After 53 years dedicated to helping women and their families overcome life-controlling addictions, we at Adult Teen Challenge Ohio have accumulated many success stories with happy outcomes. But these stories don’t start that way. This story will be forever at the forefront of my many memories! The young lady this story refers to has given me full permission to write this but has asked not to mention her name. Even though this story cuts and the scars go deep, she stands in freedom today!

I watched as she sat across from my desk, tears flowing so freely down her face. I could not help but sit in awe of the work happening, a day we all had hoped for. She had just crossed her seven-month mark in the program, and up to this point, she had not denied what had happened to her, but this was the first time the truth had its way. She mumbled between the tears, the fist-pounding, and the outbursts, “but I was only 5’ Why, Why, Why.”

We had prayed so hard for a true breakthrough for her, but until now, we had begun to wonder how she would ever be free. This true story is why we do what we do. We have seen too many miracles not to wait for more to take place.

Her story started with:

“He came into my room and sat with me at the edge of my bed. I thought it was story time, as usual. I began to listen to him telling me how sweet I was, and he loved me so much, and then it happened. As time went on, I began to welcome these moments. You see, it was the only time someone held me. As I entered middle school, I sensed horribleness, a dread lurking around me. I knew what was happening wasn’t good, but somehow, it continued. Then I met this boy, oh he was so cute! But wait, what if he found out: this was the first time I felt so ugly, so degraded, so nasty. It was a turning point for the worse for me.

Soon after, I began my trip down the path from simple drugs and then progressed to experimenting with harder drugs, then attending raves. I managed to get through high school but soon lost my job. I had gone from one guy to another, only wanting to be held to be loved. My life was a mess, with no one wanting me around. A family member worked to get me into Teen Challenge in Columbus. I thought this place was crazy, but I had nowhere to go and was so far away from where I had called home.

Today, I am strong; I am married and have two children. I have my days, but I’m reminded quickly of what the Lord has brought me through! Wow, am I blessed!”

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