My name is Lindsay and I was born in May 1987. My favorite movie is The Little Mermaid and my favorite color is turquoise because its a combination of blue and green. I was baptized as a baby at Hope Chapel Presbyterian Church in Lafayette, IN; which is where I was born and raised. I grew up going to that church and went to church camp every summer from elementary to high school. I heard of Jesus and His miracles but had never applied God’s Word to my life. My childhood was good and I was blessed to have parents who were loving, supportive, and hard working. I took them for granted with my selfishness, stubbornness, and disobedience. My parents rarely drank and did absolutely no drugs. I lost my grandma and my great aunt whom I was close to in a terrible accident while I was in middle school. I was in sports and was good in my athletic performances. During those years was the first time I got drunk because I stole my parents alcohol from a top cabinet to look cool in front of kids on the bus. And that is also the time I started acting upon sexual desires to get boys to like me. In the back of my mind, I knew these actions were wrong but the fear of man and lack of God’s Word was great in my heart of stone.
In high school, I quit basketball and started smoking weed. Then that moved to smoking cigarettes, taking painkillers, eating mushrooms, sneaking out of the house, getting drunk, and being sexually active. After high school, I planned to get a criminal justice degree, but my fleshly desire for partying was greater than my desire to be successful. I met and had 2 children with the father of my oldest kids. While with him, we drank excessively, smoked weed, and ate acid. He was verbally and physically abusive, even when I was pregnant with my children. Again, I knew that those actions were wrong, but my fear of man and lack of God’s Word was great.
There were nights that I prayed to God he would pass out and not hurt me and God answered some of my prayers. My children are miracles from God because there were times I thought he was going to kill me. I was like the father whose son was healed by Jesus. In Mark 9:24, the father told Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” I didn’t reach out for help though because I had a distorted view of a family life from my own heart problem of not having a close relationship with God.
By the grace of God, I was able to get out of the relationship after 6 years, but I was still unable to find peace from the pain I had buried over the years. I began to drink even more and take adderall. I got into another abusive relationship which resulted in trying meth and heroin, a CHINS case with DCS, losing my house to a fire, having a miscarriage, and losing my last grandma. I did my best to work with DCS and found a little hope and support for a better future after leaving my 2nd abuser, but not to the glory of God. I was proud of myself for these works. I was proud that I even got back into school to try again at becoming a police officer, but my heart problem was still present and my motives were evil. On top of that, I was still drinking and smoking weed.
I agreed with DCS that I need to sign over temporary guardianship to my parents, for my lack of being successful in my CHINS case. That is when I began my hard addiction with meth and anything else I could get my hands on. I was never at home with my children when I was still welcomed to live at my parents. I had told myself that when I thought I was doing something good like going to school to become a police officer, I was still a bad mother and because of 2 abusive relationships, I was not even a good woman.
With that conclusion, what was I to hope for?
I was on the street, walking in the middle of the night, high, and at trap houses filled with gang members, guns and drugs. I didn’t want to commit suicide myself, so I would ask the boys with guns to shoot me in the face and they looked at me like I was crazy. Somewhere among these events, I started talking to God. I was so lost, it started with murmurs and ramblings while I was still high. Then I began to really converse with him. I felt like all I wanted was to love and to be loved back. I didn’t understand all the suffering I went through and how I was suppose to see the light at the end of the tunnel. met my husband in my active addiction. He was kind and tried to teach me about respect. We were friends for a short time before he went to jail for a year and I entered into another negative relationship that involved heroin. I got arrested for the first time during this year, served a month, got out, and started right back where I left off. Eventually, I had a court hearing coming up and was so sick of the drug lifestyle I thought to myself about missing court on purpose, getting a warrant, and turning myself in. I went and visited Zack in jail and told him my plan. With his counsel, he agreed it would be best for me. I served 4 months in jail where I was in God’s Word everyday, prayed to learn how to surrender to His will, and was thankful for Zack’s encouragement.
