Emmie learning to drive. Discipleship in action.
Emmie sharing her story at the event.
God has rescued me through so many ways including my mental health, my relationships, and most of all sin and death eternally. He gave me a life worth living.
I came from a broken family, and was part of the foster system for most of my life. I never understood what it meant to be loved by a family and I had no concept of a God who loved and accepted me. Due to past trauma, I have struggled with mental health issues and have been to many psychiatrists and counselors over the years. I was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder at the age of 7, and was put on many medications to control me and my diagnosis. My mind, as a result of trauma, was fragmented. At that age, I couldn’t understand much, but I was old enough to know that my childhood was not like other kids. As I got older, I turned to drugs and alcohol to mask my pain.
I was adopted into a loving, christian family at the age of 15, but I was still living in a world of pain and sin. I surrounded myself with people and actions that would give me temporary comfort instead of believing the truth of God that my parents and my counselor Liz were trying to teach me. I thought I was hiding it well. I lived a double life of what I thought people wanted me to be. At school and work I would live a very worldly, secular life sinning left and right. When I would get home or go to church I would put on a nice “Christian” mask (or what I thought a Christian was) and say what I thought people wanted to hear. I said the right things but never truly lived by them or believed it as truth for myself. I was able to maintain that facade for a while until I actually started to let people in. In the end, I was confronted by the people that I love and because I was in denial, I ran. My life from there turned into a mundane life of repetition. It was like this.. get up..sin.. go to bed, over and over again. What used to give me joy, only bored me and - I was no longer using the masks to cover my pain, I was living in sin openly. I thought that I was controlling every problem and my addiction so well, only to be faced with something that finally broke my pride. I ended up in the emergency room when I overdosed one night and in the middle of that darkness I heard Him calling to me to come to Him for true healing. I was tired and didn’t know what to do so I did the only thing that I was able to do, I ran to the Lord and started listening to the voice of Jesus, not really expecting Him to listen to me because I had constantly pushed Him to the side and ignored Him. Yet He held His arms wide open for me and gave me peace, safety and love. He opened my eyes to how broken I was and how hurt He was that I was denying His help and hurting others along the way. At this moment, I became forgiven and a child of God.
After this, I moved into a sober living home and started to attend the Hope for Addiction meetings regularly. I surrendered my life to Jesus, but in my broken mind, I wasn’t sure what surrender even meant. I have always considered the emotional parts of me separated as broken old, rotted, craggly bridges, and completely separate from my body. I gave my heart to Jesus as well as a partial part of my mind, but there was a piece that I kept for myself, not trusting that He would truly accept me with all the hurt and wounds that I had. BUT.. I learned that when I gave Him my entire mind space AND my heart space, something changed. I started seeing Him in even the tiniest of things. I was more thankful, had much needed unexplainable bursts of energy everyday, and my mind felt clear for the first time, as if I was moving into a new empty house. His Hope helped me see that change is possible but only through giving my whole mind and heart to the Lord.
Since I have moved into Freedom house, I have had many changes in my life. The staff has helped me realize that giving half control isn’t truly giving control. They have helped me with rides to and from appointments, worked through setting a schedule and sticking to it, as well as keeping a budget. They’ve helped me navigate my life, glorifying God in all that I do and attempting to live a life pleasing to Him. Before I turned to Jesus I felt hopeless and empty. I was blind to the way He saw me. I never knew what safe felt like. Since coming to Hope for Addiction and Freedom House I have experienced God’s grace and forgiveness, and most of all His Love for me. I am so thankful for the gift of people in my life that love me and point me to Jesus. His Spirit has given me a peace that I’ve never known before. At Freedom House I am finding hope in the kind of relationships He wants for us, and I am seeing in daily life how Jesus pursues and is persistent in showing me who He is and how He loves me. I'm learning to do God’s will, to follow Him and live a life that glorifies Jesus in all things. I am learning how to lean and press into God when I am going through easy and hard times in life.
Proverbs 18:10 promise is true “The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous man runs into it and is safe.”