I am a mother of four beautiful teenagers, a wife to an amazing man of faith, and a child of God. Growing up, I lived in poverty, according to our society. I am the first person in my immediate family that has ever been to college. As an adolescent, I found myself getting caught up in the sin of this world to make money and make ends meet. At the age of 12, I got involved with drugs and the lifestyle that follows drug addiction. By the age of 15, I ran away from home and hitch-hiked to West Virginia to be in a relationship. I did not grow up in church, and my father was absent from my life. My family did not know where I was for about two weeks before I called home. By the age of 16, I was pregnant and had four children by age 22.
On June 9th, 2009, my children were removed from my home from DCFS due to my drug use. I felt that in this moment of my life, I had lost all hope for the future. My addiction spiraled out of control, and I had headed for hell. Laying on a jail cell floor, I cried out to a God that I did not even know if he existed. He opened the doors for me, and I failed time and time again.
June 17th, 2011, I was incarcerated for the last time. God used another person in my cell to tell me about the Lighthouse Recovery Center. I had a phone card with 1 minute available that someone gave me. I called this Lighthouse, and they accepted me just as I was; broken, hopeless, empty, and shattered. My release to the Lighthouse came on 9/1/11; I tell everyone that God rescued me with a 911 call!
God has done great work since this time; it did not come without a price. I have come to a place where I am serving at God’s mercy; I am not my own anymore. On my own, I can accomplish nothing, but I know with God all things are possible. Now I can walk in my purpose; I can walk in my destiny that God has prepared for me. I have my children back in my home, and all glory goes to God.
In my faith community, I serve in many different areas. I currently work as administrator of Victory Community Church of Washington, Director of Lighthouse Recovery Center for Women, and I help oversee outreach at Heaven’s Soup Kitchen and Victory Community Church Washington. I serve as a team member on the VCC drama team and mime ministry. We currently minister at Branchville Correctional facility as well as many different tri-state outreaches with this mime ministry. I have come to a place in my walk with God that I know he is my provider, and God orders my steps.
If awarded this scholarship, I intend to use this offering to further my education, and in doing that, I will be walking in the purpose God has prepared for me.
God is using me to help others see that life at the cross is a life worth living. I want to see others succeed, and if I can gain knowledge along with my life experience, I know that my career, along with God in me, is a force in which to be reckoned. Not only that, but I have teenagers and students in the church that see my faithfulness to the kingdom, and my education. I have helped over ten others in my community to apply for school and lead them on the path to higher education.
My career path is so passionate to me; I am pursuing a Social Work career with a focus on addiction. I cannot express in words what it is like to be an addict. Society says that once you are an addict, you will always be an addict. I can’t entirely agree with that completely. I believe that there is a place in time where God meets us, and he takes every desire, and he can wash us clean and create in us the heart of David and instills his desires in our spirits. Today, I want to work in this field because I want others to know that change is possible, that they do not have to live bound to their past and what society declares them to be. I want others to see that they have not gone too far, and they are here for a purpose.
During my time at the University of Southern Indiana, I have had many interactions with students, faculty, and teachers. I am very open about my faith in all my classes. I have a gift of encouragement, and this has sparked a lot of interactions with my school community. I have fellow students and teachers that I pray for and encourage. Students have asked to meet me after class and talk with me about family members they need help, family members that need prayer for healing, and they have asked for advice on the how to handle different life situations. I always see God in others, and I enjoy telling them about their gifts and strengths. I make it a point to speak to every person I encounter in the elevator, and I know that God has a purpose for those interactions. I enjoy seeing others succeed.
In conclusion, I want to express to you that what you are doing with this scholarship is such a blessing, and I know that God will give back to you pressed down and shaking together and running over. I appreciate you taking the time to read my story, and I pray that God continues to bless this ministry.