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January 4, 2018

Our 67th spotlight in the FACES OF HOPE: WE DO RECOVER series will focus on Kayla McClure’s story, Seek Him First.

 

  

My life, like many addicts, never started with waking up and saying, “I want to get high.”  I lived the best childhood a kid could have.  I was loved and cared for, spoiled rotten even!  I am the youngest of 3.  Our family was very close with a strong Christian upbringing; God was instilled in me at birth.  The moment that comes to memory every time I set my mind to my testimony, is the death of my brother James.  That is when I found how to bury feelings, learning to block them out, even.  I didn’t want to feel any more pain or sadness.  That moment changed my life, as well as my families.  My father is a Baptist preacher, and my mother was at his side.  When James died, a part of all of us did I think.  I was only 10 when he had his car wreck.  I knew that he was dead, I’m not sure I really knew what that meant.  I experienced so much sadness and heartache during this time.  I didn't know what to do but bury it.

As I grew older, I became an unruly teenager.  At thirteen I found what I thought to be the “problem solver.”  I can remember what it felt like, that instant numb, almost like the world and all of the problems didn't exist.  That's what I wanted.  That pill was my shield, so to speak.  I could be brave, carefree.  This was what I needed, or so I thought.  Throughout my teenage years certain situations occurred that led me further into my drug use.  That numb!!  I ended up quitting my senior year of high school.

 

After becoming pregnant with my first child, I dove into drugs as hard as I could.  I didn't want to be a mom. I didn't want to be a wife.  I just wanted to do what I was doing. There was nothing good in my marriage. It consisted of fights and arguments, which led to more pain and hurt. Three children later, my addiction was out of control.  My parents had to do something. They stepped in and took my kids.  I resented them, my social worker, and anyone who was trying to help.  In my eyes I had it all together. The world and everyone in it was out to get me.  Sound familiar?? Evidence of God’s plan into motion.

I was so lost in the agony of the misery I was in I couldn't see things as they should be.  I couldn't see my children as being blessings, I only saw them as stepping stones.  My addiction had blinded me so much. I was wrapped in every way possible at this point and just kept going. I was drowning in my own demise. Divorced, a slew of bad relationships, more pills on top of more pills. I had become convinced that this was what God had intended for me. It felt like it was a never ending spiral that just kept going.

I got clean after going to treatment in 2011.  I have to say, God began a work in me then that I couldn't see, but that wasn't enough. There was more to my story. I relapsed and dove deeper than I had been before. Lost it all AGAIN.  I was at a point of no return, or so I thought.  I was so miserable and disgusted with myself death began to look more appealing than living a life like this.  But God wouldn't let me.  Looking back at all I was a part of, the amounts and combinations I was doing, there should be no way that I am here today, telling my story. I was at a point where I was doing dangerous things in my life to support my habit. Being places I never should have been. “But God” right…

 

I had moved to another state for a little while and returned to find what would be my demise. HEROIN!!  I had finally found it. That release. The very thing that seemed to make all my problems, fears, and grief disappear. What I did not know, it was also going to annihilate my hopes, dreams and eventually, my life. My entire life at this point had become one in which you saw in one of those movies. The needle junkie in some random place trying to find a vein just to take the sickness away. Yes, that was me!!  A full blown IV heroin user.  I didn't care about anything but that next shot. The hold it had on my life could only be compared to a possession of some kind. Not only evil, but the devil himself had taken up residence. More and more every day... There were days that I don't even remember actually eating food. What are days in an addict’s life? Days are just that, days. Forgotten. Missed. Thrown away with every poke. A respectable life wasn't in the cards for me. I struggled daily just to maintain, to be well. I was in a life or death situation, and death was winning. I never dreamed that this would happen.  I was so lost, my mind so clouded that my family, my kids, nothing was in my reality at this point.

