7 Years and Counting…Sobriety Wins.

I was raised in the church, from the womb to the crib at the church nursery, and from then on out. The church was all that I had ever known and understood as the way of life for everyone, and because of this, I came to know Jesus from a very young age. I believe I was seven years old the first time I asked Jesus into my heart and then about eight the first time I was Baptized. I was a young girl that was ignorant in so many ways, truly naïve to the world and all that it had to offer, and blind to deceit or the reality and the weight that I would soon learn that it held.

In a nutshell, I was a very happy-go-lucky kind of girl! Trusting to everyone and knew no stranger. I had a huge heart that wanted to help anyone in any way that I could, you know, a save the world kind of girl! That was me, the best friend, the teacher’s pet, the girl who wanted to do anything and everything as long as it put a smile on her face and everyone else’s around her.  I continued to attend church regularly with my family and then with my friends as I got into middle school. Then before I knew it I was thirteen, and that’s when everything started to change for me.

full (3)
This was my freshmen year, Queen’s ball, RIGHT before my life started to change..

I guess you could say I became your “typical teenager” with a few quirks here and there. I was involved in sports and was on our high school drill team. I had a ton of friends and was in most of the advanced classes, as well as the top 10% of our class. I was super active in the youth group at the local church in our town and until then, I was just living life and enjoying being a kid. You could say it all changed when I fell in love with a boy, although, the changes had already started happening to me before then and I just hadn’t noticed it yet. A year before this time, my sister got married and had a baby. This, in most people’s worlds, is a huge blessing and a happy time in life. But for me, it felt like I was being left behind, that my sister was being taken away from me, and that no one really cared about what I had going on anymore. Silly to think about now, but it was a harsh reality for me then.

So here I am, thirteen and deeply in love with this boy, like head over hills crazy in love, do stupid stuff with a boy in love. That’s right, at the very young age of fifteen I lost my virginity. Instead of living my life for Christ like I was born and raised to, I started living my life for a boy and pretty much worshiped the ground that he walked on. I would have done anything for him, seriously, anything. Anything at all that I felt would make him happy or have him love me the way that I loved him. I went as far as to give my body to him, something I said I would never do until I was married. I completely blew off anyone and anything that had every mattered to me so I could devote myself to him, and before I knew it, I wasn’t just in love with a boy anymore, I was on drugs and had fell in love with them too.

The drugs were my choice. I want to make that abundantly clear for anyone who may every think or feel otherwise. He hated the fact that I did drugs or that I changed an ounce of who I was as time went on and our relationship grew. But it didn’t matter, I was going to do what I wanted to do because I wanted to do it no matter what it cost me. I lost all of my friends, I dropped out of school. Not once, but three times, before never going back at all. Then, once it was too late and I had dug the hole so deep that I could no longer see the light anymore, I turned back and he was gone too. All that I had then was the drugs and the friends that I found through doing the drugs and all of the people and places that came with it. When he was no longer there to devote myself to, I just found something new or someone new to devote myself to and every single time, it turned out to be a huge lie and a waste of my time.

I had this way of finding “new projects” if you will, something that I could devote all of my time and pour all of my energy and focus into.  These projects usually consisted of the new boyfriend who I loved so much and that was so amazing and had every problem under the sun. But I never let that get me down because I was there to save him! I was going to make it all better. I was going to fix him. I was going to make all of his problems going away. Or a friend, that was worse off than I was and that too needed to be saved. This was a constant in my life. No matter what I did or all of the crazy that I put myself through I did not see how badly I was hurting myself in an effort to save someone else, or how bad I was hurting those who truly loved me and cared for me instead. Regardless, I continued down this path and no matter what had happened with the other people before them I kept pushing thinking it would be different this time. I could never understand why it always ended in defeat and why no matter how hard I tried, I could never save them, it never worked. It would be a long time before I learned the powerful lesson as to why.

full
One of the many pictures of myself back then..high..but smiling.

