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Restored and Delivered From Addiction

“I knew who Jesus was and so when it was time to invite Him in my heart, it was like He was already there. Even in my mind as a child, I knew Jesus loved me.”

Mary was only eight years old, when she eagerly asked Jesus into her heart.

“My grandfather baptized me. It was very sweet, not just because of being baptized, but because it was my grandfather doing it. We were always in church on Sundays and Wednesdays. My grandfather was a pastor and I remember we used to always sing the old hymns in front of church and going down the street.”  But when her grandfather died, she was confused and hurt. “I felt at the time God left me. I was angry at God and I totally shut Him down because He took my grandfather. He took my heart, my life.  My family had started to fall apart. So I was missing love and stability that was what I’d known and it was all gone now.”

Mary started acting out and was removed from her home by child protective services.  “The very first time I harmed myself I was 12. I was so angry. And I just—I needed to get it out. And that’s when I started cutting.”  As a teen she was drinking, partying and sleeping around. At 18, she dated a man who introduced her to Ecstasy.  “And he was everything to me. I know he didn’t love me but I knew that I was his and so that made me feel secure in the fact that he wanted me, somebody wanted me.  He would wait until I was so high and he would invite his friends over. They would end up asking me to do this or that with his friends, sexual stuff and so that’s when he would start to pimp me out to his friends.”

After several years the man moved on.  Now, Mary was a single-mother and crack addict who continued prostituting to get her fix.  “This is going to sound strange, but when I would be walking the streets at night, when I would get scared, I would start singing some hymns from when I was a kid and that would bring me peace and comfort while I was walking the streets.”

Mary longed for a better life- -one she had hoped for as a little girl.  “The person I saw in the mirror was not me. It was not the person that I thought I would be when I was younger. I was a drug-addicted prostitute and I did not like what I was doing. I did not like –it made me sick to my stomach when I was sober to think of what I’d done the night before with the men. I did not like that I always had to be on the drugs and the drugs had a strong hold on me. I did not think there was a way out.”

It was Good Friday, Mary was still working as a prostitute and slept with a customer for drug money,  “And I went back to the crack house and I gave the guy my money and I laid on the ground and we all passed out. I woke up in the middle of the night and I just started sobbing because I just felt so nasty and so dirty. I cried out to the Jesus of my childhood who I felt left me when–my grandfather died, but at this point I would’ve tried anything. And so I cried out to Him. And he literally met me there. That love that I was looking for, I felt it that night; that I hadn’t felt since I was 12 from Him. He gave me strength to leave the crack house the next day.”

Mary found a Christian homeless shelter that gave her a place to stay for the weekend. That Sunday, the shelter provided a shuttle for residents to attend Easter service at a nearby church.  “I can’t even tell you what the service was about. But I cried through the whole service and then when the altar call came, it was like there was fire underneath me. I had to go up to the altar. I asked God to forgive me that day. I told Jesus I just want to come home.”

Mary rededicated her life to Jesus. Church members prayed for Mary that day and she began drug recovery, but shortly after, she had a relapse.   

“I went on a bad crack binge and I got a DUI that night and I was in jail. The next morning I woke up and that’s the first time I’ve audibly ever heard the voice of God. And I heard Him say, it was finished and that is the last time I’ve ever touched a drug or prostituted or anything.”

Today Mary is grateful for God’s love that delivered her from addiction and restored her heart.  “It’s totally different when Jesus is in it. I could never do enough to pay God back. But see, that’s the awesome thing. I don’t have to because He literally saved me from Hell and from death so many times. His love is just so amazing and so real. So real.”

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