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Finding Her Compass in A Directionless Life

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“I literally thought that for the rest of my life I was going to be a drug addict or I thought maybe not a drug addict, but I would wake up every day and want to get high,” said Deidra.

Deidra was a popular cheerleader in high school. She was active in her youth group and was baptized when she was fifteen. She recalled, “I felt my spirit move when I was younger. You know, I felt that when I was younger. And it's like that was the only time I remember feeling truly happy.”

After high school, she lacked direction and fell in with the wrong crowd. She began using drugs and drinking. Before long she was pregnant with her drug dealer’s baby. Then, when she was close to delivery an ultrasound revealed the baby had died in utero. “She was taken,” said Deidra, “so I had a lot of resentment towards God at that point in time. To numb that pain I...I partied and I ignored God completely. It was easier to get high or live the way I was living because it numbed the pain.”

It wasn’t long before drug use consumed her entire life. She said, “The only time I really could function if...if I was in the bars, drinking, partying, sleeping from couch to couch, and different people’s houses...would get up to get high and party and go back to sleep. And it was just a never ending cycle of that.” 

Then, she was introduced to heroin. “Chaos. Complete chaos,” she said. “If I didn't have it when I woke up, I was very ill, you know, throwing up and hot and cold chills all day long.” 

Desperate for drugs and money, Deidra began working at a strip club where she could earn quick cash. “A lot of the girls that work there already had the stuff there. So I knew if I was going to work, I was going to not be sick. So that was a lot of the temptation that went along with that, that the drugs were already there,” reflected Deidra. “So, let me just go get better and then I'll work and make money.”

She then began selling her body – all to pay for heroin. “A dark time in my life doing that. I never would have guessed that I would ever use my body in that way. But I did to take care of my drug habit.” 

Over time she racked up several warrants for drug related crimes. One night after a five-day drug binge she went on a drug run with a dealer, seeking revenge for a friend's murder. She recalled, “Everybody has like guns and bulletproof vests on and everything. Like all of his friends. And they're like, 'Yeah, we're going to go get them tonight.' And then all three of them just put the guns out the window and they shot up an entire block.”

For the first time in years. Deidra cried out to God. “I remember turning around and I get...I got on my knees and I start praying, 'God, I'm so scared. I don't want to be here.' I literally thought I was going to die that night. I was just crying out to him,” Deidra said. 

A high speed chase with police resulted in a crash that left Deidra trapped in the car. The others fled while she was arrested and taken to jail. Facing a sentence of up to 18 years, Deidra was finally ready to open her heart to God again. “I just remember getting on my knees in this room of girls and praying and saying to myself, ‘I don't even care. Like, what they say or if I'm being judged at this point, I just don't care.’ I was just asking Him to, you know, come into my heart and give me peace. Please just take away the addiction that was in my body because I can never be successful or move forward if I still craved getting high every day. You know, it just...that was always going to be that thing pulling me back, you know? I don’t know, by the next morning I've never felt freer. I never felt freer. I just remember feeling the sun hit my face for the first time, and I just felt so blessed. For the first time in a long time, you know, that I was still alive. I was still here. Even though there was bars all the way around me. But I didn't care. I just felt free. I had a future. I knew I had purpose,” she said.

Deidra spent the next three years behind bars reading the Bible and praying. She says giving her life to Jesus set her free from the addictions that once enslaved her. “When He took that from me and you have this weight lifted off of your shoulders, it's like nothing you've ever felt before. It's surreal in so many ways, you know? And it's like, just...just go to Him. It's so beautiful when you do, you know, it really is. It's life changing.”

Deidra shares her story in hopes that others will find the same peace and freedom that she found in a relationship with Jesus. “You'll be free, I promise.” She said, “God’s the hope. Just start talking to Him. Even if it’s just a little conversation here or there, talk to Him. Pray He will open that door. He will open that door and He's right there, knocking.”

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