This went on for years. I found myself constantly complaining and whining about how all I ever did was give of myself and I would never expect anything in return, yet I was continuously getting stomped on and let down by everyone and all I could scream was why?! Sure, my family was always there to tell me exactly why, but I never wanted to hear it, they were the last people I wanted to listen to because I didn’t think they would understand and there was no way I was about to admit to them that what they were saying was true and that I was wrong. At this point, I was in a continuous cycle of deceit. All of which I had brought upon myself and as far as I was concerned there was no way of coming back from it, plus I didn’t believe I was doing anything wrong anyways. Even though I was lying to my family, my friends, to myself, and most importantly to God. Even though I was having sex,  and doing drugs like there was no tomorrow, had dropped out of school, and everything stupid I could think of in between. I was only doing it for a good cause! I was trying to help people here. What was wrong with that? I never went out of my way to hurt anybody and in the times that I did, I never meant to do it. The only person I truly ever thought I was hurting was myself, and that didn’t bother me because I was strong and kind and I had God on my side! I could handle everything, right? Give me a cape and call me superwoman! That was what I thought. But I was wrong, so so very wrong.

Fast forward six years down the road, I had now been to jail and was put on probation for a year, a year that would soon become one of the worst years of my life. What once had started out with me being young and in love and on a mission to save the world, ended up with me being promiscuous and having sex out of wedlock, smoking pot every day all day and living life as one of the biggest potheads in Gladewater, Texas. On top of that, I had spent the last six years in what seemed like a continuous party, sleeping on whoever’s couch would have me and coming home after being gone for days at a time. I’d eventually tried every drug in the book at least once, if not a couple of times, and had lied to every single person that I had known in some way or another. In my drunken stooper, I had been raped, twice. I put myself in the most dangerous situations that one could imagine. I was stealing, cheating, lying, abusing others, and being abused, I was prideful, stubborn, conceited, unemployed, and I had eventually lost my car. I was slowly losing my family, on top everyone else in my life that I had already pushed away. I didn’t care if I was alive or dead. I attempted suicide once, or twice, gosh I lost count, but at that point, I just didn’t care anymore. Before I knew it I was eighteen years old, and before the clock had struck twelve on my birthday, I was on meth. This started the downhill spiral that led me to my bottom over the next two years.

I sounded like a trooper if you ask me. All the crap I put myself through and I was still here. Never once forgetting who Jesus was or where I was headed if I kept up that life.

Honestly, I cannot say that the life I was living didn’t bother me because that would be a lie. All of it did. No matter how far I took it or how much time had passed or how much I said or showed differently, I cared. But I was lost. I was so far beyond being buried in deceit, I had dug a whole so deep and ran from God for so long that I truly believed there was no turning back, that I could not be saved.

Looking back, I cannot tell you the first thing that sparked my mind or heart to want to change and just take that first step. I give credit to a lot of different things and some very important people in my life that were a part of this time and a part of what got me to that point. The reality is, I was tired. I was past giving up, and in my experience, I had discovered giving up had gotten me nowhere, because after I had given up I was still here. I was still alive, and I knew there had to be a good reason why and so, I finally decided the bad was bad. No, it was horrible beyond words or human belief. It was the bottom of all existence and everything I ever was or thought I could be. I was done.

Growing up in the church I had always heard that God would never allow me to go through more than I could handle, even if I dragged myself through it, He was still in control.

The following summer I decided to visit my sister in St. Louis, at the time her living so far away was a sweet escape for me when life was kicking me down. I could always count on her to take me in and love me exactly the way that I was, plus I had a key. On this trip, I got the chance to take myself out of “my world” and be in a completely different environment. This, of course, was not the first time I had done this, but this time I had a completely different motive in mind. I attended church with her each Sunday while I was visiting and her church was doing this mini-series on super sizing your life. I cannot remember the significance of the lesson now, what was said in which moment or why, but I do remember everything just starting to click for me.

full (2)
This was the same week I sat in my sister’s church. Just a couple of days before this picture my hair was down to my butt (a normal for me), I decided to cut it all off to symbolize that the old me was dead and gone. This was a new girl 🙂

Through all the insanely horrible things that I had put myself through, God kept showing me mercy, time and time again. He was always there, watching over me and keeping me safe. No matter what new dark place I could find to try and run and hide too, He was there. I was running from Him and He was chasing me, wanting so bad for me to come back to Him, just waiting for me, patiently. It didn’t matter how badly I had stomped on Him or how many times I had rejected Him or how long that it took for me to come home. He was still there. Ready and waiting, with arms wide open, just waiting for me to accept.

All of the years that I had spent hurting myself, I had blamed the devil. I blamed everybody and everything for what was going on around me for where I was at in life. Then that day, in my sister’s church, it all made sense to me. Are you ready for it? In order to be changed and to leave it all behind and to be happy and peaceful and full of life, with Jesus Christ himself, to love Him and to have a beautiful relationship with Him, I had to let go of me.

and I did y’all. That same day and I have never been the same again.

