Celebrating Jennifer H.
Gilgal’s First 2020 Graduate
It is hard for me to believe how quickly the time has flown since coming to Gilgal. In the beginning, I felt like completing a year was an impossible feat. And truthfully, it has only been in the last two months that I really buckled down and “got” what God was attempting to teach me all along.
You see, there are a lot of myths out there about addiction. The truth is it can happen to anyone at any time – and I am living proof of that.
I was raised on Christian principles and even attended a Christian college where I received a nursing degree and became a registered nurse. I practiced nursing for 17 years until my license was restricted due to my alcohol addiction.
It’s funny that you can know a lot about God and still know nothing. I was in the bible every day at nursing school. I did the required bible studies. But I didn’t know God personally.
Before coming to Gilgal, my life had spiraled out of control. I came in feeling alone and defeated. It became one bad choice after another that caused me to lose everything – my nursing license, my self-respect, my high-rise apartment in Buckhead and my relationships with my family. Ultimately I was literally sleeping on the streets of Atlanta wondering how I ever fell so far.
Today I know where I went wrong – I left God out. I never made Him the center because I never really had a relationship with Him. But today I do.
It’s been a year on this emotional roller coaster called Gilgal and its only been in the last couple of months that I finally realized that Jesus has been holding my hand the entire time. He has never left me.
I thank God for the ability to notice and appreciate little things and find meaning and lessons in each of them. This morning during praise and worship I noticed my graduation sign sitting on the stage that a peer had made for me. It was so sweet that I almost cried. I thought, ‘Wow. I am really graduating! I am almost there.’
And then as soon as I left Gilgal to get on the train to go to work, I encountered a man who was obviously drunk. I prayed for him and prayed for myself; thanking God that alcohol is no longer a part of my life. I don’t have to live like that any longer.
After graduation, I am moving into Gilgal’s Phase 3 house. My hope is that I can solidify all the good habits I’ve been learning to better prepare me to live on my own. I want to get my nursing license back, and get my career helping others on track.
I also want to enjoy a healthy relationship with my family that has been estranged for far too long. I see myself living independently here in Atlanta with my dog.
Change happens at Gilgal and it has happened in me. I want to thank all of the people who have invested in me this past year. You have all been a part of my Gilgal story and I am eternally grateful. Please pray for me that I allow God to continue the work in me that He has begun. He’s been so faithful! He will do it as I let Him!
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of Jennifer’s journey. We are so proud of her accomplishments.
Change Happens at Gilgal. Thank you for being a part of it!