As program chaplain for El Paso County, Colorado, I am responsible for leading 12 Step Bible studies and holiness meetings for the Bridge House, Freshstart, Red Shield, New Hope and Silvercrest.
I did not always lead a life of service to our Lord. Seventeen years ago I experienced a miraculous healing from the compulsion to drink and use drugs. By the grace of God I am a recovered alcoholic and God is using my background to help others. Today I see clearly that my healing from the obsession to drink and take drugs was to be used to glorify God.
The nightmare of daily drinking and drug use drove me to isolate and become suicidal. Even though I didn’t know it at the time Jesus was looking out for me. He led me to a 12 Step program where I learned that alcohol and drugs were the problem and that God was the answer. Returning home one evening I got on my knees for the first time in my life. I asked God to help me because I couldn’t stop on my own. I asked God to let me know, in a way I could understand, where he wanted me to go and what he wanted me to do. The next morning I woke up absolutely transformed. The need to drink or use drugs was gone, I was glad to be alive, colors looked different, and my heart was full of gratitude.
As I recovered I began doing volunteer work for the 12 Step program and helping other women recover.
A generic higher power was not enough for me so I began searching for a church. One of the 12 Step meetings I attended was held in the dining room of the Yuma Street Corps where one day I saw invitations to the Salvation Army church. The first time I attended a holiness meeting at our corps I knew I had found what I had been searching for and that I belong in The Salvation Army.
I soon became a volunteer driver for the soup run and helped with the holiness meetings at the New Hope homeless shelter. At the first opportunity I became a soldier. I continued to volunteer wherever I was needed, taught Sunday school, conducted a 12 Step workshop for Freshstart, and joined the corps council. Today, I consider myself privileged to be in the Lord’s service in The Salvation Army.