I grew up living in fear -- fear of disappointing my abusive mother, fear of the next beating, fear of what might come next. Because of the abuse, I left home on my 18th birthday and got married by 19. Within a year, I was divorced and running -- State to state, heartbreak after heartbreak. When I finally moved back to my hometown, I met my son’s father. That’s when drugs began to control me.
My husband and I enabled each other and used everyone around us to feed our addiction. After seven years together, we welcomed a beautiful baby boy. During Connor’s first years, his dad was in and out of jail. I tried to get my life together and be a good mom but when Connor was taken from us by social services due to a false accusation, I lost all control. Everything that held meaning for me was gone.
Shortly thereafter, I was in a horrific car accident. I was thrown from the car, breaking my neck and back. Doctors said I would be wheelchair-bound forever. But God healed me. Still, that wasn't enough for me to turn my life around. I ended up with distribution charges for selling my pain medicine and served two years in jail. One bad decision led to another and after I was released, I caught more charges. I ran away to avoid serving more time and I found myself in a hell I never could have imagined.
I allowed drugs and a man to take me lower than I had ever been to. I was found in the river, inside a body bag, unconscious and beaten to a bloody mess. And then I got arrested for the charges I had run from. I was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. I was in shock at what my life had become. And then, the biggest blow yet--I lost my son to adoption. I saw no reason to live.
But God reminded me of His faithfulness in my life, and I decided right then, I wanted to learn a new life. Once released from prison, I came to New Life for Adults and Youth and God began to restore everything I’ve lost. New Life has given me the tools I need to live in true freedom, to be a good mother, daughter, sister, and friend. God continues to restore my relationship with my son every day, and I am so beyond thankful for His grace and His reckless love for me. I am grateful for my God who never left me, and my sister who has seen me through it all.
Jennifer's mug shot before Christ turned her life around.