My Name is Danielle, and I came to the Graham Campus struggling with addiction. I remember being told I couldn't smoke cigarettes, and that was more overwhelming than anything. I was really scared the first day, and I remember asking if I could have anything else like a patch. The staff said "No, its the power of prayer that will take that craving away." I thought they were all crazy. I thought as I laughed, "You don't know me. I can't stop doing anything that is not good for me." But I now know the power of those prayers, because I have been redeemed from smoking, drinking, drugs, and a crazy life of selfishness, blame, and anger. Today is my last day of an amazing year. I am not the same person. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus, and my relationship with my savior has changed the way I do everything in my life. Getting to that healthy place was not easy for me in any way. I had so much anger and unforgiveness in my heart. I was hurting inside.
My story is that my husband and I both came into Teen Challenge. We were told that we were going to lose our children if we did not get help. I had thoughts that if I was a good mom, how can I leave my children? But that was one of many lies that I believed, because I wasn't being a good mom. I wasn't putting their needs first. Our first six months were a constant struggle, and neither of us thought we could finish. I was so critical of everyone around me, and I learned that the enemy gets me distracted with everyone around me to deflect me from taking responsibility for my thinking and choices. I had such a hard time receiving truth from anyone, but these last six months of my program God took the blinders off my eyes, and I can see that I need help, and I want to surrender everything to God and receive everything from the staff and God.
I have so much peace about what is ahead for my husband, my children, and myself. God is doing a beautiful work in my marriage, and my husband is so different. We pray together now. God has done so much healing in our hearts, and trust is being rebuilt. We are leaving this weekend and starting our journey with Jesus as the head of our household. Our children have a new mommy and daddy. God is establishing us. I cannot stop smiling, and an overwhelming gratitude of God comes over me in waves everyday and I cry. But these are joyful tears, because we are free and no longer slaves. I am so grateful for this life-changing year at the Graham Campus. Thank you, Teen Challenge, for giving our family a new beginning and believing is us and investing in us day after day; we are forever grateful.