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God Gave Me GRACE


Cristie’s parents divorced when she was 3. Three years later her dad went to prison. She spent the next 6 years living with her aunt. She was also sexually abused for 10 years. At the age of 13, Cristie tracked down her mom and went to live with her. Her mom had just completed rehab, but within a week, she was drinking again.
“I had no desire to drink or do drugs,” says Cristie. “But I was desperate for a way out of my home situation. I got pregnant at 15 and married when my son was 3 months old.”
Over the next several years, Cristie and her husband had two more children, worked and lived a normal life. But when the bills started mounting up, Cristie went looking for a way to make ends meet.
“God gave me another chance. Gracie is the best present I could have ever imagined.”
Fast cash
“I was naïve,” says Cristie. “I saw an ad in the paper saying I could make $1000 a day. The next thing you know, I’m a prostitute. I paid off debt at first, but was soon tempted by drugs.”
Soon, her husband discovered what she was doing and they divorced. She spent the next 6 years on the streets, doing drugs and in and out of jail. In 2002, her baby girl was born addicted to crack. Two years later after completing intensive outpatient therapy Cristie fell in love. Soon she was pregnant with her 5th child. Eight weeks after giving birth, he broke up with her. A year later, Cristie reconciled with her ex-husband and the father of her 3 oldest children.
“I was trying very hard to get my life together,” shares Cristie. “But in 2008, both my daddy and my aunt died. A month later I started using again. I didn’t think I was good enough to be a mom. I went back to what I knew. I didn’t see any hope for me.”
God had a different plan
Angela, a friend from the streets had stayed in touch with Cristie over the years. Angela had completed the life-recovery program at the Nashville Rescue Mission and had turned her life around. She would periodically call Cristie encouraging her to get help.
“Every time she would call, I would tell her ‘I don’t need God,’ or ‘that stuff isn’t for me,’” says Cristie. “Thankfully, Angela never gave up on me.”
In 2009, Cristie got arrested. She was pregnant and addicted. “I was at the end of my rope,” says Cristie. “I didn’t want to hurt my baby. I prayed for God’s help. I called Angela and she helped me get to the Mission.”
The road to redemption
“When I first entered the life-recovery program I was doing it for all the wrong reasons,” says Cristie. “I didn’t want my baby addicted and it was the only way I could avoid being in jail or on the streets. I thought once I had the baby, I could go back to my old life. I even told Ms. Vicki (Director of the Hope Center) I was going to leave the program after I gave birth.”
“Ms. Vicki told me, ‘I’m strongly opposed to you leaving. In fact, you can’t. You are court-ordered. And if you leave, I’ll call your parole officer, I’ll write the Governor, even the President if I have to, but you aren’t leaving.’ I was pretty angry. But then I realized someone wants me.”
Someone loves me
“When I told Ms. Vicki how much her words meant to me, she seemed surprised. But for the first time in my life, I felt loved—the kind of love a child feels from a mother. I’d never known that before.”

“If I could have picked a mom, I would have chosen Ms. Vicki (Hope Center Director). She has taught me so much about how to be a mother.”
Cristie gave birth to a healthy baby girl in February 2010. “During one of my Bible readings, I read in Ephesians 2 that we are saved by grace. I knew right then and there this little girl’s name was going to be Gracie.”
Cristie has now graduated from the life-recovery program. She has moved into transitional housing while she works a full-time job and balances the responsibilities of being a mom to Gracie, restoring the relationships with her other children, being an active member of her church and taking classes through Liberty Online towards a degree in Christian Counseling.
“I am a new creation,” says Cristie. “I have hope. I am changed. God has given me strength I never knew I had. This is how I know He’s real.”


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