The night of December 9th, 2015, will forever be etched in my mind. My husband at the time and I were staying in a motel room. I had finally gotten my husband, John, into bed after hours of speed balling. I remember laying my head on his chest and barely hearing his heartbeat. I remember the feeling of despair, this was it, he was going to die. I remember whispering, “God please, just do something!”  Little did I know, He would. The next morning, God sent, “Blue Angels” from the Berea Police Department. They would be the hands that saved our lives. God had opened the door to change.

I was lodged in the Madison County Detention Center and didn’t have a clue as to what was going to happen next. Months later, still incarcerated, I had conversations with a woman by the name of Donna, who did jail ministry. We talked of a faith-based rehab. Getting out of jail for a brief few weeks, only to be right back in on August 4th 2016, was the end!!! October 13, 2016 the steel doors opened; my family was there to pick me up. Tired and worn, I knew what had to be done, but I was also “feeling” all those things I had tried so hard to bury, yet again. My family was terrified I was going to die. We were speaking of funeral arrangements, and for the first time, it was all coming to the surface full force.

After getting home, my dad handed me the phone. I find a lady named Ashlea on the phone, and we began the intake process for Karen’s Place.  I tried to resist, the natural defense that I had built said to fight it.  I told her I'd be there the following Wednesday. She called back 5 mins later and said, “Nope we need you here tomorrow.” Thankfully, God was not letting me out of this one.

That day, my oldest daughter Gracelynn and my parents drove me the long drive up to that hill.  My heart eased and raced all at the same time. I knew what I had missed before, GOD!!!!  On that hill, mighty people of God spoke of God’s love and mercy.  Pastor May would sing and explain things about God and the Bible. It just all seemed to fit.  One day, all I could do was cry when they shared in group.  My heart overflowed.  Pastor May laughed his laugh and said girl that's the Holy Spirit.  I wanted more.  It tells us in his word “Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door will be opened.”  I was running and kicking that door down.  I had found a new found fire in me that I could not explain.  All that craziness didn’t seem to matter anymore. God loved me anyway.  My heart had holes that didn't exist anymore.

When it came time for me to intern in the program, I chose Lydia’s House.  Harlan County was where God began this work a long time ago, and we all know that we can't grow if we are comfortable, so I was going back to meet it head on with complete strangers.  Stephanie Mosley and Crystal Craig were angels sent from God that took a chance on me.  Lydia's House taught me to stand firm in the Word of God, to always remain humble, and do all things in love.  They taught me to be able to stand on my own two feet without a crutch of a man.  Today my children are PROUD of me, love me and we have a relationship that I never dreamed possible.  I tear up when I think of their faces and how much they light up when we are together.  I have a desire in me today to help others just as I was.  This is the call that God has placed on my life.  All that he has done for me, and is still doing.  I am speechless.  My gratitude and thankfulness will forever be for His mighty anointed soldiers!!!!  Thanks to all of you at ARC, my family now has purpose.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”  Matthew 6:33

 

My AHA moment:

There are so many it's hard to pick just one!

 

Feelings and emotions of active addiction:

Scared, hopeless, lifeless, depressed

 

The driving force that keeps me going when times get tough:

My daughters

 

Advice for the addict still struggling:

Surrender ALL. Change is scary but the outcome of a life without being in active addiction is beautiful.

What obstacles or roadblocks have you faced in your recovery?

My fear of change.

 

What is something you want people who never struggled with addiction to know?

Never judge a book by its cover. Listen to the story and not the symptom. We are all God's people and each have a rite to be here. We are broken souls that need Love.

What advice do you have for family members of a person in addiction?

Pray always for those struggling. Don't ever give up. Don't enable. Love them anyway.

 

Closing Thoughts

I thought I would die a hopeless needle junkie, but today I live a hopeful life of bountiful blessings!

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call Addiction Recovery Care at 606.638.0938 or visit them on the web at www.arccenters.com.

 

There is hope. There is help.

 

 

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