Real Mom: Kristen
I first heard about Kristen's story when she shared her experience with the Cardboard Testimony at her church. Touched by her testimony, I asked Kristen if she would be willing to sharing her story on our blog. Kristen didn't hesitate to say yes. Here is Kristen's story in her own words. She is very open and candid about her struggle with addiction and her journey to salvation. I know that her humbling story will encourage and inspire you as well.
On Christmas Eve Kristen particpated in the Cardboard Testimony at her church. For those who are not familiar the Cardboard Testimony is an opportunity for participating church members to line up and share their testimony with the congregation. A simple piece of cardboard is held by each individual. On the front of the cardboard is written in just a few words what their life was like before they found Christ and then they flip it over to reveal what their life is now that they have Christ in their life. Despite fears of being judged by her past, Kristen shared her personal story that Christmas Eve night. Take a look at Kristen's Cardboard Testimony:
Moms Blog: Let us begin by having you tell us little about your childhood and your Christian influences growing up.
Kristen: I grew up in a strong Christian home with my parents and older brother. My parents had met in a bible study group so my whole life was spent going to church on Sundays and then church activities the rest of the week. During middle school the youth pastor was absolutely amazing and someone I could go to for anything. He ended up moving to Colorado and the youth group in that church was never the same. High school is when I really started to rebel and my grounding would be that I would have to go to Wednesday Night Youth Group. So no matter how sick I pretended to be there was absolutely no getting out of church. It was something that I was forced to do and I went not because I wanted to but because I had to.
Moms Blog: Share a little about your addiction and what led you down that destructive path.
Kristen: Straight out of high school I had a boyfriend who I absolutely loved. His brother was a drug dealer so I was always around drugs so I finally decided to try some. I spent the next two years addicted to meth, while doing cocaine, ecstasy, and GHB for fun on the side. I pretty much lost all of my friends because I would never leave the house. I would go days without eating or sleeping simply because I forgot to. I never gave up my faith during this time I just put it on the back burner. I was not ready to be a good person yet because I thought I was having fun. I would go to church on holidays with my family but I was always high when I went. I really can only remember one time during those two years that I actually prayed. It was when I was at a dealer’s apartment. Some people had just bought some drugs and walked out of his apartment. A few seconds later we heard gun shots. This was not the first time people have come after this guy so we had to hide in his apartment for a few hours. I prayed that God would keep me safe because I was too young to die and I had too many things to still do. And for some reason he did.
Moms Blog: How did you come to turn around and decide to be free of the addiction? Who or what helped you through that process?
Kristen: There was not one specific thing that happened that caused me to stop my addiction. I just woke up one day and thought to myself “What am I doing?” This is not the life that I wanted nor is it the life that I ever thought I would be living. I was sick of always being broke and having to hide things from absolutely everyone. I had moved back in with my parents and since I didn’t sleep I would sit in my small closet all night with the door shut and my closet light on so that my parents wouldn’t know that I was awake. It was absolutely ridiculous and I knew that I could do so much better for myself. So the day that I decided enough was enough I knew I had to tell my boyfriend. We both knew that it was the drugs that were keeping us together so I knew very well that if I told him I was quitting we would break up. And that is exactly what happened. I had no friends anymore and my parents had no idea that I was even doing drugs. So I spent the next week in bed by myself unable to get out. I told my parents I had the flu and that’s why I was spending the week in bed. The only thing that I could do was pray. And so I did. And somehow I was able to quit drugs cold turkey without the help of anyone but God. After everything I had done wrong He was still there for me when I needed Him the most. You have to have complete and total faith in the Lord and trust that He will take care of you. When you put all your trust in God you will be amazed at what He does for you!
Share with us a little about your son and how he impacted you as a young mom. What do you hope to teach him based on what you’ve been through?
Kristen: As soon as I found out that I was pregnant I knew that my life had to change. I had quit my addiction just about 6 months earlier and still would occasionally do some here and there. I figured if I wasn’t addicted and was careful not to get addicted again then there was no harm in doing some drugs occasionally. What a twisted way of thinking. I had friends with babies and they would put the baby in one room and we would go do drugs in the next room. I always said that I would NEVER be that mom and I was not about to break that promise to myself. So needless to say my whole life changed when I had my son. I truly believe that he saved my life. My ex husband is an alcoholic and no matter how much help he got and how much support he had he was not willing to stop drinking, instead he just hid it. So I removed myself and my son from the situation and became a single mom. My goal right now is to show my son that no matter what your circumstances may be you can do anything you put your mind to. He is one of the big reasons I have decided to go to college. I want to show him that even a single mom who works full time can find a way to go to school full time also. There are no excuses. I want him to grow up in church and to know that God has a plan for him and will always take care of him. His “situation” with his parents may not be “normal” but it’s important to me that he knows we both love him and that so does God. Because my parents had pushed God on me so hard it really pushed me in the other direction so I have to find a balance with how to lead my son to God. I am not sure if I will ever tell him the extent of my drug use but when he is old enough I will let him know that I had an addiction problem. I want him to feel comfortable talking to me about anything and everything and I want him to know that I will never judge him. We all make mistakes and what really matters is how you deal with those mistakes.
Moms Blog: What would you like to share with other moms who may be currently dealing with an addiction or have had in the past?
Kristen: I would want them to know that they are not alone. There are plenty of people out there who have either gone through or are going through what they are. It’s important to make the first step in deciding to make a change, especially if they already have a child. Whenever I may get a “craving” I simply think of my son. Would I be willing to lose my son over a drug? Absolutely not! God has a plan for us and I can guarantee you drugs are not in His plan. It can be very difficult in starting over but God will take care of you. I had absolutely no one to help me overcome my problem and with the help of God I was able to come out on top. If you don’t think you can do it alone then get help. Don’t be ashamed. There is no shame in trying to better yourself.
Moms Blog: What else would you tell moms who might be struggling?
Kristen: Find a good church and get involved. Having a group of friends that you can look up to and who can help you with your relationship with God makes all the difference in the world. It can be intimidating starting over but it is so worth it. I have spent most of my life going to Church but not truly trusting in the Lord. Once I decided to give myself completely and totally to the Lord my life has completely changed. I only made this decision about 6 months ago and it’s truly amazing how much can change in that short time. Before, all that I cared about was getting drunk and meeting guys. My friends were horrible influences, I had very low self esteem, and I was not happy. Now that I have full faith in the Lord and I know He will take care of me I can finally be happy. I got rid of the negative influences in my life and never looked back. I no longer need to turn to alcohol to make me feel good, and I finally have more confidence in myself and who I am. Just believe in God and see what great plan He has for you. What do you have to lose?