Today marks seven years of my sobriety.

They say that after seven years that every cell in your body has died at some point and regenerated, so to me that means I am a brand new person today, just like I was seven years ago when I decide to stop running and give it all to God. Seven years later I am happily married with two gorgeous boys that I am so very much in love with, and our family dog Charlie. I have graduated from college twice now and am now working on my third degree, my masters! We bought our own home a few years back, we own two cars, and we are still in debt, but it’s just a footprint from the life we are living. We attend church regularly as a family and are all very involved in our community. Every year God continues to mold me and grow me into this beautiful human being that I never thought I could be and the best part about it is; I am human. I am not perfect. I stumble, like every day y’all. I fall. I make plenty of mistakes and yet, every time I do, my God is there to forgive me. He is there to dust me off and pick me back up again and that is something that will never change!

This morning I woke up late because I had a bad dream, it was a dream about my husband doing horrible things to me and my world crumbling back down to what it was before, it was a nightmare and it woke me up in bad mood. After I got up one thing after another kept happening to me to make me upset. My son peeing all over the middle of the floor, my water bottle spilling all over the counter because I forgot to put the cap back on, it was pay day and my check had not come in yet, and from where I was standing my day was going to suck.

My husband urged me to let it go and not let it ruin my day, he’s a smart man.

But then God reminded me. You have a son! You have a job! You have a counter and water to spill on that sucker. You are blessed beyond belief and today you are a new woman! Hallelujah!

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child and I reasoned like a child; now that I am a woman, I am done with my childish ways and I have put them behind me! 1 Corinthians 13:11

Stay blessed,

Beautiful Southern Heart

81 thoughts on “7 Years and Counting…Sobriety Wins.

  1. Thanks for sharing your testimony. I’m sorry that I wasn’t there for you through all of it , but I am glad we have reconnected! You are seriously a blessing in my life, and as you already know, a great accountability partner! 🙂 I’m very happy that you have discovered who you really are in Christ. And yes, you ARE a new creation because of His finished work on the cross! How amazing is our Father for all of his love and mercy?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome girl 🙂 don’t even sweat it, I couldn’t have expected you or anyone else to try any harder than you did. I too am glad you are in my life now 🙂 you are my favorite accountability partner!!! Me too girl, where would any of us be without Him!! I’m just ready for the rest of the world to catch up! Ha! He’s the best!!

      Like

  2. Similiar stories to a degree. My blog shares a smiliar background. Rooted in the church. Married a P.K. Found ourselves married at 20. When we moved away to Florida our identity was no longer the church. No one could see what we were doing. My ex-husband became distant(drinking heavily). He was a musician lost in the bar scene(even woman). I drank to numb the pain of my suffering marriage. Why God? 18 years later my life was shattered when I was arrested, and now I have found a new life in Christ. Thanks for sharing. Check out my page. Working on my next post of when I got released from jail, and all God was doing in me. Blessings dear one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank the Lord he put you in jail! It’s funny the places we have to go to find God, on our own accord. I look forward to reading it! Thank you 🙂

      Like

  3. This is such an amazing post! It is so good to know more about you and your story, you have been through so much and have had quite a journey. But you came out of it a better person and I admire you for that. You are strong and beautiful! Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow Kristen, Im teary eyed and I am touched by your story. Your story just made me realize not to give up and ask help from above. I have a brother that is going through addiction and we are on the verge of giving up on him. We dont know what to do to help him anymore.

    God is really good and works his ways because I was not gonna open my wordpress til tonight, but something just keep telling me to check for just a lil while and I happen to stumble on your post. And Im glad!

