Mercy Hill Church - From Vodka to Victory: A Testimony from Hannah’s Haven Blog

From Vodka to Victory: A Testimony from Hannah’s Haven

Mercy Hill is honored to intentionally serve alongside some amazing ministries through Community Group serve events called Serve Week. Through these events, we have seen members engage deeply and even move beyond an event to relational investment. Hannah’s Haven, a substance addiction recovery ministry, has been a joy to partner with. Our partnership with Hannah’s Haven gives us the opportunity to show love to ladies like Carla. Please take time to read her story below.

Addiction. It is not discriminate. It doesn’t ask questions, it doesn’t look at skin color or how much money you have or don’t have. It can creep into one’s life at any time and take over. That’s what it did to me. Growing up I came from a Christian family, I made good grades and had awesome friends. I married in 1997 and we move to Alaska, very far away from my home and everything that I’ve ever known. It was exciting and different. We were blessed to learn the news that we were expecting twins! We were thrilled with the news, however we found out very early on that the boys had a condition called twin to twin transfusion syndrome. At 32 weeks we lost one of our precious boys. I became very caught up in being a new mom, I loved everything about it, but I had some underlying issues within myself where I did not deal with the loss of our child. I became very depressed and gained a lot of weight. I hated myself. I sought medical advice where I was prescribed antidepressants, but they didn’t help me. After battling my weight for years and going on every diet under the sun I sought the help of a weight-loss surgeon where I had gastric bypass. I thought this was going to be the answer to all of my problems. If I look good I can feel good. The surgery was a success, I lost all the weight but I continued to battle in my head and in my heart about different struggles that I was having.  

I went into a liquor store one night and bought a bottle of vodka. I took it home and started a very ugly dark secret of hiding and lying and isolating from my friends and my family. I stopped doing things that I loved, I stopped reaching out to people, I stopped doing everything that I wanted to matter to me. My family noticed that something wasn’t right and they started looking for signs. I entered into my first 28 day rehab, in June of 2014. I went in knowing that I would go back into the bottle. I pretended and I lied, and I did not take it seriously. I did what I thought [was] a pretty good job at covering up and I went to AA. I had people convinced that I was healed. I did well in this role for about five months until one night my son asked me for a sip of my sweet tea, and I told him that he couldn’t have any. He asked me why? Little did he know that glass was full of vodka with a touch of tea to disguise what I was really drinking. Entered my second 30 day rehab in California. This time, I took it a little more serious, however I failed miserably shortly after my return back to Alaska.  

My family was done with my shenanigans, my husband was at his wits end, and my son Logan was done with me. My husband told me he didn’t know who I was anymore and a plane ticket was bought for me to come to North Carolina. I entered the doors of Hannah’s Haven on February 6, 2015 and I have to say, I was in utter denial about my problem. I was angry and bitter and vile. I did not want to be in this home with strangers away from my family. At Hannah’s Haven you eat, sleep, drink, and Breath Jesus Christ all day long. I thought everyone in the home was crazy, how is Jesus going to make me stop wanting to drink vodka? The first thing I did before coming into Hannah’s Haven was making it my mission to get that bottle every day. Now I have no way to do so and I was angry about it.  

After about five months I surrendered. I stopped fighting and I started listening. These people in this home really loved me and cared about me, and wanted to help me. Hannah’s Haven was the first place I openly admitted that I had a drinking problem. I had many hard battles come up against me while I was in the program. I was served divorce papers on top of trying to get sober. I learned that my son had been admitted to the hospital, because he was having a hard time dealing with what was going on with his mom. I learned that my husband had moved on in a new relationship, and had remarried. It was all very hard to accept. Miss Judy kept telling me to trust in God. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5-6. That is what I had to do, I had to keep trusting in the Lord to get me through all of my struggles. I was in a Hannah’s Haven for a little over 11 months and I left on December 19, 2016. I went back to my hometown of Goldsboro where I moved in with my family, which I am truly grateful that I had a safe environment to come back to. They helped me get established and on my feet. I was able to save a lot of money by living with my parents, and I truly owe them a lot. I found a home church and a mentor, and I reach out to people when I need help now. I am currently employed at an accounting firm in Goldsboro and I also have a part-time job waiting tables. God has opened some pretty awesome doors for me and it is only by His grace that I am sober today. I graduated from the program February 11, 2017. I was given a certificate of completion from Hannah’s Haven, a Teen Challenge program. I’d like to say now when I put my feet on the floor every day it is not to get a bottle of vodka, that’s not what I think about anymore, I think about what God has done for me and how He is continuing to direct my life. Jesus is the only way, He is the only truth, and I would not make it without Him. I am so glad that I stayed at Hannah’s Haven. It is an absolutely phenomenal program, and I will always have a family there, and a home to go to… to visit.  

Hannah’s Haven is hosting their annual banquet September 25th at Lawndale Baptist Church in Greensboro from 6:30-8:30pm. Tickets are only $20 per person and the money being raised helps to support the ministry. To purchase tickets, please contact Jonathan Spangler at jspangler@mercyhillgso.com.