I got into MANY fights in high school, skipped, got into alcohol, tried cocaine, weed, and after high school got into extacy pretty bad. I got raped while staying over at a friends house around the same time and was so ashamed, thinking it was my fault, that I shouldn't have been there in the first place. I think in my mind tried to down play the whole ordeal because my best friend at the time didn't believe me. I stop mentioning it after that.
I signed up for the Navy soon after graduation and continued to use extacy every now and then. Third year into the military, we were deployed overseas for the war in Iraq. I came back depressed and more self destructive than ever partly because of what I had seen there. But while being deployed I had also found out my father was diagnosed with Parkinson disease. I went home for leave after deployment and just partied with no limitations. I went out drinking one night and blacked out driving after the club, from about 3AM to 6AM. Noone else was in the car with me. When I woke up the car was still driving and my hands were on the wheel going about 20 mph. I was tripped out but honestly didn't think anything of it afterwards although I could not account for anything that happened the past 3hrs that I had blacked out. Crazy!
Later that month I end up getting extacy for me and some people I was stationed with but this doesn't catch up to me until about 8months later. Meanwhile it was time for me to change duty stations. I ended being given orders to Naples, Italy. I was given 3 weeks leave to go home before going overseas and only visited my father about 3 times, knowing very well he was ill. I could not get past my built up anger and bitterness towards him for being an alcoholic. I was in Italy for about 2 months and I get a call that my father is in the hospital, he's been throwing up liters of blood for an unknown reason at the time. I fly back down to Texas and with struggling so long with my anger at him that I could not even allow myself to feel compassion for him.
I just kept thinking "all those years I needed my father and he constantly chose alcohol over me..now he's got himself sick and needs me to be by his side? I can't do it.."
I saw him about twice during the week I was there, went clubbing the rest of the time. The couple of times I did see him I remembered being amazed at how sober he was. I grew up with him being a functional drunk that it was abnormal to see him sober and to be so aware of me all of a sudden.
I flew back to Italy and about 2 weeks later, got another phone call that my father had passed away. I flew back down Dec. 2003 to bury my father that 31st. I didn't cry at his funeral. I remember my mother being so concerned because of my lack of reaction to everything that was going on. But I refused to talk about anything. I was in complete shock. Just like my father, I turned to alcohol to deal with my issues and emotions. Ironic how I hated him for doing that but did so myself. I ended up going to jail for drinking and driving shortly after that. Of course got in trouble for that as soon as I went back to Italy with the Navy. The Navy also wanted to investigate the situation with the extacy the summer before. This all happened back to back in Jan. 2004. They sent me back to my last duty station Aug 2004 so that they could deal with the situation there. They have a strict no tolerance for drug use of course so I knew I was going to be put out soon. After months of court trials and investigation, I was sentenced to 1 month in military prison. After getting out they didn't put me out just yet. I was struggling with all types of things at this time as you can probably imagine. On top of battling alcoholism myself, I also had anger issues. The Navy sent me to classes for both but they didn't work. I came out more angry and drank even more, especially with everything going on. I felt I hadn't even had a chance to grieve after my fathers death because of my previous screw ups. I remembering praying that God would make me numb to everything. I didn't want to feel or be too aware of anything. So meanwhile I continued to party but hadn't touch extacy or any other drug since that summer that stuff had went down.
A friend and I went to a club in D.C. and someone slipped me something (that I later realized it was a date rape drug). I tried to let my friend know that something was very wrong at some point. Everything was blurry all of a sudden and I was beginning to stumble. But my friend acted like I was embarrassing her (because of my stumbling I think?) while she was dancing with some guy. She gave me such an ugly look that I'll never forget. I ended up waking up in some strange hotel in the next state over. This strange guy was talking to me but I was so groggy I was still having problems speaking. I could not remember what he looked like of course. I had the same girl from the night before come get me but she acted like I had just somehow got drunk again and got myself in some drama. But I knew what had happened.
Meantime the Navy is telling me that I won't be anything after they put me out. That noone will hire me and that with this stuff on my background that I won't ever get accepted to any college. I was so very depressed after I got out. I was so convinced that I was beneath the scum of the earth that I would cry myself to sleep many nights after praying and asking God for forgiveness.
I somehow pushed myself to apply for the Art Institute for fashion design. I thought it was so far fetched to be accepted but what the heck did I have to lose? I had already lost so much that I figured it didn't matter. They not only accepted me but financed me for housing out there too. A year into school, I met my best friend now who invited me to her church. There was nothing like feeling Gods presence for the first time like that. His love was so overwhelming and I was in awe at how He could love me after everything I had done and all the people I had hurt along the way. He saw something redeemable in me and let me know at that moment that He had so much more for me. I opened up my heart to Him at that time, as scared as I was and let Him in. I have completely run after God ever since!
Since then God has turned me into a godly woman with a heart for His people. God has helped me to let go of anger and healed my heart. He has made me whole. God's completely covered me with His love and I am over flowing with it! I'm in the process of starting my own clothing line, photography business, along with working on gifts and talents He's revealed to me so far. The possibilities are endless as far as how God wants to grow and mold me. :)
I pray this ministers to someone. Its rare if I ever speak of my testimony and not cry. I believe I'm crying for the lost girl that I was before Christ. All the many hurtful, painful things I put her through being on the outside of Gods will. But praise be to God, He saved and redeemed me! He can do the same for you too if you're struggling with making a decision to come to Him. Just open up your heart, declare He is Lord and Savior over your life, repent for trying to live life without Him and come on home.