I was once bound by an addiction to hard core drugs that rapidly tore my life and family apart. My life wasn’t always easy, but I led a normal life: successful real-estate manager, college degrees, mother of two, school volunteer, and cheerleading coach. Who would have guess that I would trade it all in for a pipe and a needle and become a prostitute and drug addict? In my early 30’s, I lost my dream job and became severely depressed. I was prescribed a cocktail of medications to combat the depression and anxiety. Eventually the prescribed medicine was not enough and I began to seek deeper relief.

At the age of 33, I was introduced to cocaine, crack, and eventually heroin. I drained checking accounts, savings accounts, maxed out credit cards, and eventually lost everything we had. As a single mother of 2, I was forced to move back in with family and was so guilt-stricken that I lost ALL hope. It was at this point I met a man that I fell in “love” with instantly. He was a drug dealer (later I learned he was also a pimp). He helped supply my habit and eventually introduced me to the life of online escorting. My $400 a day habit kept me on a constant paper-chase. The more money I made the stronger my addiction became. I severed ties with most of my family, lost all aspirations, ruined my reputation and completely gave up on myself. Over a span of three years I experienced several trips to the ER for injuries sustained at the hands of the man I loved: broken bones, broken teeth, busted ear drums, concussions, lacerations, black eyes, but mainly a broken heart and spirit.

During my years as an online escort I avoided several state and federal stings. But, eventually, I faced consequences when I was arrested for a Felony 3, Promoting Prostitution, after task forces joined together to bust an online prostitution ring, pointing their efforts toward my boyfriend and I. I was released when they lacked evidence to indict, but my face was all over the news in Dayton, Ohio for days. The damage was done! For a woman who had no record and had never been in trouble, this should have been a wakeup call. However, the shame I caused myself and my family sparked a yearning to self-medicate even more. I stayed so high I couldn’t function. Often unable to get up from the bed I happened to be in at whatever dirty, drug ridden hotel I was at. After about 4 months I became suicidal as I looked out over the wreckage of my life. I knew death was to the only way to rectify everything for myself and my family.

One night after being beaten by the love of my life, I was left alone in a hotel room- bloody, alone, broken, missing my family and feigning for drugs. I called every dope boy I knew hoping someone would give me heroin on credit. I intended to shoot a deadly dose to end it all. But God had a different plan. I couldn’t get anyone to answer or agree. That night I called out to God for the first time in a long time and said “God, IF you are real, would you just have mercy and end this all?” that night God did an amazing thing. I felt a peace about me that allowed me to calm down enough to sleep. When I woke up I had a motivation within me that I hadn’t felt in a while. I called my family and told them I need help and I was serious. I spent that day at the library looking online for places I could get help. I ended up in a residential faith -based program within two weeks. While I was there I was surrounded by a love and encouragement that was completely foreign, but totally life changing. I came to know and understand the love of God. For the first time I saw myself though HIS eyes- with love and compassion. I gained a renewal of hope that gave me strength and motivation to keep moving no matter what the circumstances looked like. I learned that God loved me and WANTED me to succeed. It’s not our Maker’s will that any of us perish. For the first time in my entire life I felt freedom, love and joy.

After God saw me through the transformation process, HE began the restoration process. He has truly restored every aspect of my life. God has opened doors for me in my professional and personal life that I would have never even thought to approach. I am utilizing my college degrees, despite my past. A wonderful company took a chance on me and I have not let them down. I have tested into a senior level position and received an interdepartmental promotion. God is no respecter of persons- HE wants to restore and prosper us, so what HE did for me HE will do for anyone who seeks HIM. I once thought my children were better off without me. Today I am the mother in the neighborhood all the kids come to. I hold Bible studies every Tuesday and take a lot of them to church with me. I started a street ministry called Sidewalk Soldiers that ministers to prostitutes and addicts to share the message of hope.

If you are suffering with addiction, there is life beyond chasing a high. There is God who made you for great things. You deserve a life of abundance and victory. That life is available through Jesus Christ. There is nothing you have done that is not covered by the blood of Jesus! The price was paid- we are ransomed! You can break through and never be captive again- I am proof! If we allow the love of God to transform and renew us, we can love, live, and walk as overcomers.