A Christian Recovery Center for victory over alcohol and drug addiction.
 
 
   

TESTIMONIES
 

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FROM GRACE HOME

My name is Darlene Siccone.  I am 48 years old and this is my story.

 

I was raised is a loving Christian home where I knew I was loved.  I gave my life to Christ at a young age.  As a teenager, when I really knew what I was doing, I rededicated my life and vowed to live for Jesus.  That changed in my senior year of high school.   I became involved in a school sorority and was introduced to alcohol.  I was a shy quiet person and I loved the feeling I got when drinking.  All inhibitions were gone.  I married right out of high school to a guy I had met at church.  We were in and out of church during our marriage. My husband was very anti-drinking because of how he had seen it affect members of his family.  I was not allowed to drink at all.  Several times during my marriage I went out with friends and took that opportunity to drink. And I drank too much.  I chalked this up to trying to cram all my fun into one night. After being married for 16 years (and having 3 children), I got divorced.  Immediately after moving out, I started drinking a lot because I didn’t have anyone telling me I couldn’t.  I gained a new set of friends at the bar and was soon invited to the after parties where drugs were in abundance.  I started doing cocaine as well as drinking. When I first moved out I had my middle daughter living with me but after losing control of my life, I sent her back to her dad’s.  I couldn’t take care of myself, let alone my daughter. This gave me even more freedom and things got out of control.  I was a different person for 5 years.  Throughout all this, my ex-husband became more active in his church and had my children involved as well.  They knew something was wrong with me and invited me to church many times.  I went several times to special events.  Each time I went, I could feel God speaking to me.  I knew the answer to my problem was to renew my relationship with God.  At the church service, I would cry out to God to help me and vow to change but once I got home and around my friends, I went back to my old ways. I eventually hit what I thought was bottom and moved from Cincinnati (where we were living at the time) back home to MS.  I thought if I could just change my environment and go “home” then things would be ok.  This was a very difficult decision since I would be leaving my children in Cincinnati.

 

Things changed for me temporarily once I got home, but it wasn’t long before I was out drinking again. I joined AA and was pretty active for about 6 months then quit going.  I got married to someone I had known in Jr. High School.  He had a second job as a karaoke DJ at a bar.  I would sometimes go with him to work and I would drink.  My drinking wasn't as bad as it had been in Cincinnati, so I figured I had a handle on it.  Plus, I wasn't doing drugs anymore. My drinking was sporadic.  Sometimes I drank until I blacked out; sometimes I didn't.  I only drank once every 3-4 months, so I didn't believe I was an alcoholic.  This went on for about 5 years. My last drinking episode is somewhat of a mystery.  My husband was in IL for his son's graduation from Navy boot camp.  I was supposed to go to Orlando and surprise my youngest daughter for her choral concert.  I never made it on the plane. I woke up in the ER. I was told that I coded twice on the way to the hospital.  My sister and her husband picked me up from the hospital and I stayed the weekend with them. While I was there, my sister received a phone call from her former in-laws saying that their daughter was at Grace Home.  My sister looked Grace Home up on the internet and told me about it.  She suggested that I needed to go. I discussed it with my husband and my stay started in July 2012.  It was the best thing that I could have done.  God saved my life through Grace Home.  While there I renewed my relationship with God and learned to turn to Him instead of drugs and alcohol. All those times that I cried out to God during my addiction, He was already there. I just needed to run back to Him.  Looking back, I can see where His hand was on me and protected me from some bad things happening.