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I may not know how much courage it took you to share this with the world. You’re so brave. God love you. God Bless you and your family always 🙏🏼🙏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much girl. THIS is why I wrote it. It doesn’t matter how hard it is or how uncomfortable, God is going to use it to do big and mighty things. He already had, just by having you get on when you did. Don’t give up on your brother. He is NOT his addiction. Pray for him, love him, do not enable him, and wait. Only HE can decide if and when he is ready to do something about his circumstances. You just have to make sure you are there when he is ready to come home, and that you are setting a good example for him until then. That’s all we can do. You’re welcome girl, I am blessed by it having an impact on our life, even in the smallest way. He loves you too. Thanks so much! Ditto.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jail did not quite break me, it got me seeing His hand in it all. The breaking comes well *spoiler* nope! Lol. You shall see. A spiritual battle had begun, because I knew Gos very intimately for many years. So there was a battle brewing for win of my soul. God is faithful to complete a good work he started 🙏❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen girl!! Let me know when you post it! I can’t wait to see His work in your life! He sure is, that’s the most exciting thing of all. The victory has already been won!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! I admire your the boldness in sharing your story. Praise God for turning your mess into a message. What you’ve been through is not be wasted because God now using it bless and help others. God bless you..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I love that saying! He definitely did turn my mess into a message, and for that I am most thankful. I have 0 regrets of my past, every part of it made me who I am today and allows me to connect with others in a way I could not have done otherwise. Amen girl!

      Like

  7. I remember your sister’s tears and prayers prayed for you. I remember your visit and the excitement about you t turning to the Lord!!!! What a faithful God we serve. I love you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Tamika, that brings tears to my eyes…I hate to think about the pain I put her or anyone else through. But I am so thankful she loved me and prayed be through it, and you too! You were there when this happened!!! He is so faithful. I love you too girl!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I admire the strength, honesty and vulnerability in this post. And since it’s been 7 years and every cell is remade … it’s like a new birthday. 🎂❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Kristen, thank you for being vulnerable and transparent enough to share the testimony of your sobriety with the world. God is so good, and stories like this are the stories that remind us just how powerful and loving He truly is. I pray He only continues to work in you and develop you not only in your sobriety, but in all aspects of who He’s created you to be. As a mom and wife, there are so many vocations He calls you to become a part of with your whole being, and I believe He gives us the strength, wisdom, boldness, and passion to follow through on all that He calls us to be. May God bless you moving forward, and may He use your testimony to touch countless lives as you continue to share what He has done for you. I’m very glad I was able to find this article. 🙂 Thank you for your choice to share this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Lance, thank you so much for the kinds words. I’ve had so many people tell me how I was brave, vulnerable, or strong or strong for sharing my story with the world and I had honestly not seen it that we until now. I feel strongly that my past is far behind me and that girl doesn’t exist anymore, so what is there to be afraid in telling others of how good God is? That’s why it was so easy for me to share and try really hard to capture the details, even the not so nice ones. Thank you for praying that over me, it means so much. I am just now starting to get a taste of what it is God has in store for me as a mother and wife and willing vessel living for Him. It was a sweet reminder to hear this from you. Thank you again so much, I am sure God led you to it!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You are very lucky to know and accept Jesus Christ at an early age. Yes sometimes we do fall and make stupid mistakes but at the end of the day we raise again because greater is he who lives within you…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I don’t feel that I am any more lucky than the next person, but truly blessed that I had parents that brought me up in that way. You are so very right, He is greater than any adversary that may come my way!

      Like

  11. This post touched me in ways that you cannot begin to imagine. These days I feel so lost and confused. Sometimes I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t understand anything. I feel like I’ve lost my faith… Thank you so much, for sharing your story.

    Do check out my blog Yoruba-Yankee  – http://wp.me/p8Esda-v

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so welcome. I know that feeling all too well. Look to the Lord and he will guide you. I tell myself all of the time, confusion is not from the Lord, if I feel confused or uncertain it is the devil whispering a lie in my ear. Knock those lies down and fill your heart with the truth! Once you have faith, you can never lose it…you are the light of the world, you just have to rekindle that flame inside you. I’ll be praying for you to find it again 🙂 You are so very welcome! I will girl!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. WOW.
    First I want say thank you SO much for putting your story out there.
    I myself have similar story only I’m still actively living it. I am an addict. An addict that is so tired of this life. An addict that just happened to search Google this morning encouraging words about recovery. An addict who just so happened to find YOUR story.
    Your story has given me hope. It is with your story in my mind that I am currently checking myself into inpatient faith based recovery program.
    THANK YOU FOR BEING BRAVE ENOUGH SHARE. Please know that your story beyond encouraging and has given the courage for me save myself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My heart is so full and overwhelmed. I truly do not know what to say. You are the one who is brave, the first step is truly the hardest step in the world. Sharing your story is the easy part. God is going to move in your life, I can feel it. Thank you so much for commenting, I’ll be keeping you in my prayers.

