Teen Girl Left to Fend for Herself
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“It just all hit me, like this is happening again. I'm going to go to jail again. Is this it? This is how my life is going to continue?” asked Samantha Karim. She grew up in a rough Miami neighborhood, with a dysfunctional family that was constantly fighting and heavily involved in drug use.
“Being so young. Even at 11, I knew that it just wasn't right, you know?” said Samantha. “And I wanted to experience, like a loving family. I just began to feel very alone. And I began to cut myself and write these notes, detailing the way that I wanted to take my life. I was then institutionalized. And from that moment, things began to really go downhill.”
By age 13 she adopted her parents drug habits, “I began to really cope with the way I was feeling with marijuana. And that's something that I got into very heavily.”
Samantha looked for fulfilment in relationships and was pregnant by age 14. She had an abortion which only fueled her pain and isolation. “I was introduced to ecstasy. I was introduced to Molly. And the way that we would do it is we would smoke it. And it was at that moment I felt like all of the pain, all of the thoughts, all of the depression just left me. And I felt like I could finally be at peace with myself for that moment and I would do anything to get it.”
She would steal from her parents, her employer, and eventually sold her body on the streets of Miami to get money for drugs. “At that point, my behavior, what I was doing for these drugs didn't matter to me,” said Samantha. “In my mind, I just wanted to get the drugs and feel good. The highs were very high. You know, at that time, but the lows were very low. I would feel just so worthless. I would feel like what was the point of living? You know, it made me feel so anxious and made me feel so empty and I just would do anything to get away from that feeling.”
Samantha had been in and out of jail numerous times for her risky behavior. As she approached her 18th birthday, she was arrested for possession and knew she needed to make a change.
“I didn't want to keep living this way," said Samantha. “I was after the truth and God led me to do community service hours at a church. And when I began to do the community service hours, the moment I walked into that church, I felt like I was home. And I was overwhelmed, you know, just by the presence of God. I just felt like God was there and I had to say something. And I just said, 'Lord, I hope you see that I'm cleaning your house.' And I had fell asleep and when I woke up, it's like everything changed. My desires changed, my heart changed. And I began to say these prayers that I did not know where they were coming from. I began to worship to songs that I remember from being a little girl with my grandma. From that moment forward I had a desire to know God.”
The following weeks her life began to radically transform as she grew closer to God. She recalled, “I went to go be with my grandmother, like how I used to when I was a little girl to pray. And she began to sing these hymns from this hymn book. And I began to weep under the presence of God. And I felt just this love that was just hitting me and all of my sin and all of my mistakes that I've made. I felt like it was confronting me, and I just couldn't contain myself. And I began to weep. From that moment forward, I remember this vivid thought that came to my mind that I've seen people weep in your presence and not change. I don't want to be that like that. And God answered my prayer.”
With the power of God firmly working her life, Samantha was set free from years of drug addiction. Now she loves to share the gospel on the same streets she once found darkness and despair. “Jesus is my savior. Jesus is my Lord, and Jesus was a friend when I had none. Jesus was a lover when I kept looking for something in this world. Jesus is a father to me. When I didn't know what it was really like to have a father in my life,” said Samantha.
“When...when I think back on all those things that I did and to think that God forgave me, is...is overwhelming to me. His mercy is overwhelming. His love is overwhelming. You know, all the mistakes that I've made, I'm no longer that drug addict. I'm no longer that burnt out. I'm no longer that crackhead. You know, God set me free because of the blood of Jesus.”
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