Unlike others with life stories like mine, I had a carefree, amazingly wonderful childhood. Both my parents loved me unconditionally, and did nothing to turn me toward the wrong path. I took that path because I held an incorrect knowledge about Jesus and His Gospel.

Jesus was only important to me because of the awesome presents I received at Christmas. Otherwise, my worldly desires drove me. In my early teens I developed a strong addiction to drugs and alcohol. My life became miserable, but nothing could stop me.

In the midst of this chaos, God blessed me with three beautiful children. Although it now pains me deeply to say it, I was a bad mother. I neglected them as I pursued a selfish life of addiction.

One night in a moment of deep depression and despair, I attempted suicide by overdose. Thankfully, God had other plans for me, and I survived. But I did not change. Like Jesus’s parable in Luke, although I cleaned myself up a little, the unclean spirit soon returned seven times more powerful than before.

As a result, I permanently lost my children. It still remains my most painful loss, one I still grieve. My only consolation is that they became part of a stable and loving Christian home, something I simply could not provide them.

Spiraling down ever deeper, I began sleeping in places with no utilities and little food. My behaviors and those of my companions were worse than wild animals. And then in the midst of this complete darkness, God blessed me once again with a daughter.

I named her Pearl. Just like an injured oyster, this little girl was my beautiful pearl from my injured life. And because of Pearl, something stirred in me. I knew I would lose her if I didn’t change, yet as hard as I tried, I couldn’t. One afternoon, I cried out, “God, please just save us.”

Be careful what you pray for: Within fifteen minutes, three cars from DHS pulled up, their horns blaring. My fear of losing Pearl suddenly turned to terror.

But this time was different. Instead of taking Pearl away, they didn’t separate us for a single second. As I maneuvered through the court system, the Lord led Pearl and I to the Lighthouse Rescue Mission.

We came with nothing, but Lighthouse provided everything: diapers, food, and shelter. We also found comfort, stability and unconditional love.

We came with nothing, but Lighthouse provided everything: diapers, food, and shelter. We also found comfort, stability and unconditional love. And it was there that the real miracle happened as I came to the life-saving knowledge of who Jesus really was.

I was like an old caterpillar and Lighthouse was my cocoon. Out of it I emerged a new and beautiful “butterfly.” I learned to cook, clean properly, and how to care for Pearl. Above all, I began to learn God’s Word and continued to grow in my new life.

Since then I have acquired a job I love and have already received two raises. I’ve regained my driver’s license and after repaying outstanding traffic tickets. I now have over a thousand dollars saved toward purchasing a car. And I am approaching my first anniversary of freedom from all mind-altering chemicals.

Because of God’s grace leading me to Lighthouse, my life of desperation and despair has been replaced with joy and love. As the Bible says, I have become a new creation: old things are passed away and everything is now new.