Stories of Grace
March is Women’s History Month, a time to recognize the contributions that women have made to our country. We are encouraged to learn about notable women from our country’s past, read their stories, and discover how they helped to form the world we live in today. In honor of Women’s History Month, Ministry Village devotes our blog throughout March to women from the Charis House, our Christian residential women’s substance abuse program. Throughout the month, we will learn about 6 of our most recent Charis House graduates, read their stories, and discover how their lives have been transformed so they can pursue new paths and make contributions to our community. These ladies have learned from their own histories, and God has repurposed their lives. We pray that their stories inspire you to seek help if you need it yourself, or motivate you to help others who need a chance at redemption. *Their names have been changed to protect their identities and allow them the fresh start they are seeking.
“When I was 16, I started smoking weed. When I was 18, I started doing cocaine and immediately fell in love with it. It was hard and heavy ever since I started it. I tried to keep it from my family – I thought that I was keeping it from my family but I really wasn’t. I still managed to go to school and have a good job, but internally it was terrible. I got diagnosed when I was 24 with bipolar disorder. A lot of what they said was that I was self-medicating, but that was just an excuse. I was just using drugs because I liked the way they made me feel. My parents sat me down several times, and told me I had a problem. I had a husband and a 2 year old little girl and even that didn’t stop me from using drugs. In February 2018, my husband sat me down, and along with some people that had been through the program, they told me that if I couldn’t get my life together, I was going to lose my life. I don’t know why that time it stuck – I think it was God-appointed – because I’d been very resistant to treatment. I didn’t think I needed treatment because as far as I could tell, I was still holding down a pretty steady life.
I knew when I spoke to Ms. Debbe (Director of the Charis House) on the phone that I was going where I was suppose to be. And when I first got here (to the Charis House), I wasn’t here for me. I was here to please my family, and to do my time and to go home. How wrong I was – it’s crazy for me to look back and see how wrong I was about that. And it’s an amazing feeling to know how the Lord just came into my life. I grew up in church but I was never involved in church. On April 1, 2018, I accepted Jesus into my life as Lord and Savior. I got baptized at Olive, and it changed my life. The Charis House has changed my life. But most importantly, the Lord has really stepped in and showed me, ‘If you do the work, look at what I can do for you’.
You take for granted your time being at the Charis House. I’ve been out since February 2019, but I try to come down every few months and see the other girls, and see everybody that’s poured into me – as a thank you and to show what the Lord can really do. If you want it, you can really do it. But it’s only with the Lord that you can do it.
1 Peter 5:10 states – And the God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
The most important word in this verse to me is GRACE. That’s what the Lord has given me. I’m truly blessed to have received this and wouldn’t have found it without Charis House. Charis House showed me what I could have with the Lord, but it was up to me to accept it and His love. Grace and love filled up the hole I was always trying to fill. It is because of the Lord that I am where I am today. I left Charis House February 7, 2019 and have been thriving ever since. The Lord placed a job in my life that adequately provides for me and my daughter. I’m constantly able to be a part of my daughter’s life. My husband and I are working on things, and although we have tough days, we have a lot of good days too. The damage I’ve done with my family has been slowly healing, and for that I will be forever thankful. I have accountability now and can be trusted.
There were days that were hard, but with the Lord and each other we were able to make it through. Look at us now. We have a new life. We are new creations in Christ. How wonderful is that to say.”
After graduating from Phase 1 of the Charis House, Emma* returned to her home and family, found a job, enrolled in college and is earning her BS degree in Social Work.
✝️ The Charis House is a non-profit Christian-based residential substance abuse program for females. The program is designed in 3 phases, each offering stages of recovery that provide the necessary tools for a practical transition into a new lifestyle free of addiction. The faith-based recovery program addresses the client’s personal relationship with God as the foundation for healing and wholeness. It requires a willingness to change and adhere to a controlled, strict and disciplined environment, allowing life-changing experiences to occur. There is no fee to apply.
🙏 To donate to the Charis House or any Ministry Village program, click here.