Saturday, February 18, 2017

I have a friend I would like you to meet.....

So, in treatment you meet lots and lots of people. Some people drive you crazy. Some people make you reexamine yourself. Some people you forget. But, every once in awhile, you meet someone special. Someone who leaves a mark on your heart that lasts forever.

I met Kayla for the first time in February of 2015. I watched her walk through the door of our treatment house a broken little girl, and I watched her walk out that same door a confident woman. Somewhere along the way, she made the mistake of telling me she loved to sing. I love to sing as well, and I have a pretty big mouth, so I happened to blurt out in our "choir" class one day (yes, they have those at rehab), that Kayla could sing. She turned blood red and I'm pretty sure she wanted to slit my throat. But, when she opened her mouth, a sound that had been trapped for years (think Carrie Underwood) made its way into the room. And after I listened to it, I knew for certain it was far too beautiful to ever return to that dark place again. When girls leave treatment early, they typically say it's for a good reason (mom is having surgery, sister is having baby, don't want to miss a birthday/anniversary/wedding/graduation, etc.) but the cold hard truth is that a dope boy is usually waiting at the bottom of the hill to pick them up. When Kayla decided that she was ready to leave the program a little early, I knew exactly what that meant. Kayla was ready to leave the program a little early. I never doubted her for a single minute, and that very night I prayed that I would one day find the freedom that she had found. And I did.

This is Kayla. And this is her story.
Can we just give a girl props for smiling for her mug shot?!
When I asked her about it, she said, "Girl! Even in drug addiction I was prissy!"

Two years. Two years clean and sober. Did it really ever happen? Did I really go through six long years of being addicted to drugs? Sometimes I ask those very questions. Well, not sometimes. More like every single day. I'm such a different person now that I forget the life I used to live was actually real. That is how my Jesus works.

February 18, 2015. I was a total wreck. Train wreck, car wreck, plane wreck. Whatever kind of wreck you wanna talk about, I was one. That day I slid down the door of my bedroom, clinging tight to a bottle of pills. That was my only way out. I would just take them all and get it over with. I had thought about this many times before, but this time it was different. I had no one left. My dad was disgusted. I had thrown my Bible at him. I was done. My mom was heartbroken. Everyone was done. I shut the door and made the decision to make death finally take me from the hell I was already in.
Misty here. Nearly every single addict I talk to tells of a moment like this. A moment they decided death would be better than the life they were living. This is how hopeless addiction is. And this is how hard it is to get out of it. Death seems to be the only option.
But, someone knocked on my door. Someone tried to come in and I knew who it was. It was the guy I had met only two months ago. It was the guy who'd had a dream that God had healed me completely from my addiction. It was the guy who was now my boyfriend. I reluctantly let him in, but I wouldn't let go of the pills. I remember holding on to the pills with one hand, my face buried in the other hand, tears filling it. I finally let him pry the bottle from my hand. In that moment of loosening my grip and allowing him to take them from me, I began to trust God.

I called a treatment center in Kentucky called Karen's Place. They asked me to go to a medical detox facility before I came into the program. I had no money to do that, but I trusted that God would provide a way. The next day, a huge snowstorm hit my area, leaving me stranded to withdrawal at home with my mom who was determined to keep a close eye on me while I detoxed. I detoxed for five days and then my boyfriend drove me to Karen's Place.

I walked in the door, and I found all that my soul had been longing for. Jesus. He was there. Up on that hill. And he had been showing me for a long time that He was there. Darkness had blinded my eyes. He was there in everything that I had gone through. I just needed to open my let the darkness fade. And when I did, all I could do was weep. I wept because He forgave me for something I had done. He had been there holding my right hand as I did it. He was there behind me, holding my shoulders, as I stared into the dark eyes of someone I loved who was getting ready to hurt me. He was always there. And he would continue to be there. Always. I realized that I was now a new creation through Jesus. I did not need drugs any longer. I needed Him.

I left after only three weeks in treatment because I knew that God's work in getting me clean and sober was finished. I felt that He was telling me I was ready. It was time for me to leave. He had accomplished what He had set out to do when He led me up to that place on the hill. And you know what? He was right. I have NEVER picked up another drug. I lost the insane desire to use.

Now, if I were to try to tell you that the past two years of sobriety have been easy, I would be lying. The easiest part has been staying sober. Crazy, huh?! The hard part was realizing the deep rooted issues that had led me to my addiction and allowing God to rid me of them. My identity was all messed up. I had believed lies about myself that were never true. I learned who my identity was in Christ. I realized that I was co-dependent and that I needed to be independent and only rely on God. I forgave people who I considered unforgivable. I forgave myself. I became aware of how weak and sinful of a person I am. I also would be lying if I told you that I still don't struggle with sin. I do. I am mouthy and fiesty. (Misty here again. True that!! I watched her in a cat fight once {ironically with a girl she ended up being best friends with} and girl is fierce!). Sometimes I cuss. Gasp! I get angry. I get jealous. I gossip. I try to manipulate. I disobey God. But He gives me strength. He shows me grace. His mercies for me are new every. single. morning.

I am forever thankful to my God for the things He has given me during my two years of sobriety.

  • my identity
  • my soon to be husband
  • the wedding of my dreams (March 4, 2017...aagghh!)
  • my family
  • a job
  • my license and a car
  • not only one, but three bank accounts
  • a new house
  • new healthy friendships
  • perfect sleep
  • the grace and strength to stop smoking cigs (June's possible!)
  • material things
And more.  So much more.

Kayla and her fiancee, Wes. You remember....the one who believed
in her long before she ever believed in herself.
I know, it gives you the feels.
Feel free to cry. I am.
Thank you, Jesus, for rescuing me. Thank you for providing for me and for giving me grace and mercy when I least deserve it. You are God. And I am not. Thank you for always reminding me of that. Thank you for making me aware of myself and for showing me how much I need you. I do need you and I do want you in my life. Your breath has given me life. A redeemed and restored life. Continue to mold me into who I am supposed to be through you Jesus. Amen. 


Kayla is two years clean and sober today!  Please join me in congratulating her. Believe me, she deserves it. 

Kayla, I am so proud of you! I am proud to call you sister. Proud to call you friend. I am grateful that our paths crossed, if just for a short time. I am thankful that when I lose hope as friend after friend relapses or dies, I can look at you and know that recovery is possible....that we do recover. I look forward to watching what God continues to do in your life. Oh, and I can't wait to see wedding pics!
You are an inspiration to people everywhere. Keep living in freedom and never look back. Love you!