 

I graduated in September 2012 and came home from Grace Home to a husband who had also grown closer to God. He had continued to go to church while I was gone and also started going to Celebrate Recovery. We continued to go to Celebrate Recovery as a couple.  I was excited about the direction our lives were headed.  Our marriage could be a testimony what God can do when you allow Him in your life and turn everything over to Him. In October, Tony had double bypass surgery.  He recovered from the surgery fine and came home.  A few days later he suddenly collapsed.  The EMTs worked on him and he was rushed to the hospital.  They were unable to save him and my husband died on October 28th. My world crashed. I had been sober a little over five months. Miraculously, I didn’t turn to alcohol; I turned to God.  Without Him, I would not have survived.  The foundation I built while at Grace Home stood firm. I did not have the strength within me to go on, but God provided me with what I needed.  My family was there and the friends Tony and I had made at church were there.  I can see now that God knew what was coming and He knew what I needed to survive what was coming.  If I had not spent that time at GH, I would’ve drunk again and I would have died.  My husband was my biggest cheerleader in my recovery and I didn’t know what I was going to do without him.  Praise God for His mercy and grace.

 

I stay involved in my church and in Celebrate Recovery.  It helps to keep me grounded and accountable.  The last two years have not been easy but they would’ve been so much harder without Christ in my life to provide me with comfort and peace.  I have a supernatural peace that passes all understanding.  All that time I spent drinking and doing drugs, I was trying to fill a void.  That void could only be filled with Jesus Christ.  I never felt that I was worthy to be loved. My husband loved me unconditionally but I didn’t feel worthy.  I kept trying to prove to him that I wasn’t and he loved me anyway.  I am very thankful that he came into my life when he did.  He showed me what unconditional love is. I know now that I AM worthy and God loves me unconditionally.  I don’t have to do anything to earn it.

 

While at Grace Home, we are given the tools to deal with life on a daily basis. It is very important to use those tools when returning to the real world.  I have to choose to turn my life and my will over to God every day. It is a daily decision.  My life has surely not turned out how I envisioned it after graduation.  God has gotten me through some tough times and has restored me. He has begun a transformation in me and I am excited to see what is to come.   I don’t know what His plans are for me, but I pray that my life is a testimony to what God can do when we let go and let Him.

 

I Cor. 4: 7-9 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”




   

FROM HEBRON COLONY

 
     

 

First, I would like to introduce myself; my name is John Burns and I am originally from Florence, SC.  I need to give thanks to God for the honor and privilege of being asked to write this testimony for you today.

                                                                

When I look back, I can see that God has had his hand on me since I was a child, even when I was too blind to see.

 

I was born and raised by two wonderful Christian parents.  As a small boy, they certainly made sure I was at church and exposed to God’s word.  They were always certain of what God wanted for their lives.  But for me, God’s love was something I would not truly understand until years later in my life.  However, in looking back, I only “knew” who Jesus was; I didn’t “know” Jesus.

 

As the years went by, I graduated high school and went in the service. I then met and married a beautiful young woman.  In the early part of 2001, I had a shoulder operation and felt the effects of pain pills for the first time, never knowing that an addiction would lay dormant in me for the next few years.

 

In 2004 I started taking pain pills again on a recreational basis, unaware I had just awakened a demon that would control my life for the next 10 years.  During that decade of turmoil, I lost my wife in a divorce, turned my back completely on God and lost everything else I had worked for.

 

In January 2013, still blind to the truth of Jesus, I admitted myself into a 28 day secular rehab thinking I was strong enough to beat this thing on my own.  Well let me tell you…oh, how wrong I was!  Not even a week out of the secular rehab, I was taking pills again. I fell further than I ever thought I could fall, basically homeless and working only to get high.  In early 2014, I was completely broken; and I knew then that the only one who could help me back up was God.  I asked Jesus to please forgive me and to please help me.  And right then he started His transformation in me. 

 

I arrived at Hebron on March 8, 2014 with a hunger for God’s word that I couldn’t explain.  Over the course of the next 22 weeks I spent here, I studied and learned God’s word and finally understood his love for me by sending his only Son Jesus who died for me and my sins.

 

I now continue to study God’s word every day, knowing that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer!  God has blessed me to where I am now living in Boone, NC with a good job at a local business.  From where I was less than a year ago to where I am now, I can truly and honestly say, JESUS SAVES!

 

He has pulled me from the pits of hell and has set me on solid ground. He continues to bless me day after day!  Thank you Jesus for your mighty work!

 

John Burns

Graduated 5/17/14