I’m Brooke, and I’m twenty-four years old. I grew up in a good Christian home with loving parents. I never wanted for anything. My parents taught me what love looked like. Despite a good environment at home, I started hanging out with older kids in the neighborhood and became very rebellious. Because I was the youngest, I felt I always had something to prove, and I developed a “dare-me-not-to-and-watch-me-do-it” mentality that I carried into my teenage years.
My identity was found in having no fear. This often caused me to put myself in dangerous situations where a healthy amount of fear would have been good for me. When I was 15 years old, I was raped and became pregnant with a precious baby boy. At that point, I cried out to Jesus. I had heard all the stories, but I had never surrendered to Him. I gave my heart to Jesus, and my whole life changed.
Looking back, I can see where God had His hand on me. I placed my son up for adoption through a non-profit Christian agency. Even though this was the best thing for my son at that time, it was the hardest decision I have ever made. Unfortunately, I did not get rooted and grounded, and I let the stress, worries and grief of life choke out the Word that I had heard. I went back to my hometown and started hanging out with old friends, and I soon went back to my old ways.
I let the enemy slip back into my life, and those decisions led me down a path of destruction. It’s the little foxes that destroy the vine. Sin takes you places you never thought you would go, and it keeps you longer than you want to stay. By the age of 18, I had my second child, a little girl. I was shooting heroin by age 19. Heroin became my everything; it had me, and I thought it would be the end of me.
I made several attempts to break free and get clean on my own and in secular rehabs, but I always failed. In 2011, my best friend and the love of my life died during the same week from drug overdoses. I spiraled deeper and deeper into an endless sea of misery. But God pursued me. He saw me, and He loved me; He watched after me and protected me. I was knocking on death’s door, and I was in the last chapter of my book.
God, however, had different plans for me. I finally went to Teen Challenge on April 30, 2013 after running from his calling for three years. I came in hungry and broken, and I made the decision to give it everything I had. God began to heal me! One drop of His blood is powerful to break any yoke of bondage. He started changing me and making me brand new. He put a love inside of me that I could not contain. He is so faithful. He is my love, my strength, my best friend; He is my life. My story parallels with that of the prodigal son. My Abba was there waiting with arms wide open for me to come home, to clothe me in righteousness and prepare a feast for me.
Jesus Christ is my all in all, and His Word is true. Since coming to Teen Challenge, He has restored my relationship with my sister that I did not even speak to. On October 3, 2013, I was in the delivery room with her when my nephew was born. It is like no time has lapsed. God has made up all the time I thought I had lost with my family. The scripture declaring that love covers a multitude of sins is evident in the restoration of my family. My son and his adopted family are missionaries in Uganda. God truly took the broken pieces of my wrecked world and made a masterpiece. I am not an intern at Teen Challenge, and I am honored to have the opportunity to pour into these ladies’ lives just as so many others have done for me. Falling in love with Jesus is the best decision I have ever made. My choice to follow the Lord has not only affected my own life, but it is overflowing into my daughter’s as well. She has accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and is so excited about being baptized. I look forward to walking in the calling and living the life in Christ that God has ordained for me.
This person received help at Alabama Teen Challenge. To learn more about this program, please visit their page on our resource directory.