Most of my life has been filled with depression, drinking, and bad choices.
I lost everything I ever loved and that led to further depression, drinking, and bad choices. I can remember wanting to die just so I wouldn’t have to hurt anymore. I don’t remember how many times I have been arrested, but suffice to say it has been many. More than 20 at least.
On December 27, 2015, I reluctantly went to the Taylor House in Mount Vernon, AL. It ended up being the best decision I ever made. I learned so many things about a better way of life. I learned the difference between joy and happiness. I learned that happiness is something that comes and goes, but true joy from the Lord can be experienced even on the bad days. I learned that to live this joy-filled life that I needed to turn my life over to the Lord. To have a relationship with the Lord, I have to be obedient and to be obedient I have to listen to what God tells me to do instead of following my feelings. Then I learned that everything I needed to follow Jesus was all there in God’s word. When I have a bad day, I have to put my trust in God. I have to remember that He is in control and have faith that He knows what is best for my life.
Today I think back on that December day and shiver because I know how close I came to not going to the Taylor House. I just picked up my 7 month chip at Celebrate Recovery last week. I am in awe of how much my life has changed. My life has so much meaning today. I still have bad days, but during those bad times, I cling to my faith and trust in my Savior and even in the midst of those bad times I have hope.
I know there is only one direction for me to go from here and that is up.
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; Shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. — Isaiah 43:18-19
My name is Kristin Stewart. I’m 26 years old and I used to be hopelessly addicted to pain pills and honestly any substance or relationship that enabled me to escape reality.
I’m an only child and I grew up in what most people would say was a pretty normal household. My mother has struggled on and off with addiction my whole life, but my father always kept things together for us. He was an aviation mechanic in the Coast Guard and he worked a job at night for many years also. I would say he was my rock. In 2003 he was in a car wreck and the on-base doctor prescribed him oxycodone and my father got severely addicted. He ended up getting discharged from the Coast Guard and this is when life as I knew it (at 13 years old) got turned upside down.
I grew up almost instantly it felt like. In 2008, shortly, after my father got clean he passed away and this shook mine and my mothers world. Exactly a year to the month of 2009, my mom was placed in ICU for 3 month on life support because of double pneumonia. After just losing my father and seeing my mother in this shape day after day I began coping with life by smoking weed and drinking with my friends. Eventually, my mother got out of ICU and came home.
She had never dealt with my fathers death and her addiction rapidly got out of control. After fighting with her to stop, and doing everything in my power to help her with absolutely no results I gave in and we began to party together.
Things got out of control fast and that’s when I checked myself into The Haven of Hope in 2013. I completed the program and felt God calling me to stay and not to go back home,but my worldly cares quickly pulled me out of The Haven and back home. It did not take long before I was back out in the world in a full-blown relapse. I stayed in my relapse for about a year until I had had enough and humbled myself. I called The Haven and went back in July of 2014.
Again, I stayed and completed the program and again I heard God saying to me not to go home and calling me to be apart of The Mission of Hope ministry. This time I listened to him and stayed on as a step-up first and then I became a house-mother at the Mt.Vernon location and all together worked there for 15 months. This is where I really started my true relationship with Jesus Christ.
Yet, I still struggled with one major issue I could not seem to give to God. My want and need to save my mother. I was so use to taking care of her I did not know how to have full joy if she did not have joy,peace,and happiness. I was totally codependent. Every other weekend I would go home and try to shine my light, but my light just grew dimmer and dimmer. I heard God’s voice say to me “Kristin get out of my way you’re only making things harder for me” but I could not give her up. This and a few other decision led to me leaving The Haven way before I should have, but thank God he works ALL things together for the GOOD to those who love him and who are called according to his purpose.
I fell right back into pills and drugs and stayed in that lifestyle for about 6 months when I found myself sleeping in my car and so sick with double pneumonia I could not get out of my car. My best friend, Stephanie Hepburn, who is the house manager at The Haven in Fruitdale, Alabama came and picked me up out of my car and brought me to The Wings of Life where my spiritual mother, Dacia Amacker, had called and gotten me a bed. Thank God for his mercies and love that never fails.
Today I live my life in freedom because I serve a God who is faithful and never gives up on his children. I’m currently in the dove program at the Wings Of Life and I’m starting college classes at Bishop State on August 15th. The word says a righteous man may fall 7 times but he rises again.- Proverbs 24:16. And what the enemy meant for my harm, God will use for my good. -Genesis 50:20. I know God did not want me to suffer so much in order to get me to this place in my life but because of my choices I had to go through them. My trials have become my testimony and my thorns have become my purpose. I’m now blessed to be able to be apart of two amazing ministries and have Christian friendships that will last forever. God is now working in my mother’s life also because I finally gave her to him, and let Him be the mighty God He always was. We are both work in progress, but my God promises to complete the good work he started until the day of Christ Jesus and with my God all things are possible!
Behold, for peace I had great bitterness but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. Isaiah 38:17