“The peace and the joy that I have had in the last eight months, I haven’t had since I was a kid. And I know that’s nothing that I have any part in, because I tried to get clean on my own. But I couldn’t do it on my own.”

Kelsey grew up witnessing the abusive behavior of her biological father. He was an alcoholic, a drug addict, and a sex addict. This environment affected her deeply, leading to unresolved anger and trauma. When Kelsey was eight, her parents divorced. But, a few years later, things looked up when Kelsey’s mother remarried. Her stepfather, a police officer, was a good man, but he represented authority, which Kelsey rebelled against due to her negative experiences. Kelsey’s addiction started as an adult when she shattered her ankle, leading to an emergency surgery. She was prescribed Percocets for the pain but found it did more than alleviate her physical pain—it made her feel free of burdens for the first time in many, many years. “I could breathe again!”

Initially, Kelsey maintained a facade of normalcy, balancing her excessive use of prescription drugs with her responsibilities. As prescription drugs became more challenging to obtain, Kelsey transitioned to heroin and later to fentanyl. Her addiction spiraled out of control. She became distant from her family, lost her career, and accumulated a lengthy arrest record.

Kelsey’s addiction led to numerous legal issues, including identity theft, where she used her sister’s name during arrests, adding to her criminal record and causing family strife. Her turning point came during her incarceration.

“I finally got to the point that I was like, God just wanted me to sit down and realize what I was doing. And that’s why I ended up in jail, he put me in jail, because I needed to be there to look at my situation and what I was doing and what I needed to do differently.”

During incarceration, she began to reflect on her life choices and started engaging in faith-based activities in jail, which planted the seeds for her eventual transformation. After being released, Kelsey’s parents brought her to the Gospel Rescue Mission. Initially reluctant due to its reputation as a homeless shelter, she soon discovered its comprehensive and faith-based recovery program, which was unlike any she had experienced in her numerous previous rehab attempts.

But Kelsey found that “the staff here is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my entire life.” The environment at Gospel Rescue Mission, characterized by a supportive community and staff, significantly impacted Kelsey. Her time at the Gospel Rescue Mission was characterized by deepening her faith and a newfound sense of peace and purpose. She embraced the mission’s biblical teachings and community support, which was pivotal in her recovery.

“Don’t give up until the miracle happens. If you give it enough time to let the miracle happen, it will happen.”

Kelsey’s journey is ongoing, with efforts to rebuild trust with her family, especially her daughters and sister. She acknowledges her past but is committed to her sobriety and moving forward in her new life in Christ.