After I got out of jail, I got pregnant, relapsed, and was involved in the drug lifestyle again. Once again, I knew my actions were wrong and was wondering why I put myself back into the same lifestyle I was sick of. I was still like the father in Mark 9:24, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.” I had another opportunity to miss court and get a warrant. I took it knowing it was better for me to go to jail while I was pregnant and to be sober, than to be out on the streets again. I was so thankful to be in jail! I was able to go to doctor’s appointments, be honest with my doctor about my drug use, make arrangements for when I was to be released, and be back in God’s Word daily. During this time my dad knew I was pregnant but my mom didn’t. I asked him to tell my mom and she didn’t want me to come home after jail.
When I was released, my children were the first people I wanted to see and my dad brought them to pick me up from jail. I was 7 months pregnant, sober, and felt the love of my children in my arms. I had made arrangements to live with an older Christian couple, but when my dad took me home to see my mom, she saw me, we hugged, and she let me stay. She was shocked to see how far along pregnant I was.
I got a job, had my son with my mom and sister at my side, and was in the clear of him testing positive for drugs (because of my drug use during my pregnancy). I felt a moment of bonding with my sister after his birth and began to hope for better relationships in my family. I went to Sunday service from time to time and attended “A Better Life: Brianna’s Hope” at my parents church where addicts can meet, share a meal, and give testimonies. Since I kept a job, was home every night with my children, and paying for daycare, I felt in control and good about where I stood in life. Then, I gave into my fleshly desires again and started smoking weed and drinking on the weekends. I was justifying to myself that I was doing fine with a little bit of fun with my hard work.
One day I received a call about Zack and sought to help him and take him to Brianna’s Hope to talk to the pastor about getting into a rehab. He ended up at a place in Indy called Agape and we finally committed to being in a relationship. The weekend partying continued, we got arrested, and he left rehab. He had a good job and my parents let him stay there if he could make weekly rent payments and buy groceries. We started using meth and heroin again, got married, and were completely out of control, putting our children in danger. The whole time we thought we were in control.
We checked ourselves into Sycamore Springs, got out, got high. This time, not being able to live at my parents or take care of our son, we found ourselves at a man’s house with freedom to spend his money. It was absolute chaos and insane. Neither one of us wanted what we were doing, but couldn’t understand why we were doing it. Like Paul says in Romans 7:15-20, “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”
Being stranded at Walmart with no car, no money, no food, we reached out to our Christian friends, Jared and Mara, for help. They opened their home to us so we could detox. They fellowshipped with us and encouraged us to decide to get help through the love of God. Trinity Life Ministries and Through the Gate became our new homes. Separated in our first year of marriage, we took a leap of faith and truly surrendered to God’s will.
Now I began the story of my rebirth! I am a child of God, adopted to receive His salvation through Christ who died on the cross for us. Participating in the 8 month program at Through the Gate has truly given me a “Freedom to Grow.” I was able to wrap my mind around the scripture of Psalms 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Ephesians 6:13, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand,” gives me an advantage to face any of life’s trials. Because of what Jesus has done, I love and accept myself.
He has given me a new nature and I am ready for the new life He wants me to live.
All of my confusing thoughts and questions are answered through God’s Word. I now know that I had a major heart problem in the darkness of my sin, and by fully believing Christ is my Savior, He brings me to light. I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that through my darkest active addiction, He was pursuing me. I can try to tell you how much God fully knows and loves me, but human words cannot express accurately enough.
My life verse I choose to describe my walk with Christ is Psalm 139:14, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” I love the Lord our God with trembling fear and wonder. I believe His word over man and through Christ have overcome my addictions. I can never repay what He has restored, so I surrender my life and everyone in it to follow the righteous path He has planned for us all. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Thank you God to everyone who has supported me on this journey and may God bless you for your love: My husband, Zackry, our children, our parents, our trusted Christian friends, Trinity Administration and Through the Gate Staff. Thank you God for placing this program on the hearts of Steve and Janet Covington and the Stonewater Church family. I love you all, and God bless all!