Despite her pregnancy and marriage at an early age, Polly was an overcomer. She graduated from high school with honors, attended college on a scholarship, earned her teaching degree, and found a teaching job she loved. She had everything going for her. That all changed when her marriage ended.
“After getting divorced, I needed to make some extra money,” said Polly. “I found a job detailing cars. Between teaching and raising my daughter, I was tired all the time. Someone I worked with told me he had the answer. I can still remember his words today—‘I have something that will keep you from being tired.’ That’s all it took and I was hooked.”
That something turned out to be crystal meth. According to Polly, it was “readily available and free.” But it cost her almost everything. Over the next three and a half years she lost her job, her car, her house, custody of her daughter, and found herself in and out of jail on drug-related charges.
“Just when I didn’t think things could get any worse, they did,” said Polly. “It was in February of 2007, I found out I was pregnant. I wanted to stop using meth, but I couldn’t. It went from bad to worse. I had been staying with a friend who moved away. I had nowhere to go. No place to live. I ended up living in a cinder block building, no power, no water. I slept on a box spring with no mattress until the day I went into labor.”
This former honor student and college graduate who had overcome some of the biggest obstacles anyone could ever face had no answer for the situation she was now in. At least, not until she met Jesus.
“Despite using meth every day I was pregnant … despite not having any prenatal care … despite my living conditions, my little girl was born perfect,” said Polly. “I know that had to be God. While she did have drugs in her system and had to stay an extra week at the hospital for observation, she had no side effects or permanent damage because of my drug use. She was a miracle baby.”
It was in that moment of hearing her newborn baby girl’s cry that Polly knew she had to break free. “Her cry jarred something deep inside of me,” said Polly. “It was the first time in a long time I wanted something different. I was done with drugs.”
Polly’s mother and sister stepped in, taking custody of her daughter, while Polly went to a detox center. “After finishing up detox, I needed to find a long term recovery program. I received a list of 32 different places with recovery programs. I called each of them. Nashville Rescue Mission was the only one that didn’t turn me away.”
“When I came to the Mission, I had no idea who I was,” said Polly. “But through the classes, counselors, church services, preachers … I had this broad view shown to me I’d never seen before. I finally understood what it meant to be able to choose to live for the Lord. Their program showed me who I was in Christ.”
“I had been at the Mission almost three months, when during one of those church services, I heard a still small voice—that I knew was the Holy Spirit— telling me the only thing I needed to break free from these chains of addiction was Jesus. A couple of days later at another service, I surrendered my life to Jesus.” This was the day life radically changed for Polly.
“I had been in church when I was a kid. I knew the process, but I didn’t understand what that meant for me. I found out when you don’t have Jesus you are just in survival mode. And that’s all I was doing in life until I surrendered to the Lord.”
Polly thought she had it all together. “I was wrong. Jesus is the only one that can take the overwhelming desire for drugs out of a person’s heart. Today, I have no desire whatsoever for any type of drugs. I am truly free. He changed the desires of my heart. He gave me the desires He wants me to have. I have come to discover that life with Jesus is so full and rich.”
Polly graduated from the Mission’s program in May 2008. Besides setting her free from drugs, Jesus also has restored her life. Today, at 38, Polly and her husband, Craig, and their two daughters attend Oakland Baptist Church in Corinth, Mississippi. She also has a relationship with the daughter she lost custody of, who is now 26. Polly works for Living Free Ministries as its Women’s Director and is helping women to overcome their addictions.