Amber's Story (USA)
My name is Amber, I was born and raised in a small Ohio town, by two Christian parents. I have always been very boy-crazy, but at age 14, I was raped not once, but twice. Perhaps that offset the panic attacks I began having.. I have always had a very low self-esteem. Couple that with 10+ years of anxiety and panic "disorder", and it is no surprise that I took a liking to drugs. In 2006, I started using cocaine heavily. After only a few months, I found myself using my anxiety medication to give me the courage to try out as a dancer. I got the job, and started making a lot of money, which was the fuel I needed to support my drug addictions. Over the next 2 years, I went through hell on earth. I went from dancing-to working in the porn industry- and eventually, I became desperate enough to become an escort, and sold my body to stay high. In August of 2008, in my sickness, I found myself penniless and desperate, and I was willing to do whatever it would take to get the medicine that my body needed so desperately. That's when I was arrested for strong-arm robbery. I stayed in jail more than 5 months, spent 4 months in a "Christian" rehab, and did 2.5 years of felony probation. Upon completing rehab, I immediately got into a nasty relationship, and found myself, drug-addict, turned alcoholic. Not only that, but my boyfriend started beating me up, and after nearly a year, he went to jail for domestic violence. I wanted nothing to do with men at this point, but I met someone, and accidentally fell in love with him. We were drinking heavily, and I became pregnant after 3 months. After having my beautiful daughter on the 4th of July, 2011 and I fell deeper into depression. Now it was even worse because I didn't know how to be a mom, and it terrified me. In July of 2012 , just after my daughter turned one, I started getting pain killers. I went into a tailspin, and my daughter's dad left me after taking our daughter to my parents because he didn't know what to do for me. As he ran from the pain, I ran, too, and after a weekend of bouncing checks and losing my mind on drugs, I woke up one morning and took a trip to the babysitter's house to say hi to my baby. That was my breaking point, and I decided right then and there that I couldn't take it any more, and that I was nothing good for anybody. I went home that afternoon, and swallowed two full-bottles of pain killers, and wrote my goodbyes. Later that night, my mom came to check on me and found me there, and I was taken to the hospital, where they kept me in the psych-ward for three days before releasing me to my parents. I was not the least-bit thrilled to still be alive. I grew up in church, and just because I ran from Him so long, does not mean that I did not know deep in my heart that God was what or who I needed. I stumbled upon the Teen Challenge program and I knew immediately that God was calling me there. It was the only place that would not keep me separated from my child and, within 2 weeks, I was on a plane with my daughter. August 15th, 2012, I entered the program, and onJuly 9th, almost a year later, I graduated the program a new person. God drew me out to the desert, and met me there- and it was there that He showed me His love for me, and started to change me from the inside out. The program introduced me to the 'Jesus' I never knew, and it was Jesus that changed everything around in my life. I became an outstanding mother, my decade-long panic attack disorder came to an end, I received healing in areas that I never even knew were hurting me, and I learned the power of forgiveness. While I was in Teen Challenge, God called my daughter's dad to the Teen Challenge program in Florida, and today, just over a year later, God has restored our family. We BOTH graduated from the Teen Challenge program, and we were married on October 25th. My relationship with Jesus Christ has brought healing to my broken heart. He saved me the grief of having a broken home, like so many families today, by saving both me AND my husband, so that we would be strong Christian parents for our precious little girl. Teen Challenge didn't save mem, Jesus Christ saved me, Teen Challenge equipped me with the tools I needed to get and STAY connected with the Lord, and the rest is between me and the Lover of my soul.