My name is Sophia. I was born in Fairfield, New Jersey. I am a third born in a family of four kids, two girls and two boys. We were a very happy family who treated each other with a lot of love, consideration and care. My parents were the perfect couple and we were the perfect family. Though my parents struggled financially, they made sure we lacked nothing. During weekends they would both take us out, to the park, swimming and sometimes watch us as we played games.
My dad was a truck driver who worked so hard and made sure we lacked nothing. We rarely saw him, he would come late at night and head to work early in the morning. He used to take a day off every Saturday and that is the only time we would spend time with him. My mum on the other hand was a house wife, she was always at home. She was the one who took us to school, helped us with homework, solve disputes between us, confide our secrets to and of course discipline us.
Untill life canged…
Things were perfect until my eldest sister was in her third year in high school. A bright girl who was always at the top of her class started to change. My mum was called by school administration several times due to her indiscipline. This went on for few months. One afternoon my mum received a call from her friend to go check her at a nearby local hospital. When she got there she received the news that her first born daughter was dead. The cause of the death was drug overdose. Nobody knew she had been using cocaine, this was a shock to everyone. We buried her and we moved on.
Four years after the death of my sister, my brother who was waiting to join college was caught by police with stolen items. He had joined wrong group of friends. He was jailed for six years in prison. This led to relationship between my dad and mum to be broken. My dad shifted all the blame on my mum. ”my job was to provide for the kids, and yours was to instill discipline. You have failed me and the kids. Look what they have turned out one is a thief and the other is dead”. My dad used to tell her all the time. My dad could not take it anymore, she divorced my mum. This was a great loss for her, losing her husband and best friend when she needed him more. Even after divorce she still appeared strong and faced life with courage.
My mum’s responsibilities increased due to divorce. I could see her struggle to provide for us. My dad was no longer in the picture. He completely moved out of our lives. I worked so hard at school so that I could help my mum and my little brother. My hard work finally paid off, I received a letter to join Princeton University to study Architecture. My mum was so happy at least one of her kids will turn out to be great. She was so proud of me and always told my younger brother to follow my steps.
From hero to zero…
Losing my sister, brother and my dad affected me, I was so stresses up. I started drinking alcohol as a way distract myself. My mum being a strong woman of faith was able to move on, but for me I could not. I started to drink only on weekends to drinking from Sunday to Sunday. I joined Princeton University for the first year. After we went on a break, I could not go back to continue with my studies. My drinking habit had gotten worse. I had fallen from a hero to zero.
Whenever I came home late totally drunk, my mum would force me to pray with her. By the time she will be done praying, I would be snoring heavily asleep. The following day I would swear to her I will never drink again, but I would later come late in the night drunk. I would see tears in my mum’s eyes and this would pain me a lot. I wanted to change but I could not just stop because I was an addict. This went on for two years. Through it all, my mum never gave up on me.
A new turn in life…
My life changing moment came on one chilly morning. One Saturday night me and my friends we went into a bar and drunk until it was early Sunday morning. My friends left me, having no money on me I had to walk home. As I headed home my mum saw me as she was headed to church. She decided to first to take me home. As she was trying to get me in the car, one of her fellow church member pulled over and helped me get in the car. My mum took me home and headed to church.
Later that day my mum came with the church member who helped me get in the car. He introduced to me as John. He was an alumni of Princeton University. We talked for the rest of the evening. Then he asked me whether I would like to go for rehabilitation, that was what I was thirsting for. He assured me if successfully go for rehabilitation he will help me get readmitted back to the University. When he was gone my mum confessed to me how she had not slept all night because she was worried about me. She prayed all night for my safety. That was the only night I had failed to go back home.
I started my rehabilitation two weeks after I met John. My mum together with John encouraged me to continue with rehabilitation. They would share with me inspiring and motivating scriptures, then we would pray together. I was not a religious person, I will be inspired for few hours then forget my purpose and went back to drinking. I couldn’t control thirst of alcohol. Whenever my mum asked me whether I had gone back to drinking I would even swear I had never tasted alcohol since I started rehabilitation. This went on for the first two months.
Change came during the third month of my rehabilitation. One night I had a powerful dream. The dream was about overcoming all my problems and becoming a useful person in my community. I saw a writing on a piece of paper written Genesis 20 [a chapter in the Bible]. In the morning I told my mum about the dream. When I told her about Genesis 20 she took her bible and read we read the chapter. The chapter was about God’s promises to Abraham. My mum was quick to insinuate that was God trying to make covenant with me. I ignored her though I knew she might be right. She begged me we go to church but I declined.
Two weeks later my mum organized a prayer meeting at our house because I declined to go to church. I was so angry at my mum because she had not informed me. I slipped through the back door and left the house. That night I came home totally drunk. My lovely mum as always nursed me and prayed as I snored asleep. The dream kept on coming back three times. I was not telling my mum because she was making a big deal from it. The dream affected me so much, at first I never saw anything but when it started to come repeatedly was filled with fear.
It was on a Sunday morning when I dreamt the same dream. When I woke up it was around 10:30 AM. I was fed up with the dream and I would have done anything for the dream to go away. I remembered how my mum had told me, I should go back to church. I hurriedly left for church. I entered church and sat near the door. I sat there just in case I felt uncomfortable I left quietly. John saw me and he gave me a smile, I felt a little comfortable. It was sermon time, pastor was preaching. He was preaching about how God loves us, how he sent his only son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, the sermon moved me so much.
Do you want to get saved?
At the end of the sermon pastor asked whether anyone want to get saved. Nobody was getting saved that day. He asked again and again. I could not take it anymore, I raised my hand up. He called me in front of the congregation. That is the moment my mum saw me, she couldn’t believe it. I saw tears of joy flowing on her cheeks. She was called to come witness me getting born again. The whole church stood up and started to pray for me.
I went home as a feeling like the happiest person ever. I was free and reenergized to take on the challenges in my life. Whatever I was lacking in my life I felt like I found it. I found purpose in my life through prayers. The urge and thirst to drink alcohol went away and was excited to see the next day unlike before. From that day I never tasted alcohol again. I joined bible study where my faith was strengthened. Few months later I joined church choir where I started as a junior member to now rising to assistant choir leader.
A big change in life
I went successfully for rehabilitation for six months, I came out as a born again Christian ready to take the world. The following year I was readmitted to Princeton University. During my time at Princeton, I went for missionary work in Africa and India. I also visited more than ten rehabilitation centers as a guest speaker to encourage drug addicts. I worked so hard to graduate at the top of my class with first class Honors in bachelor of Arts.
I learnt a lot about my experiences. My mum was able to lose her daughter, son and her husband and still managed to move because he believed in Jesus Christ. She used to get her courage through prayers and reading the bible. If I knew about Jesus Christ before, I too would have probably moved on. After I became an alcohol addict and I was taken to rehab, I still went back to drinking. But once I accepted Jesus Christ into my life and became born again, this is the time I was to stop drinking. I found peace and purpose in Jesus Christ.
Today am a happily married woman with three kids. I am a staunch Christian, and I am the assistant choir leader at my church. I am also involved in missionary work preaching about Jesus Christ to those who do not know Him yet. Recently I started my own company called Royal Builders. I still visit rehabilitation centers to encourage them as guest speaker. God changes people once you allow him into your life.
Do you want to learn more about the offer of Jesus Christ that changed the life of Sophia?