What an awesome young lady of God she is.
She has a powerful testimony.
My name is Stephanie, and I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I graduated Teen Challenge in April of 2017. Before my experience at Teen Challenge, my life was marked by pain and shame. I had been brought up in church, and knew a lot about God, but I did not know Him personally. I suffered through many hurtful experiences that are, unfortunately, not uncommon to children and teens today, that left me feeling broken, raw and exposed. Ashamed of my scars and mistakes, I sought to hide behind drugs and promiscuity in hopes to feel alive and find my identity. All of my venturing cost me dearly, as my choices had caused me to lose my son, my family and all hope of any lasting joy.
At my lowest point, my family had to place a restraining order on me because I was deemed by the juvenile court to not only be unfit to care for my son, but also a danger to his well-being. I was living in abandoned campers and sleeping on the couches of people I barely knew. Through secular rehabs and 12-step programs, I was able to maintain short bouts of sobriety, but I still felt so purposeless and miserable that I may as well have been doing drugs. With this mindset, I once more stole from my family and relapsed. This time, God worked in my heart the desire to seek true change and healing.
I arrived at Teen Challenge Cincinnati Women’s Home, or “the Pink House,” in October of 2016. For the first few weeks, I felt as if I’d been imprisoned. With worldly distractions all but removed, the Lord used the amazing staff there to speak Truth into my life and to help me transition my gaze from my own shame and failures onto the Gospel. I learned that my worth has nothing to do with my successes nor my failures, but everything to do with the price that Jesus paid for me on the cross. Being discipled through Teen Challenge and being loved graciously by my family allowed me to begin building, hand-in-hand with my Savior, on the only true foundation: JESUS!
Since surrendering my life to Jesus and graduating Teen Challenge, my relationships with my son and family have not only been restored, but have been made more beautiful than they ever were before. I am now employed by the same juvenile court that had once rendered my unworthy of raising own child where I now minister to the needs of teens in a youth prison. The wonderful connections I made through Teen Challenge have also allowed me to become part of a faith family filled with the most beautiful women and young ladies I’ve ever known, who love me as I am and do life with me. I’ve learned to despise the shame that causes me to hide rather than run to my Father and Savior!