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In August of 1983, I started my sophomore year in high school. At that time I made the conscious decision not to be the good little girl anymore. I had a crush on someone I had known for the past 3 years and I was going to date him. Well, not only did he become my boyfriend, before long he had introduced me to sex, drugs and alcohol. Excuses for red eyes and strange behavior were easy after all I was “the good little girl.” By the end of that year, I was sneaking out of the house at night. Summer came and went and we were still “having fun.” Over the next couple of months things started changing. My father and one of the students, also my Bible teacher, were on a first name basis. Well the week before Christmas break things came to a screeching halt for me. I was caught doing drugs on campus. My rebellious behavior resulted in a week suspension, if I agreed to a Christian based outpatient rehab program. Well of course I did. I made some new Christian friends. I thought I was on the right track. We had group meetings twice a week as part of our rehab. I was baptized in my church. Things were good, everyone thought. I gave my testimony in chapel, while I was high. I was searching for something and everyone thought I had found it, but I didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ. I still thought life was a party; cocaine and alcohol were my drugs of choice. When graduation came around and everyone was giving out cash gifts, I had plans for it. I gathered the money and bought cocaine. I would do some and sell the rest to make a profit. Well bad idea. 3 friends and I did it all. I was broke and really sick and scared. The times when I was high and coming down the conviction set in and I would become scared. By the time the drugs wore off I felt invisible again. God was reaching out to me and I wouldn’t completely let him into my heart and life. By this time my parents were moving and persistent that I move with them out of Miami to this small town called Stuart. Well, ok, but only until I turn 18, which was only 2 months. My intentions were to save money and move after the holidays. Saving money is hard when you’re partying all the time and paying rent. The holidays came and went and in February of 1987 I met Chris, who is now my husband. Chris was very good for me. He wasn’t a drinker and he didn’t do drugs and he wasn’t going to be with someone who did.

Time went on and in September of 1987 I found out I was pregnant. Chris and I made the unfortunate decision to abort the baby. Soon after that we moved in together.

In February 1989 I found out I was pregnant again. Not only was I pregnant, but I was due May 19th (do the math). The question arose, when was the wedding? Well that wasn’t in our plans, though in that situation, it certainly would have been Gods plan. Everything got really scary. I was 20 years old and I had 3 months to accept I was going to have a baby and deal with the guilt I felt from us not getting married. That wasn’t how I was raised. But, I never prayed so much and so hard as I did for my baby growing inside of me. I loved her so much already and felt we didn’t deserve a healthy baby. God blessed us with one anyway. For a while things were great and then I got restless again. When Janine was three, I left Chris and Janine and I moved in with my parents. I started partying again like I was in high school, no illegal drugs at that time, just a lot of drinking. I was a social alcoholic. This went on for about a year. I thought I was about to lose Chris for good. I got scared. Janine and I moved back home and Chris and I started planning our wedding. We went through marriage counseling; Chris accepted Christ and said the sinner’s prayer with my father in my parent’s home. I was baptized again with my soon to be husband soon before our wedding. In June 1994 we got married with out daughter Janine as our flower girl. Things were good for a while...

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