If you come through the doors of Shine there is every chance you’ll find me chatting away to a client as I cut or colour their hair. I trained to be a hairdresser years ago. But I can honestly say I am learning new things every day – about the never-ending goodness of God.
Two and a half years ago I knew my life really needed to change. I’d been a heroin addict for 17 years, on methadone for 13 years and on all sort of anti-depressants and anti-psychotic drugs. I was taking uppers to wake up, downers to go to sleep and other stuff to get through the day. Things got so bad that I was in a mental hospital with drug-induced psychosis, and my parents were told I would spend the rest of my life in there.
I was in and out of violent relationships and I was involved in all sorts of crime and theft to feed my drug habit. On top of all this, I’d lost my son at 16 months old because I couldn’t cope with being a mother at that point. I was even told I had a personality disorder. So I was trapped in a place of shame and guilt.
Basically, my life was a mess. I got to the point where I got to thinking I only had three options – either kill myself, kill somebody else or be killed. One way or the other, I was going to die.
But it all changed one night – the night I heard about Jesus. I was hearing all these testimonies, one after another about how he had changed people’s lives. One person even testified to being healed from a personality disorder. So that night I made up my mind. I went to the front and said, ‘If you can do it for these people, then please do it for me because I can’t live like this any more.’
Within 12 hours I was on the Victory Outreach recovery programme where I spent the next 18 months getting my life sorted out. The church runs a rehab with homes for men and women and a structured programme which gives people from broken backgrounds a new home and somewhere to belong.
More than anything, it’s been about getting closer to God who I knew could change my life. And he has. He’s given me everything back that the devil stole from me. I hadn’t worked as a hairdresser for years. Now he’s given me a job doing what I love.
He’s set me free from drugs, healed me several times over and reconciled me with my family. I’ve now got a good relationship with my parents and I’m starting to get to know my son. This Christmas was the first Christmas I was able to spend at home with him since he was a baby and the first time I’ve ever seen him open his presents. I just thought, ‘God, you’ve been so good to me.’
If you’d told me a couple of years ago that all this would have changed, I’d have called you a liar because I never thought that could happen to me. I didn’t think I was worthy of that. But if he can do all this within just two and a half years, what’s he going to do with me in the future?
Shine is an amazing place. Business is growing and I’m getting the chance to be a mentor for the new apprentices coming through the salon. I feel like we’re trailblazers, investing for the future.
God’s using me, too. He’s given me a real heart to reach out to people who don’t know him who come into the salon. I can testify to his goodness. I want other people to hear me sharing my testimony and be asking God, if you can do it for her, will you do it for me too?’
It’s amazing to see that and to think that God could use someone like me to be a blessing to other people.
This guy's speaking at Proximity 2014. Yes, this guy Next Post:
Andy Hawthorne – 'Six Things Only Jesus Can Do'