Marissa’s downward spiral began when she was 15 years old. That was the year her father passed away unexpectedly on Thanksgiving Day. That trial tested her trust in God. When emotions became too difficult to manage, she went to the doctor, who prescribed anti-anxiety medication. Xanax eventually led to Oxycontin, which then led to a number of other things.
When she was 20 years old, she was pulled over by the police for going the wrong way on a one-way street. That traffic stop ended up with her being arrested for driving under the influence.
“I went to jail that night and thought, ‘This is not what I thought my life was going to turn out like.’ I don’t think any drug addict plans for their life to turn out that way…. It’s a slow drift that starts with one compromise.”
Going to jail only worsened an already rocky relationship with her mom and Marissa’s life continued to spiral out of control. When she used Oxycontin, the void left behind from the loss of her dad seemed to disappear. But soon she found that when the drug wore off, she felt very sick.
Eventually, Marissa reached the end and realized she very few options left. “I’d tried to figure this thing out. I tried to go to numerous other programs. I’d asked for help and it just wasn’t working.” Then she cried out, “Lord, I really need you to help me!” And Marissa’s mom helped her find her way to Teen Challenge. “Teen Challenge taught me the basics in life. But the greatest thing I got from Teen Challenge was my relationship with the Lord…. That’s where I found my freedom.”
Today Marissa is married to a Teen Challenge graduate and in addition to her job in medicine, she serves as a pastor’s wife, and mom to three beautiful children. This Thanksgiving, the family will be together.
While it’s so encouraging to see Teen Challenge success stories like Marissa’s, today we have many men and women at our centers who are still in the midst of their fight. God is moving in their hearts every day, restoring them and helping them learn how to live out their new life.
Will you please remember them this Thanksgiving with your prayers and, if possible, support them with a generous donation? For many, this is the hardest year of their lives as they work to overcome addiction. Your donations will allow them to focus on restoration and healing.