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"I picked up a meth habit on top of my heroin addiction..."

I grew up in a strict Christian home. My father was a pastor of a church plant that inevitably ended up failing; so to say my household was unstable, rigid, and religious is an understatement.

At age 11 my father started to sexually abuse me. Through this series of events, the devil robbed me of so much and shattered my god-given identity. I hated myself, I hated my life, but most of all I hated God. 

So naturally as a means to escape I turned to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. Little did I know this would just put me in even tighter bondage.  I started drinking alcohol in high school and it quickly escalated to me skipping school so I could drink.  It's a miracle I even graduated.

"I picked up a meth habit on top of my heroin addiction and was selling drugs to survive."

From that point on my world continued to get darker and darker. At age 24 I was introduced to heroin and I instantly fell in love. While in my addiction I lost all contact with my family, I was homeless at times, I picked up a meth habit on top of my heroin addiction, and was selling drugs to survive. I overdosed and I even watched as my boyfriend died from a drug-induced asthma attack.

Just when I felt like things couldn't get any worse, Jake walked into my life. Our relationship was volatile from the start so it didn't take long for him to become physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive. 

When I had lost all hope, God shined his light into my life and blessed me with a surprise pregnancy. Very shortly after finding out I was pregnant I was arrested for the possession of 162g of methamphetamine and charged with two felonies. I was in jail for 22 days before being bailed out; but that was long enough for Jake to find another girl to start using drugs with.

"I begged him to take my addiction from me so I could be the best mom possible to the little girl he had given me."

This forced me to show up at my mom's doorstep. She helped me get into rehab and from rehab I went to a “Mommy & Me” program. This is where I hit my knees and I surrendered my life and my will to Jesus. I begged him to take my addiction from me so I could be the best mom possible to the little girl he had given me. He did exactly that.

Finally the day came and I was in labor. Shortly after arriving at the hospital, the doctors proceeded to tell me that there was no longer a viable heartbeat and my baby had passed away in my womb. I was wrecked.  In that moment the power of God fell on me and wrapped me in a supernatural peace that I just can’t explain. It surpassed all my understanding and the pain of my situation. He told me that if I would trust His will for my life nothing would be impossible.

I don't have the answers to how Chloe died or why, but I can tell you this: God is good and everything about Him is good. And as I grieved the loss of my daughter I learned to stand on the promises of God and praise Him in the midst of my storm. He filled me and continues to fill me with a joy that I didn't even know was possible.

Since that day in the hospital I've been on a journey of God wooing me with his love and learning not to lean on my own understanding but allow God to direct my path. “Who the Son sets free is free indeed” and with the authority Jesus has given me I'm determined to free as many people as possible.

Erica Sangree

Philadelphia, PA

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