Renee just wanted what all of us do, to be loved and live a happy life. Instead, her life was full of pain and rejection. At a young age, she was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend. She just wanted to play and be a little girl, but that was stolen from her. Her heart was full of anger and hatred. She became a rebellious teenager. And fell for any guy that offered her a smile. Drugs and alcohol were her comfort. They never told her she was ugly and worthless. They never beat her.
By the time she was a young adult, Renee had five children and was addicted to drugs and alcohol. Renee says, “Crack cocaine became my best friend, my whole life. I hated the person I had become.” She gave up parental rights to four of her children, knowing that they would have a better life without her. Her choices finally landed her in jail. After nearly six years in prison, she was released and had nowhere to go.
Renee came to Charis House. “This program has given me a lot of tools,” she says. “And made me recognize the beautiful person I am inside and out. My number one strength is God. And he gave me gifts to use. I am open-minded, I can listen and accept feedback. I am a woman with integrity.” She graduated from the Long-Term program in January. She is involved with her church, and is looking forward to having a place of her own, a job, going to school, and enjoying life clean and sober. She finally found the love that she has longed for…the love of Jesus.