Stephanie’s Story

Stephanie’s Story

This weeks #MyStoryMonday we share with you Stephanie’s story that just graduated the restoration program this weekend!!

My name is Stephanie, I’m 27 and from Dover, Delaware.  I came from divorced parents, had a normal childhood and a great education.  I had few friends in school, I was very quiet and I focused on my schooling.  One downfall during my middle school/ high school years was my speech impediment, my stuttering.  I was teased and made fun of constantly.  My speech and my over-weight looks made me have low self-esteem and no confidence, which led to depression.  My last year of high school I met my “prince charming,” my ex-husband Mike.  He was the first guy ever to treat me like a princess, to accept me and love me for who I was.  He was what you would call my “first love.”  We got married after I graduated college with my BA degree in English.

The beginning of college was when I started experimenting with weed because my ex-husband was a smoker.  I wanted to just break out of my shell and have fun with him and his friends, going out and just having a good time like every other college kid.  Well….weed turned into pills, pills to cocaine and heroin.  My addiction ruined my marriage because both of us put drugs before each other, it ruined my family relationships, ruined myself, and ruined my whole life.  I had everything and my addiction took everything away from me in a blink of an eye.  After my divorce was when I hit rock bottom and I had a choice from my parents, to either be put in jail or go to Teen Challenge.

I went to the Teen Challenge in Brooklyn, New York in December 2013 and graduated the program December 2014, becoming staff.  It was the best decision I made in my life. I learned who God was, what He did for me on the cross and how He saw me through His eyes and His love as well as restoring my relationships with my family.  However, I thought I had received everything during that year and I thought I had surrendered everything to God, but I didn’t and it ended up with me relapsing and getting myself into an impure relationship with a guy in the ministry while I was working there.

I came to Shenandoah Valley Adult Teen Challenge in June 2015 for 6 months Restoration and God showed me so much more about myself, about my relationship with Him, and about the roots I was still carrying in this short amount of time compared to my year program in New York.  I became grateful for my relapse because it led me to a more closer and intimate relationship with God.  God is always on time because not only did my relationship with Him grow, He knew I needed to be in a safe place when the most tragic thing happened in my life…..my ex-husband committed suicide.  I was not prepared to be in the world during his death and God knew that.  Mike was the one root I was holding on to all this time and I had to let go and let God when Mike passed away.  I am grateful I was in a safe place, under God’s protection and around people to help me get through that season in my life.  After ignoring God when He tries to get your attention over and over, He will do something tragic in your life to make you wake up and realize the things you are still holding on to that can hinder your relationship with Him.

God has brought revelation after revelation in my life, breakthrough after breakthrough.  I learned to see life and difficult circumstances through God’s perspective.  God has taught me how to look at myself as a child of God, as a confident woman of God who represents her Savior in everything she does.  He has allowed me to see my real personality and why I am the way I am and the why He made me this way.  God has showed me how to be confident and content in my speech impediment through teaching me about my gifts in administration and teaching.  I always compare myself to Moses because he had a speech impediment and God used him in a mighty way.  If God did it before, He can do it again.  He made me realize how He wants to use my weakness, my speech for His glory, for His kingdom through my gifts.  His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

God has called us all to do the same thing, preach the Gospel and share His Word with the world.  However, God has called us to share His Word and lead people to His kingdom in different ways, according to the gifts He has given us.  My gifts are administration and teaching.  God has called me to use those gifts through being in leadership in Teen Challenge to help lost people be found through God and His promises.  I desire to help other people find their way through Jesus.  I want to lead lost people to the cross and I want them to find satisfaction and fulfillment through Jesus like I did.  I desire for the Holy Spirit to work through me.  God has put a desire in my heart to stay with Teen Challenge, no matter where I am, but to stay with Teen Challenge and be part of leadership and help Him do His work dealing with addicts.  I want to stay with Shenandoah Valley Adult Teen Challenge until He moves me but right now God wants me here to do His work and this is where I will stay after my Restoration program.

 

My life verse I stand on:

“ For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

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