Graduate Testimony - Grace
My name is Grace and I am 25 years old. I was born and raised in the south side of Chicago. My parents got divorced when I was 12 years old and it really affected me. I was very upset and sad that I had to be in the middle of my parent’s separation. As I got older I continued to carry this anger and darkness that followed me.
I started using marijuana during high school to ease my pain. After graduating high school I started college and began living the party life. I met a group of new friends who introduced me to Xanax and it completely took over my life. It was a high that I enjoyed. My life started slipping and in November of 2011 I found out I was pregnant. I was so afraid because I knew I was bringing a baby into a relationship that was dead.
On July 23, 2012 I had my son, Matthew. I was filled with joy and happiness but I was overwhelmed with the many issues I was going to have to face. When Matthew was 6 months old I was served court papers and my world came crashing down. It was such a difficult battle and I felt powerless when I got granted joint custody. I was disappointed in myself and felt like I failed as a mother. I didn’t know who I was anymore and in all honestly I didn’t care to live. In January of 2016 I was introduced to heroin. I overdosed many times and remember waking up in the hospital ashamed of being alive.
My mother found out about Teen Challenge through a friend and told me that I needed to go in order for me to have a relationship with my son. In February I decided to come to Teen Challenge hoping to change my life. I came in with a mind set of doing the program for only 6 months and I did. During my time here I was very quiet about my issues. I was embarrassed of opening up and having to face my problems sober.
In July I left the program determined to be a mother to my son. Within 2 weeks I relapsed and lost my family and most importantly, I lost my relationship with Jesus. I couldn’t believe I failed as a mother again. This was my lowest point in life.
I was on my own and it hurt to know that my family no longer supported me or even wanted a relationship with me. I fell to my knees and asked the Lord to help me. I knew I could no longer live this life. When I walked back in through the doors of Teen challenge, I knew this is where the Lord wanted me to be.
My journey here has been difficult but one of the best things I have ever done. He’s give me the freedom and the endurance to persevere. I am so grateful to know that I am a child of God. Jesus has restored me and renewed my mind. I’m very excited to see what the Lord has planned for me and I’m open to receive his promises.