Natasha had to get married when she was just sixteen. During the eight years, Natasha was married, she suffered a lot of abuse at the hands of her husband. Natasha’s already low self-esteem was obliterated shortly after the years of abuse and the divorce.
“After the divorce, I was left broken and shattered. I tried desperately to piece myself back together. Unfortunately, I no longer had any idea what I was supposed to look like as a whole person.”
Natasha eventually sought help in many different ways, but her drug addiction started through opioids.
“I realized that I was in no position to try to care for my children. Calling my ex-husband to ask him to take them for a bit was by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do.”
During the initial years on the streets, Natasha occasionally returned to her parents’ house, trying to get sober.
“As the sickness became too overwhelming, I would wait until everyone was asleep and leave. That was so embarrassing and ignoring the fallout, the pain I caused continued.”
Natasha’s mom finally told her enough was enough, and she would no longer allow Natasha back home. Soon after, her kids told Natasha they didn’t want to be hurt anymore. She didn’t blame her family for cutting ties. Natasha didn’t want to be around herself. She didn’t blame others for feeling the same way.
“I knew there had to be more life. I wanted to believe in God. I would cry; I wanted to believe I deserved more. More importantly, I wanted to know I was worth loving.”
Over the next five years, Natasha would hear about The Phoenix Dream Center through one of our outreaches in her neighborhood. Even with people pouring into her, Natasha still struggled with the idea that she was worth loving.
Things were about to change for Natasha, and she couldn’t even see it. While sitting in county jail, Natasha decided to attend a bible study. All the questions she had about God just poured out of her.
“The woman holding the Bible study told me about Saul, and after everything he did, GOD STILL LOVED HIM. It just clicked, God still loves me after everything I have done, and NOTHING can separate me from His love. I was finally ready to love myself and heal.”
After her release from the county jail, Natasha had all intentions of just going home.
“I was out, and I wasn’t ready. I heard this voice deep in me, telling me to pull for the next stop. When I got off the bus, this guy and I started talking. He offered to share his drugs with me, and as I was about to fall back into old habits, it felt different and completely wrong. It was at that moment I made up my mind to go to The Phoenix Dream Center.
For the first six months, Natasha spent time healing at the Dream Center’s Life Recovery Program. She struggled a few times, but it all started to click into place when she finally forgave herself.
“I now have my kids back in my life. After ten years. All because God wouldn’t give up on me. Not even when I had given up on myself. “
Natasha is now working on being a peer support counselor. She is receiving excellent hands-on training by mentoring some of our residents.
“There is nothing more motivating than to hear your kids tell you how proud they are of you.”