My Journey, by: Ginger Cato Brown
By the grace of God, I was set free from a 15-year drug addiction in September of 2008. I started smoking crack in 1994 a few months after I had gotten my nursing license. I was 19 years old with a two-year-old daughter, and I was very excited about my future. Within a few months of starting this drug, I quit my job as a nurse and lost everything, including my daughter. I was on the streets doing whatever it took to get my drugs, no matter how dangerous or demeaning. I didn’t care about myself or anyone else. All I cared about was the next high. The next 15 years of my life were pure hell. Satan set out to destroy me and did everything in his power to do so. (Thank God I had a praying Mom!)
One of My Worst Mug Shots
I was consistently in and out of jails and rehabs. I finally gave up on rehab, but I continued to go to jail over and over again. I ended up with 22 misdemeanor and three felony convictions. Not to mention all the times I was arrested for tickets. I know I was arrested altogether at least 50 times and I spent a total of about six years of my life in jail or prison. I lived through numerous near death experiences on the streets. Many girls, I knew along the way, did lose their lives. Once, I actually died on a shot of cocaine. By grace, the drug addicts that were with me were able to revive me with CPR and a little “Divine Intervention.” Along the way I had two more daughters, giving birth to one of them while incarcerated. I just couldn’t seem to get it together, even for them. My family ended up raising my daughters for me. I had given my heart to God as a child, so every time I went to jail I would run back to Him for comfort, but I never truly surrendered my will and my life to Him. So, every time I would get out of jail I would eventually, if not immediately, go back to the drugs. I finally realized that I could not just give God little pieces of my life and expect to receive freedom from my addiction. I understood that in order for Him to bring me freedom, I was going to have to surrender my life to Him 100%. I also knew there would be many steps I would have to take to walk out my deliverance (freedom from addiction). In September 2008, I rededicated my life to God. This time I laid it all down, holding nothing back. I was truly “sick and tired of being sick and tired” and I was very hungry for the restoration only God can bring. I started seeking Him with all my heart and spending as much time as possible in daily prayer and reading the Bible. Step by step, God has been showing me how to walk out my deliverance. I have taken full responsibility for my life and the poor choices I made. We cannot continue to blame others for our mistakes and expect to gain freedom. A “victim mentality” will only keep us trapped. While I take responsibility for my past actions and their consequences, I have been able to forgive myself and leave all of my shame and guilt at the feet of Jesus. I have also forgiven everyone who has ever hurt me, just as my Father in heaven has forgiven me. I have now been clean for over 8 years, and God has already changed my life more than I ever thought possible. He is teaching me how to love others and myself in a way that is healthy and pure. He is also bringing full restoration in my relationships with my children and other family members. I no longer have the desire to use drugs. Now my greatest desire is to serve God and honor Him in everything I do. He has put a great burden on my heart to help reach addicts who are still suffering with the good news that we can all have freedom from addiction in Christ Jesus. I have entitled this book Walk it Out, because that is what we must do in our deliverance.
Me With One Year Clean
Deliverance means to be set free. God can supernaturally set us free from addiction but we need to “walk out” our deliverance by spending time with God in prayer, reading His Word, and applying the commandments and godly principles we learn in our everyday lives. In this way, we will gain true freedom. I am sharing Bible verses with you, that have brought me release in areas of addiction and every other area of bondage (slavery to sin) in my life. I’ve explained how each verse can be used to walk out your deliverance. There is also a prayer included with each section and a set of decrees for each week. Speaking the decrees out loud, each day, is a very powerful way to pray. The Bible says in Job 22:28, “Decree a thing and it shall be established.” I also encourage you to use the “My Walk” pages, at the end of each week, to journal your journey, reflections, and all that God shares with you as you Walk It Out. You will notice that I do not talk about addiction on every page of the book. I only mention it a few times because I believe it is better to stay focused on the solution rather than the problem. Addiction was only a symptom of our spiritual disease. In God we have found the cure.