I was always overdosing and ending up in the hospital as Jane Doe... I knew I was hopeless and like a dead woman full of fear and anxiety and depression.
On December 23, 2017 I will graduate from The Bridge and be home for Christmas. During this past year, I have found there truly is such a thing as authentic hope in changing if you really want to and are willing to commit and submit to God’s authority over the world and over you. In my case it was either I was going to really change and give my life to God or it was death. I was always overdosing and ending up in the hospital as Jane Doe. I wasn’t suicidal, but the opiates were so strong that I was really on a slippery slope. I knew that I had to submit to God’s will completely or that was the end. Not if, but when. It was my heart change, not my head change that had to take place. You can’t trust your feelings when you’re in the condition I was in because they are fickle. I’d get better one day and then the next day when facing a problem I’d begin using again. The drugs I was using were a cheap substitute for the Holy Spirit. I had a God-shaped hole that was getting filled with other things, not God.
Because my family was trying to help me, they found a way to get me to look at an application to The Bridge by giving it to my six-year-old daughter to give to me. I couldn’t say no. I didn’t know about The Bridge and wasn’t planning to go into rehab during the holidays. But I knew I was hopeless and like a dead woman full of fear and anxiety and depression. It was a day-to-day battle for me before I got into The Bridge last December.
What first began changing me was the strong support and accountability from Michele, who with her husband, Mike, founded The Bridge, and Kathy, who was the house manager of the house I was in. I would say to them, “I don’t want to do this,” and their response was “You can do this and you’re going to do it.” I so needed that. They pushed and encouraged me and enveloped me in prayer and support. I needed to be pushed. I was a spoiled little brat. I knew I had to relearn life as I’d come from a life of not doing laundry, not cooking, not working as I lost one job after another. I even drove around high.
Now I’ve learned from Michele that I don’t have to do something, rather I get to do things. I have a new perspective. I want to be a blessing. I’m learning to have a servant’s heart. I’ve learned that it’s not all about me. When I first came I was put to work and my life became full. I went to church, devotions, Bible studies. There was no down time to feel sorry for myself. No idle time to sit and mope. I could have but I found that it didn’t do me any good. I learned to ask myself if I’m doing things with a joyful heart.
Living with different people in different stages of their lives in The Bridge also has helped me. All the women with me in the program have been such a blessing and I’ve learned so many lessons, for instance how to live with six women and one bathroom. I’ve learned to cook and love it. I’ve learned how to be clean and tidy, how to do things now rather than putting them off to do later. Michele and Mike reward us when we do well, not just spank your hand when you don’t do well. Their motto is “Do the next right thing.” Sometimes it’s hard, but The Bridge has given me the tools to put into my shed of life and they taught me how to use them.
And now I have three weeks left here. I get to have my sobriety test. Before I came here I hadn’t been sober for six years. Now I have my family. I have a job working for my grandmother and aunt. I’m blessed to do homework with my kids. Last year I was spending money on drugs instead of my children. This year I was so glad to spend money on them. I know all of these changes come from God. It’s not my strength and power. All I need to do is to be obedient, even when it’s hard to do so, and God blesses me with His help.
It’s important for me to stay connected with The Bridge. I want to thank the women who would come to the house and pour into my life with Bible scriptures/studies, who would mentor and love me, faults and all. All of these women go to Calvary. They are truly a part of my arduous journey back to freedom. I have made lifelong relationships. They loved me when I couldn’t love myself, and my family couldn’t love me because they didn’t know me anymore. But the Lord loved on me through them. I have to say that Michele and Kathy are really out to help the men and women in The Bridge. I so admire them for it. They are my spiritual Moms. I needed to know how to pray and how to wait on the Lord. Now I can get my car and a driver’s license back. I can afford to pay rent. I am so grateful for my husband sticking by my side – as have my parents and my family. Without their support and the support of my new family in The Bridge and Calvary church I could not have done it. I love The Bridge and Calvary and am so grateful for the many hands that helped me put my life back in the direction it should have been, for all those in the Bridge family who welcomed, prayed, and accepted my husband and children into their family. They truly, through God, saved my life. Thank You Jesus!