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I Love Life: I was Addicted to Men, Booze, Gambling

Cindy, a Sioux Falls woman, was addicted to men, booze and gambling for a long, long time.

“I was born into a dysfunctional family with a lot of hang-ups in life. One of them was men. As a child, I was abused and I think that gave me a false sense of what love really is. I would fall in love with men over the years and then all of a sudden I would be involved in abusive relationships. I don’t think I gave up on men. I just realized it was the wrong kind of love. When I found the love of Jesus, I finally understood what love was. I’m not against men. I’m in a different place now. If a true relationship would come my way, I would understand it more.”

Early on in life, Cindy’s life was out of control.

“I became pregnant at 14 years old and again at 19. I made a decision to keep my children. I choose to keep my children and raise them. I was basically a child raising children.”

Over time, Cindy’s addictions worsened.

“I was hooked on alcohol and other substances for many years. I also had a very big gambling addiction and as a result– I was thousands of dollars in debt. Between the gambling and alcohol—I was a broken woman.”

That’s when Cindy’s sordid past caught up with her!

“I ended up getting arrested and thrown in jail. My life was really a mess.”

While behind bars, Cindy gradually began her walk with Jesus.

“The Lord was telling me ‘please don’t do this’ and I just ignored Him. Honestly, I always did have God in my life. But, I never listened to Him. I always felt I knew better. Given time I finally understood I could have it my way or the Lord’s way.”

Once released from jail, Cindy joined Celebrate Recovery—a Bible based support group.

“The Lord just opened my eyes. I can’t believe the doors that He has opened. I began to understand some of the things that happened to me. I had so many hurts in my life. I had a grandson that was murdered. I had a brother that took him life. All these events fueled my addictions. But, the Lord just kind of opened my eyes and made me understand that I could be forgiven and I could forgive other people. I don’t judge other people. I now understand where they’re coming from now. He has given me the wisdom and the knowledge to deal with life.”

So, how is Cindy’s life today?

“I have hope! I also have love in my life. I have found the greatest love of all! I go to Him when I have a problem through prayer, meditation and scriptures, He will give me answers. Everything in my life is so good. My relationship with my children, grandchildren, my parents, brothers and siblings—all those things have changed. Even my relationships at work are better. When I start to get some of the feelings of the past, the Lord keeps me calm. I no longer get overwhelmed and stressed out. I really do love my life!”

If you’re going through tough times and don’t think life is worth living, Cindy offers a message of hope and inspiration!

“Celebrate Recovery is a wonderful program that is based on 12 steps and the Bible. I now know my higher power is Jesus Christ. The Lord provides us with so many blessings. Now I can see them working in my life. Celebrate Recovery has helped me understand the Lord and myself.”

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