      Like

  13. It is amazing that you had the courage to open yourself for that post! I admire you for being strong enough to stay clean for that long and turn out into a decent person, even after everything you’ve went through! I wish you so much happiness ahead 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Siyana. I really appreciate that. Some days I forget that I am “sober” because I do not even remember that life or feel like it was ever a part of me. But on days, like the day I sat down and wrote my story, I truly am grateful for how far that I have come and that I was ever able to get here in the first place! Thank you so much!!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. What an amazing testimony! You truly can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! You go Girl!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks a lot for this, I just bumped into it. I don’t even know how. But it really inspired me. You are really blessed by God. Praise God. It is a powerful piece…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Wow. Girl!

    Thoughts I had while reading this (not in order of importance and probably not even coherent)…

    1. You look like Mandy Moore in that first photo 2. You look tired in the second photo, I just want to give you a hug 3. Fifteen is so young to fall into that life 4. As someone who doesn’t mess with drugs, the fact that you did all that stuff before you were even 18 is crazy to me 5. I feel like you lived a whole lifetime in your adolescence 6. You are SO STRONG. I know you will probably say that your strength comes from God and that may be true but even the decision to turn back to him was so strong and that was YOU. You are a badass. 7. You are brave for putting this out there and I’m glad to see from the comments you’re already helping people. You’re the light refusing to be hidden.

    You’re awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Quinn. I honestly don’t think I have ever heard the Mandy Moore one, but I like her so yay! What I would do to look like that again 😉 I was tired, like on a whole other level of tiredness. But it’s over now, I’ll still take the hug! You are right, when I think about my past, it feels like it was another life that someone else lived. Almost doesn’t seem real sometimes and it’s insane when I talk about it out loud, how old I was, all the horrible things that I did and went through…when I see girls that age now, I just can’t comprehend. Thank you, Quinn…I don’t always feel that way, but I know I am. ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  17. So brave of you to put it all out there. I bet it helps though, being able to talk about everything! Congrats on being so strong, and I’m sure you are helping a lot of people with your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sarah, it’s a different feeling talking about it. Some days I enjoy getting to tell someone how far I have came and other days I’d rather just not. Thank you, I really appreciate it! I sure hope so, that is why I wrote it!

      Like

  18. Thank you for sharing your story. In life we all have to find our own path. In the beginning it may be a bit bumpy but in most cases we find our way. The only thing that matters is the person you are today.🌼🌻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! Agreed! My path was a little rougher than most, but there are so many other out there who had/have it a million times worse. I am incredibly proud of the person I am today and have no regrets. Every part of that story molded me into who I am today.

      Like

  19. I got so involved while reading this. I think your story is relatable to many teenagers. Teenagers tend to lose their right direction under peer pressure or because of their loneliness which eats them internally. It was very brave on your part to describe whatever happened to you and how you dealt with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see where you are coming from and agree! The crazy thing about my story is all of the people that I leave out of it. I was not alone in those years and there were many friends of mine, my age, some younger, and older going through what I did and being there right along with me. Many of my friends went through far worse and some still are going through it. I wish there was a way to stop things like this from happening…thank you, I appreciate it!

      Like

  20. Your story is amazing! As a teenager currently, I feel the same pressures as you mentioned in your article and this post made me really think about my choices. Congrats on 7 Years!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Swati! I can’t imagine growing up in the same time as you, it was super hard for us and things were not as easy to get to then, with everything at your finger tips I imagine it’s a much harder battle! Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. You are an incredible writer and I’m so happy for you to have the life you have now! This is why I love blogs – I’d have never read that otherwise. I have so much respect for you for sharing all that, Kristen. You have a new follower 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you David, I really appreciate that. I’m glad you took the time to read it too. Even if you can’t relate to it at all, I think it’s important to see the side of others and what the world is like (can be like) outside of our own. Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was one of those posts I couldn’t stop reading. I completely agree, I’ve read so many stories I would have never read just by posting on the facebook group. You are most welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m so happy to hear that! I’m still so new to writing, where I share it with others, and I know I have a long way to go in how I construct my sentences and my grammar. But that’s why I like writing from my point of view and my tone of voice, it’s easier and I don’t feel so self concious! Same here for sure! Even the topics that I think I’d never be interested in, I end up liking pretty good.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. You are an amazing woman! I am so proud that you put yourself out there to share your story. You never know who might read this and be completely impacted by it. Congratulations on your sobriety and keep that amazing spirit up! God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s