Read Crystal Ellerbee’s beautiful story of redemption. After the death of her father she thought she would never be whole again, but Father God took all her broken pieces and used them to make a masterpiece of His love.
Hi, my name is crystal Ellerbee. I was born in Tampa, Florida in March of 1981. I had some bad things happen to me as a kid, things that take away a kid’s innocence. From the early age of 11, I remember always looking for something to dull the feelings I carried inside of me. Something that could numb the pain and make me feel “normal”, or what I thought normal was. It was light stuff at first like pot, acid then ecstasy, and gradually went on to bigger things as I grew older.
I joined the military when I was 19. I hated school and thought that was the best route for me. In my last year in the military, I hurt my back pretty bad and that’s when the prescription medication really came into play for me. At this time, I was already abusing uppers like cocaine and meth. I was medically discharged in 2004 and went back home to Tampa after four & half years serving.
I got married, but my addiction had really spun out of control at this point and that’s when I went to rehab for a year. I lost my husband, which he was only a “security blanket” for me. Not real love. I did really good for awhile. I thought was anyway because the only drug I was taking was Suboxene.
Anyways, I did good for a year and then my dad died suddenly in October of 2008. It didn’t take me long to relapse after that. BUT that’s when I met Jesus. A month into my relapse my mom found out about the Haven of Hope and even though I didn’t want to leave her side, I came up here to Mobile, Alabama for 3 months at the Haven. I was saved and baptized during this time,but after graduation I went back home. That was a huge mistake for me. I plugged into a great church for a while but then I let my social anxiety get the best of me and I slowly slipped away.
By 2012 I was so much further in my addiction then I thought I’d ever go. I was IV’ing OxyContin every day and was a horrible person. I stole from my mother more then I can imagine and many others, mostly strangers. I had myself in so many bad situations; it’s only God that allowed me to walk out of them. My mom was finished with me. She didn’t want anything to do with anymore unless I went back into rehab. She wanted a year long program though like teen challenge. I just wanted to escape all the damage I had done and I kind of needed to go in to hiding because of some of the people I had ripped off so I agreed to go back to the Haven for a recharge program for 2 months. I wasn’t really interested in God anymore. I just needed to hide. I had so much hate and anger built up because of my fathers death towards God that I was a very hateful and angry person. They almost kicked me out a couple times BUT GOD. He knew His plans for me and He protected me even in my careless behavior. After a few months my heart started to soften and I started crying back out to Him.
I became the house mother at the Haven of Hope and was there for a year. I decided I needed to stay in Mobile this time. I had met some pretty amazing people that are now family and it was the best decision I could’ve ever made. But I’m here to tell you, gettin Jesus is the best part,but that’s not where it ends. We did a lot of damage to ourselves out there so we have to allow Him to work all that out. I spent my first 3 years walking with Him battling depression, insecurity, codependency and much much more mind torment. I wanted to give up everyday, but I wanted Him more than anything so I stayed the course. I have fallen a few times but I’ve gotten right back up and let Him use the falls for His glory. He broke all that mental anguish off of me all at once. All of a sudden one day it just wasn’t there anymore. He replaced it with His peace and His joy. I still face daily battles on this walk, but through them all my faith grows a little stronger and I cling a little more to Him.
My daily choice is to please Him and to live for Him. I am very involved in ministry now. I am in a ministry that goes into the darkest of dark places to bring Jesus’s light and love to the lost and broken women in this city in the sex industry, to show them there is another way and His name is Jesus. I’m also involved in Celebrate Recovery because that’s where I really plugged into at the beginning of this walk and met my forever family. Celebrate Recovery has helped me and so many others out of bondage.
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.– Genesis 50:20