My name is Cherie. I’m 21 years old and I’m from Surrey, BC. I went to church when I was a child, but I didn’t believe in God or know about His love for me. When I was in Grade 7, I was hit by a drunk driver, which left me with many broken bones and a punctured lung. I became bitter and lonely, and while my parents were at work I would go downtown by myself. In my search for excitement, I ended up trying crack cocaine. I was 12 years old, and in a few short years I was hopelessly addicted. In my desperation, I committed many, many horrible crimes. I lived in complete darkness for 8 years, spending most of that time on the street or in jail. My drug use became so heavy that I started having seizures, but that wasn’t enough to stop me.
I became severely paranoid, and was always in and out of the psych ward. I was being numbed by antipsychotic injections, but it never occurred to me that there might be a God who could actually help me. I suffered from delusions of being a prisoner of war, and that everyone was using psychological war tactics against me. It was terrifying. My psychosis progressed as I continued to use drugs, and I was so sick of not being able to figure out what was going on that I started planning ways to end my life.
My family had been trying to get me to go to Adult & Teen Challenge BC for a number of years, and I finally admitted I needed to go. Then I cried out to my Savior for the first time in my life. I whispered through my tears a very simple yet powerful prayer, acknowledging that God was the only One who could save me. Then the most amazing thing happened; I felt peace. I got on my knees and said “Thank-you”. I didn’t even know what I was saying thank-you for, but part of me knew that what I had just received was greater than I could understand. All my fear was gone, but little did I know that the 20 year-long battle for my soul had just been won!
Moments after crying out to God, my obsession with drugs was gone; the cravings just disappeared. From that point on, my source of comfort and joy became the Holy Spirit. Before that, my only reason for existing was to chase after a high that brought about 30 seconds of enjoyment and always brought misery and destruction into my life. Jesus rescued me from insanity, and I believe that it’s only through His power that my mind and my life were restored that day.
For the past 12 months, Adult & Teen Challenge BC has made it possible for me to go much deeper with Christ. Healing takes time, but God continues to mend my brokenness as I allow Him to work in me. After my graduation, I look forward to taking on a leadership role at the women’s centre. I’m excited to see what else God has in store for me, and to discover how my life fits into His will!