My hope while in the Next Step program is for God through the Holy Spirit to show me the roots of what has kept me in addiction so that I can work through each of them and become a Godly mother, nana and woman. I had asked Him to show me anything that is blocking the flow of the Holy Spirit. I cannot even express how much I have grown in following God, even in the last week. For example, I want to always build others up by the way I treat them, but sometimes my self talk (what you say to yourself) gets in the way, and I want to act out of past behaviors. I’ve been asking God to show me my motive in what I say and do for others so that I build them up and not tear down. I’m the facilities leader and in checking the bathroom one morning, I found a gob of hair in the drain. Immediately, I became angry, grabbed the hair in a paper towel
intending to show it to staff. But I heard the Holy Spirit asking me what my motive was in what I was about to do. I knew that it wasn’t out of love. Then I asked myself, “Is this building someone up (edifying) or is it tearing them down?” So I stopped. It soon became clear to me that the attitude I was carrying was not edifying. After I obeyed God in this seemingly small incident, I began to hear him clearly in every area of my life. He’s truly helping me dig out the roots of past thinking and behaviors that have kept me bound!
I went from having low self worth and thinking my life was always going to be the same as my parents to understanding that it’s my choice. I came to Next Step for Life to learn how to live a sober life with God. I plan to keep walking with God and use everything I’m learning here to live a better life and to help others.
I came to Next Step with brokenness, no hope and no clue how to start a new life. Being here has opened up doors, brightened and restored my dreams and given new possibilities I never thought someone like myself could have. I’ve learned my weaknesses will become my strengths and how not to listen and dwell on the enemies’ lies. I remind myself of the truth and promises from God. I also believe positive thinking equals positive outcomes. I believe that after this year spent at Next Step, I will be a joyful, strong, independent, sober, restored mother.
God brought me to Next Step. I was at a place in my life where I didn’t know what to do. I knew that if I stayed where I was I would end up in jail, or worse, dead. I literally had been praying to God for the next step in my life before I even knew about the Next Step program. I’ve had to face things that I wanted to keep buried forever, but with the help of people who love and care, I’ve been able to let go of things that were holding me in bondage. I have surrendered my will to God’s will and I am digging deep into the painful places in my life so that God can begin to heal them. I hope to learn to live life dependent on God and not in addiction. Being at Next Step has given
me the opportunity to achieve what I never thought was possible. I am learning how to have a good foundation to build on with God and how to be a successful person and mother. I know that I am safe and secure and that I no longer have to worry about having a safe place to go. I am loved and accepted for who I am and not what I have done. After this program, I hope to fully trust God and grow in my identity in Christ. I want to fulfill His purpose for my life, running to Him in hard times instead of turning to drugs.
All my life I’ve been handed everything and taken care of. I lived a very sheltered life until about 8 years ago when I got into drug addiction. My husband and I both went to jail, and I knew that when I was released I would have to be able to take care of myself. Also, I’m 38 years old, my kids are grown, and I do not know the first thing about how to take care of myself. I knew I needed help and that not just any “Halfway house” would be able to help me with that. I needed life skills. When Mrs. Beth Davis, the Smith County jail administrator, told me about the Next Step for Life program, I was apprehensive at first because I had already been in jail away from my family for two years. Being away from another year was hard to accept, but I prayed and knew that one more year would be the best thing because it would help me be a better person, mama and wife. I hope to learn life skills and not to be co-dependent.