Celebrating Jennifer H.
Gilgal’s First 2020 Graduate
Hi, my Name is Jennifer H.
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!