My name is Amanda and I was born and raised in Owensboro, KY. Growing up I remember thinking that it was normal to do drugs, drink and be abused by whoever I was with. I think every memory I have as a child; my parents were drunk. That usually led to my mom getting beat up. They got divorced when I was 11. My mom moved us to a trailer park. She continued to stay drunk and party, so that’s when I just started doing whatever I wanted to do. I was smoking cigarettes and weed. This is when things really went downhill for me. I was introduced to meth. I enjoyed the way it made me feel. It gave me confidence and I lost a lot of weight. Our house was the party house, so I made a lot of friends and there were always a lot of guys around. I always felt like I had to turn to men for my self-worth. So, with my weight loss and with older men after me I felt like I was on top of the world. I quit school at 16 and by 17 I was pregnant. I think that’s the first time I felt like quitting drugs and getting my life together. After I had my daughter, I got my own apartment. I tried to live right, but that didn’t last long. I got pregnant with my second child at 20 years old. I met a new man and I felt like I finally found that one guy that loved me and that we would be together forever. It wasn’t until I got pregnant with his child that he started beating me daily. When I was pregnant, he beat me until the point I had to go to the hospital. My child and I nearly died. The doctor had to get a guard to sit by my door while I was there. I eventually had enough and got away from him. I moved into my grandmothers and I went wild. I put myself in rehab. I would get out and keep doing the same thing, then go back to rehab. Something was always missing. I always felt like there was an empty hole in my heart and no matter the drugs I did or the men I would get with, nothing would fill that hole in my heart. In 2014 I was sent to the WARM center, which is a recovery program for women. When I first got there, I kept hearing women talk about going to the Chapel and I wanted to go. It was there that I started reading daily devotionals and learn how to pray. After a couple of months, I was reading my bible every night and leading prayers. I don’t think I understood anything that I was reading, but I knew that when I was in the word and started praying, that hole in my heart started to fill up and I was feeling a sense of peace over me. After six months of being there I was kicked out. That was two days after my granddad passed away. I stayed clean and got two jobs and was staying sober. That is when I met the man that I ended up marrying. We got a house and was going to church. I felt complete. Our relationship started going downhill after a year and a half. In 2016, within six months, I had two of my grandmothers pass away and then my dad died suddenly. When the grandma I lived with passed away, after being sober for two years; I relapsed. I left my husband, lost my house, and lost my kids. By this time, I was on meth worse than ever before. I was living in my van, sleeping in a parking lot. I had quit caring about everything at this point. I didn’t care about people, myself and as much as it hurts to say this, I didn’t care about my children. I lost all hope of ever getting them back. I just knew that I would spend the rest of my life miserable and I didn’t care. BUT GUESS WHAT!!!
God had other plans for my life. Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
I started going to my sister and her husband’s house to see my son more. I saw something in them that I wanted. They kept telling me that my son was praying for me every night. After a while, the Holy Spirit came over me. I was in my van at rock bottom with no where to go. It was freezing outside, and I had a pocket full of drugs that I didn’t want anymore. I found myself crying and praying out loud, asking God to help me. I asked Him to step in, even if it meant going to jail, I wanted away from all the drugs and I wanted my children back in my life. I ended up running across a testimony by a Friends of Sinners staff member. I rode around in my car listening to this testimony. It was at that point I knew that I wanted to go to FOS. On May 9th, 2018 I got into FOS and it took me a little while, but I surrendered to the program and put my all into it. While I was there, I got 50/50 custody of my kids back and my family started letting me come around. I had a job for the first time in a long time. I got an apartment and became a leader at Celebrate Recovery. I graduated the program and my kids were living with me. I thought I had it. When you think you have it, you don’t! After being sober for 14 months, I relapsed. Not one day went by that I didn’t hear the Lord. After about a months’ time, I was driving through my neighborhood and two staff members from the FOS women’s house found me and asked me what I was doing. As soon as I got home, my social worker showed up at my apartment for a surprise home visit. I heard the Lord again telling me that it was time to hold myself accountable and tell the social worker what was going on. I went back to FOS for a 30 day refocus. Going back was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I took that time more serious than I have ever taken anything in my life. The first week I was there we went to Celebrate Recovery and I knew it was time for me to hit my knees, so, I went to the alter and prayed for God to take over my life! I stayed in my bible and prayed every day for God to give me a heart change and for him to take the desire to use drugs away from me. The whole 10 months that I was in the program I had reservations to get high. I never told anyone. I couldn’t figure out why it was still hard for me to care for other people and to look at life in a positive way. During the refocus I realized that I never truly surrendered my life to the Lord. Today, I have fully surrendered. I know that no matter what I’m going through, God has got me. He didn’t let me come this far to let me fall. I can see the bigger picture of why I had to go through everything I went though. On December 12th, I got full custody of my children back and my case in court was closed. In a couple of months my case with social services will be closed. I never thought that I would have my kids back in my life, moreover, in my care. No matter how hard times get, I have learned to never give up and to keep my faith because there is always a bigger picture to everything. I know that I am one of Gods miracles.