A Survivor's Story in Her Words

June 11, 2024

The following are words written by a courageous survivor in the Atlas Free Network:

I was lost before I came to [the Atlas Free Network Member's program]. I was a broken soul, wandering in the darkness, barely surviving, and hanging on by a thread. I had no hope, no faith, and I just wanted the pain to end. I was living on the streets, with a heavy addiction, and going through a manipulative and abusive relationship. I don't know how I ended up there, how things got as bad as they did. I never came from that kind of lifestyle. I may have come from a broken home, but no one in my family ever went as far and as dark as I did. I've been to jail more times than I can count; I've overdosed on drugs. I didn't know how to handle any of the things I felt and did the only thing I knew to do. I numbed myself until I lost myself.

After that, I was completely isolated from my family and just went full force into my addiction. Before I knew it, I had nothing but the clothes on my back, living on the streets, and completely sucked into all of the chaos around me. I was searching for love and acceptance in people who had me more times than I would like to admit. I was slowly killing myself, and I honestly thought it would be better that way.

Looking back on that time, I know God never gave up on me. He never left my side, and He saved me from things I would have never made out on my own. I have been doing drugs since a very early age. That was my normal. My addiction spiraled out of control in 2013 when I lost my mom. My whole world was turned upside down. She was my rock and my best friend. This cycle went on for years, and it only got worse. After hitting multiple rock bottoms, I was too tired to go on like that. So I asked for help. That is when my advocate told me about [The Atlas Free Network Member].

Coming to [The Atlas Free Network Member] was the best decision ever. This place has helped me in so many ways. I was given time to heal. I have been shown love, passion, and gentleness since the moment I got here. Over the past year, I have come so far. I have learned to stop running, how to feel and process emotions, and that it's okay to feel them. I've learned about addiction and recovery and how to live and enjoy life sober.

And most importantly, I've learned about God and His amazing love, abundant grace, and mercy. I was able to make it out. I never thought that was possible. I never thought I could return from what I have done. I never thought I would be anything more than the shattered girl that I was. Now, I am a completely different person. I am forgiven and redeemed.

One of the verses that has guided me through this journey is God's promise in Jeremiah 29:11, "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." They say pain always has a purpose, and I know God will use my story for good. If my testimony could help just one girl out there, lost and hopeless like me, it would all have been worth it.

You can help create freedom for survivors just like her. Start giving monthly today and see how your gift is making an impact.