My name’s Samantha and I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ as my LORD and Savior.
In May of 2019 I finally came to the end of myself. I was amidst a mental breakdown after 15 years of using and a lifetime of abusing.
I didn’t know what healthy was in any sense of the term. My childhood was heavy. I was often MVP for the traveling softball teams I played for, and it created for myself an unhealthy identity followed by unreasonable expectations from myself. This extracurricular activity had become a full-time job alongside of keeping an honor’s grade point average. Again, more expectations. I was always talented as a child and excelled in basically anything I set out to do so when I fell short, as all people do at times, the impact was deafening.
I grew up thinking you had to be tough. Tough isn’t exactly how one should describe a little girl either, but then again, I wasn’t all that little. So, this justified things for me. By first grade I was a foot taller and nearly a hundred pounds heavier than any of my peers (even some of the teachers!) This rooted jokes that I often
played back as even more of my DNA. I was “Big Sam.” I had a good sense of humor and a lot of friends, but I now recognize how hurtful this was.
My parents separated my freshman year, and I didn’t take it so well. Almost instantly I was having sex and trying to get attention from guys anyway I knew how. Smoking pot and cigarettes, going to concerts and even cutting my wrists. By my senior year I was selling psychedelic drugs and seeking attention.
This cycle of behavior grew and grew over the years, as did my body weight. I was pushing 300lbs and had sampled every drug under the sun. Before I knew it, I was prostituting myself.
I was 23 years old when I had my beautiful son, Tucker. Unfortunately, this didn’t change me.
Throughout my lifetime, I had many run-ins with the law and learned how to manipulate the system to get what I wanted. Cheating drug screens, playing the victim with no self-esteem and good intentions. The day I decided to come clean, I openly confessed EVERYTHING, it was the only way to make things better. After I explained to them that I was guilty of so much wrong living, I asked for help. I knew God had called me. They suggested the “perfect place for me… Hannah’s House.” I called them immediately to find out it was a yearlong program, free of charge. No cigarettes, no male contact, and a bed was available for me.
I arrived the next day with only a change of clothes. The weekend I arrived; we were celebrating a birthday party, so I had the privilege of meeting each of the women who volunteered their time to teach us. What a special day! For not knowing anyone, I felt the LOVE immediately, recognizing this was a GOOD thing, that I was being cared for and everything was going to be alright.
Hannah’s House provided my every need, from clothing, food, counseling, and prayer. I came into the program hurt and tired of the world. I had felt so betrayed…trusting in God but giving up on mankind. Hannah’s taught me who Jesus was.
As a child, I had readily accepted Jesus into my heart, but was never taught the rest… that’s where Hannah’s came in. They taught me structure, boundaries, responsibility, and most importantly… LOVE.
Now I am approaching 3 years clean and sober, born-again, fresh, and renewed in Christ Jesus.
I have regained custody of my son with whom I have an amazing relationship with. He is healthy, funny, happy, and strong, an honor student and athlete who spends his weekends with his father. I work at the Warren Family Mission as the front desk secretary where I get to daily share my story of encouragement to others who may be struggling with heavy burdens or a lack of love.
I am a faithful member to the Harvest Christian Assembly of God Church. Most of the volunteers at Hannah’s House are women from the church and they have each, in their own unique ways, demonstrated to me the genuine compassion of Jesus, and I am forever grateful. Our Pastor, Ron Biehl, has also been a monumental part of my recovery. None of this would have been possible without Pastor Chris Gilger’s vision, willful obedience and giving heart. I will now and forever continue to sew and to serve to fulfill the calling to be one with our Creator. In Jesus’ Name.