Hello, my name is Maria Martinez and I am 38 years old. I was born and raised in East LA California. My family was very poor, and I remember my mother being worried about how the bills would get paid. My father passed away when I was 15 years old and I became a rebellious teenager. I began to drink and experiment with marijuana. I got pregnant & had my first son at the age of 18. By the age of 21 I had developed a strong meth addiction. At age 23 I had my second child and continued to use meth a week after giving birth to her. My meth addiction had taken over my life completely. I knew about God, but I knew nothing about having a personal relationship with Him. I remember praying to God to help me! I wanted out of that lifestyle so I called my aunt in San Antonio Texas. She allowed me and my children to move in with her. I was determined to start a new life without the drugs and depression. I stayed clean for about two years.
I met a man and our relationship seemed to be stable the first few years. We eventually got married and had three children together, the occasional drug use became more frequent and before I knew it I was living in an extremely abusive marriage. I was able to maintain a good job, pay the bills and be a mom, but inside I was broken. I knew my lifestyle was unhealthy, that I was missing something in my life. My husband ended up going to prison for beating me I felt that I was finally free from all the abuse he had inflicted on me and my children. I thought I could live a normal life, raise 5 children and work full time but sadly I could never stop my drug use.
I continued to run to the drugs to cope with all my problems. Child Protective Services got involved and removed all my children from my home. I felt I had hit rock bottom at this point my entire life was taken from me. As much as I tried to do the right thing nothing was going well. My life revolved around drugs, money and sex. The devil had a hold of my life I was completely living in bondage. I cried many times to God for help, and He heard me and saved my life by sending me to prison, while I was incarcerated God had my full attention. That’s when my life really began to change.
I remember praying to God and I surrendered my life to him. I wanted a relationship with Jesus Christ. One day, I invited Jesus into my heart and He has been with me ever since. After two years of incarceration I came to Grace House and I believe God set this divine appointment in my life. Grace House has helped me in so many ways, it taught me how much Jesus really loves me. I thank God for bringing people like Mrs. Lee Ann into my life, her love and guidance has helped me become a woman of faith. God has restored broken relationships in my life. I have the support of my mother and four amazing sisters that never gave up on me. And though I haven’t fully recovered all of my children, I know that God is not done yet, he will continue to move mountains in my life., I will continue to fill my life with Gods Word, prayer and allow the Holy Spirit to guide me every day.
My favorite verse in the bible is Hebrews 13:5 God will never leave us nor forsake us.