Addicted: A Story of Hope

My Story of Hope & Healing

My name is Carey, and I’m a former addict.

It’s only by God’s grace that I’m even able to write this article. As I write, I am into my eighth month of victory over a 10-year drug addiction. An addiction that consumed every aspect of my life.

At any given moment, I could have ended my life.

It all started with marijuana use and quickly progressed into an opioid habit. A habit which completely controlled me. If I didn’t use at least twice a day, I would get physically sick. Not only did drug use control my mind, it controlled my entire body.

My days consisted of being either high or sick. No matter what, the drug decided exactly what my day would look like. I became withdrawn and distant from the ones I loved the most. I started missing birthday parties and family functions. I broke countless promises and told lies to cover up what was really going on. I was so wrapped up in myself and my next high, that I couldn’t see how I was destroying my life and the lives of those around me.

If you had told me a year ago I would be testifying to what the Lord has brought me through, I wouldn’t have believed you. I had settled for being an addict and allowed my addiction to frame my identity. But praise the Lord, He got hold of my heart, and reminded me that my true identity is in Him. I no longer have to identify as an addict. I am a child of God, a daughter of the King.

I no longer have to let my past define my future.

God has a much greater plan for my life, one that includes telling others of His goodness, mercy, and grace. Sharing my story is living proof that He is the answer. Jesus Christ is the answer to any addiction, burden, or uncertainty in your life. Developing a personal relationship with the Lord is the best decision I’ve ever made. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been or won’t be any challenges along the way, but the Lord was, is, and will continue to be with me every step of the way.

God loves us more than anyone on this earth ever could. It’s a love we don’t deserve, but a love He freely gives. A love that endures all, never judges, and never fails.

One of the biggest misconceptions about addiction 
is that it only affects certain “kinds” of people. But let me assure you, addiction does not discriminate; it can affect anyone. No matter your background, the circumstances surrounding your childhood, the color of your skin, or even how much money you have. Anyone can succumb to addiction. It’s one of the many tools Satan uses to keep our focus on ourselves and not on Christ. 

God used a program called Reformers Unanimous, also known as RU, to transform my life. It’s not a 12-step program but rather a tool God used to help me overcome my addiction. Healing begins with a personal walk with Christ and immersing yourself in His Word. RU’s slogan is “Talk, Talk, Talk.” First, we talk to God through prayer and about Him through testimony. Second, we talk to each other in small groups (also called challenge groups), and third, God talks to us through the reading and preaching of His Word. This program and its 10 principles have taught me that by being empowered with God’s strength through the Holy Spirit, I can live a victorious Christian life. 

RU is not just for drug addicts or alcoholics, it’s for anyone struggling to find an answer. Jesus is and always will be the answer. No one is ever too far gone for God not to rescue. He loves us no matter how far or how long we’ve run from Him.

If I had to go through all
I’ve been through again to know God the way I do today, I would do it 10 times over

Running Out of Options But Never Out of Hope

Pam and I watched helplessly as our amazing daughter drifted into drug addiction.

She was an honor roll student, and the one who always jumped up to help kids in school with disabilities or befriend the new kid on campus.

Ringing in our minds was the never-ending question, “How in the world did we get here?”

Carey began suffering from depression in high school.


As a result, she began to self-medicate. Next came her associating with people whom, under other conditions, she would not have hung around. These questionable relationships introduced her to more risky behavior surrounding her drug use. As many parents do, we assumed this teenage phase would pass, but it didn’t. 

Actually, Carey’s behavior worsened. Not wanting anyone to think badly of her or stigmatize her, we tried to deal with it on our own. After three unsuccessful attempts with rehabilitation programs, spending money at every turn to help her overcome her addiction, we were at a loss as to how to help our daughter. We prayed and cried more times than we can count when we would discover she was using again. We felt like we were going to lose her to a life of addiction, or worse, death by overdose. We tried so many times over the years to help Carey with financial issues directly related to drug use, but she was unable or uninterested in taking care of day-to-day responsibilities like most adults. Her addiction prevented her from acting responsibly.

In June of 2021, out of options for secular rehabs, and after meeting with Corbett Stone, RU Director in Florence, SC (which is where Carey was living at the time), our daughter finally agreed to go to the Reformers Unanimous (RU) discipleship home in Rockford, Illinois. After our meeting in Florence, we planned to drive our daughter straight back to Columbia with us and set out on the 1000-mile drive to Illinois the next day. Carey, though, insisted she needed to pack up some things in Florence and asked us to pick her up at her place the following morning. We reluctantly agreed. On our way to Florence to pick her up, she texted us saying she was sorry, but she wasn’t going to be at her house when we got there.

Then, she turned off her phone. Over the next few days, she would randomly send an “I love you” text or say she was getting a ride to Columbia the next day. She tried anything and everything she could to delay going to RU.

No more delays. We had run out of options, but we were still holding on to a thread of hope. We decided to head to Florence to look for her. We found her that evening in a known drug area. After what we would describe as an angry ride, we got her home. We told her what her options were—RU or a homeless shelter. She would not be allowed to just stay at our house.

A couple of days later, the three of us were on the road to Reformers Unanimous in Rockford, Illinois. We had to arrive before 5:00 PM on Friday for them to take her. We left on Thursday morning and drove the 1000 miles. Exhausted and heartbroken, we reluctantly left our girl inside RU’s front door with their staff. Then, we got back in our vehicle and drove home.

Our Sunday School teachers often speak about life events that happen in ways that defy all logic. Nothing occurs by accident or coincidence. As we’ve traced our journey with Carey, beginning with the moment she used her first drugs and spiraling into a life of addiction, to unsuccessful bouts with secular rehab programs, to her ditching us so she wouldn’t have to go to RU, to us being able to find her in a drug infested area of Florence, SC, to getting her to RU in Illinois in the nick of time on that Friday afternoon, to her being placed in a house with a graduate of RU, there’s only one explanation: God never left us alone or without hope. In His sovereignty, He orchestrated our steps His way and in His timing. He knew Carey’s brokenness would eventually lead her to the feet of Jesus.

Our daughter’s transformation has been nothing but miraculous. As the Holy Spirit has worked through her humility, and protecting her from evil, Carey has been able to focus on real healing—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. She has developed a daily walk with Christ through Scripture, devotions, discipleship, and building Christ-centered friendships. She has also chosen to stay on at RU to work and help others like her.

Once we realized we couldn’t fight for Carey alone, we asked for prayer regularly for her and for us, and because of strong Christian men and women actually praying fervently on our behalf, God provided the strength we needed to keep the faith. We know God answers prayers.

Parents, please don’t give up on your children. Remember God’s love for them is much greater than ours. As a dear friend reminded us, “When we are losing hope for our children, God’s love [for them] never wanes.”


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