night and the cops were called and I freaked out when I saw them and spit at them and got 3 felony assault charges. I was a terrible person. I ended up...

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From Prison to Pastor

As a former atheist and addict, I never thought I would ever be a Christian with over eighteen years of sobriety, much less a Pastor. I also never thought I would serve a life sentence in prison, but that’s exactly what happened to me.

While I was in High School, I drank on the weekends and smoked marijuana occasionally. Then when I went to college, the floodgates of alcoholism and drug addiction opened up. I was getting high and drunk all of the time. During my senior year, I tried cocaine for the first time and was instantly hooked. I couldn’t get enough of it, staying up for days at a time, and losing over forty pounds in the process.

In an effort to support my expensive habit, I started selling drugs. One night, one of my customers tried to rob me at gunpoint. Not wanting to hand over the drugs and money, I opted for grabbing the gun I had on me and started shooting at him instead. After the bullets ran out, I was still alive but he was not. I never thought my...

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