My name is Jennifer, I am 38 years old, and I am honored to tell you my story of how I found hope and freedom in Jesus Christ. I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. At a very young age I realized that my family life was very different from everyone else. It was not uncommon for drugs, alcohol, parties and fighting to be found in my home. I witnessed and suffered physical and verbal abuse daily. I also had things happen to me that no little girl deserves to go through. As a child I was very scared, lonely, hurt and extremely hopeless.

As I got older I started to crave something that would make the pain go away. I tried to numb the pain with marijuana, alcohol and guys. By the age of 17 I was drinking every day and became more involved in serious drugs like cocaine and ecstacy. Around this time I began participating in doing these drugs with my parents. I felt that by participating in drug use with my parents that maybe they would finally care about me, but I knew deep down inside that it wasn’t me they cared for it was the drugs. Several years until I became pregnant with my son, Brandon. While I was pregnant I stopped using drugs and vowed that I would never let my child see all the things I saw when I was a child. I would raise my son with the love and devotion I had wanted growing up. Regretfully, not long after I came home from the hospital I was addicted to pain killer oxycontin. Not long after that and I was back to drinking and partying again. After becoming homeless I realized that I didn’t want to live like that anymore and I made the decision to get away from it. So I left my son with his father and moved to Texas in hopes of getting my life together. Unfortunately, life didn’t change and it wasn’t long until I was back into the vicious cycle of addiction. This time around I was an alcoholic and became addicted to methamphetamine. At age 26 I had my beautiful daughter Madyson and told myself that I was going to break free from the grasp that the drugs had on me and I was going to change my life, but once again that didn’t happen. This time around I fell so deep into the bondage of my addictions I lost everything, my family, my children and myself. I was so lost and completely hopeless. I had given up.

After a few incarcerations in county jail I messed up really bad and was sentenced to 8 years in prison. This was my absolute rock bottom, my wake up call. I was released on parole in November 2018 and came to Grace House in San Antonio. The minute I walked through the doors God started working in me. When I started to allow God to work through me I could feel the guilt and shame I had been carrying around all those years start to diminish. God had given me the strength to go on. As I started learning about Christ and all that he has done for me my eyes were opened wide and the veil was finally lifted from my eyes. I could literally feel the Holy Spirit working in me. I realized that I could finally stop searching for things to fill the empty spaces in my life. All I needed was Christ, and so I asked Jesus into my heart and dedicated my life to him on December 4, 2018. I immediately began to notice a change. Little by little God has been putting my heart back together. I have been freed from all the brokenness and hurt I suffered through the years. I was able to break off all the chains that were weighing me down and through God’s words I was able to see myself the way God sees me. I am not a failure, I am worthy. I am not weak, I am strong. I am not scared, I am fearless. I AM a child of God, a daughter of the most high king. After over 20 years of trying to find love and comfort and acceptance in all the wrong ways, I have found all that and more through Christ Jesus. My relationship with my children and family has been restored. I have been able to forgive the people who hurt me and more importantly I forgive myself. God has pulled me out of the darkness and I know that there is a plan and a purpose for my life. After graduating the program i was given the amazing privilege to stay at Grace House as an Assistant House Supervisor. Now I am able to help other women discover their true potentials in life and to help them understand that God truly has amazing things planned for them. I have learned that it is never too late to rise up and be truly free from the pains of addiction. I also know that with God all things are possible and that He has a purpose for every life.

I can gladfully say that TODAY I am redeemed and I am set free from my past. My faith tells me that no matter what lies ahead of me, God is already there. I am not ashamed anymore of the person I used to be or the things I have done but

rather that I am grateful for them because it has brought me to where I am today and that is living a new life, walking side by side with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.