Just 4 years ago, I was a full-blown drug addict and alcoholic. The lights had gone out in my soul, and I had lost all hope.
On September 29, 2014, I began writing suicide letters to my loved ones. The pain was too much. My hands were too shaky to even hold a glass of water. I had been fired from 17 different jobs by age 26. Alcohol was my master, and I had wrecked my whole life.
In all honesty, I don't remember making this decision, but I ended up in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous that evening in Birmingham, Alabama. It was a last-ditch effort before going home to kill myself. I don't remember much from that evening, but I do remember crying in front of a bunch of people, and an old man with super bright eyes suggested I go home and pray. So I did.
Thankfully, I was raised in church, so I knew how to pray. (I just ran the other direction my whole life.) I fell to my knees and began to cry those uncontrollable tears. It was more like wailing. "God, I need a miracle." My bible had been sitting on the shelf behind me for years. I opened it to a random page, and the first thing I saw was this:
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." -Matthew 11:28
Everything changed in that moment. The miracle happened when I surrendered everything to Jesus. My pain, my addiction, my broken relationships, my resentments, my fears, my regrets, and my darkness. By the grace of God, I've been clean and sober since that moment on September 29, 2014.
God continued to work in my heart, and I fell in love with helping others get sober. I fell in love with Jesus. (It's still crazy to even hear myself say that - I swore I'd never become one of those people.) It's like He gave me new eyes. I legitimately don't see anything the same anymore. God's love has taught me how to look through the lens of love - unconditional love.
I started CLTIVATE in 2016 to help cultivate the fight against addiction. It's my way of giving back the new life that was so freely given to me. Contrary to what the world says, there is a cure for addiction: it's called love, and it comes from God.
My vision for CLTIVATE is crazy big, but the fact that I'm alive today is enough for me to believe anything is possible. If you're struggling with addiction today, that's ok - we all struggle, and I hope you know you're not alone. Don't you dare give up, my dear friend. Feel free to reach out below if you need anything at all.
CLTIVATE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations are 100% tax-deductible. Thank you so much for your love and support!