Machelle’s story starts at the age of four when she was sexually molested by two men that lived in her neighborhood. These events really “messed her up” mentally. She doesn’t remember how long this went on but she remembers how much it affected her. A few years later her parents divorced; she admits the news was a shock to her because she never saw her parents argue. After the divorce, Machelle and her mom moved to a new city. She was 11 years old, starting junior high in a new school trying to fit in and make new friends. The group of kids she met introduced her to marijuana and cigarettes; this was just the beginning of her drug use.
By 13 years old she was rebelling, doing drugs, and eventually landed in juvenile hall. A year later her mother gave up her parental rights because she could no longer deal with Machelle’s lifestyle. Her mother’s rejection was one of the hardest things she had to go through, and it’s still hard for her to talk about. When she was moved from the juvenile hall to the orphan ward, Machelle tried to commit suicide.
When she was released at 17 she went right back to her old lifestyle of drinking and drugs, She got married and became pregnant. However, she was still drinking and smoking marijuana through her pregnancy. Machelle says she would have physical fights with her husband. One day when she was pregnant with her second child, her husband punched her and she knew she had to leave.
Soon after giving birth to her second child, Machelle met a man that introduced her to heroin, and her life went into a downward spiral as she battled heroin addiction. She could no longer take care of her two sons, so they went to live with their grandmother.
She spent a year in jail on drug charges and as soon as she was released she went back to using heroin; she was back in jail only two weeks after being released. During those two weeks out, Machelle got pregnant again, and just two weeks after she gave birth to her son she started doing drugs again. She got pregnant a fourth time and this time Machelle was doing speed through her pregnancy, This resulted in both of her kids being taken away as soon as she gave birth.
Machelle was an addict, and she needed help. She ended up in a women’s home that helped her stay off drugs for 10 years. She was part of a church, and she even got her two kids back. Machelle admits that even though she was in a church for 10 years, she didn’t know God. She remarried but within nine months of her marriage she started doing speed again, and once again became addicted to drugs. She ended up serving eight years in prison for arson because there was an explosion in her meth lab.
In prison she continued using drugs. While in prison, her firstborn son was writing letters to her. In one of the letters he told her that he found the Lord and that he turned his life around. “Reading the letter broke me,” she says. Machelle admits that was the turning point in her life. She wanted to be different for her other kids, so this time she committed her life to Christ and she has not turned back since.
God has blessed her with a new life, He has freed her from her addiction, and the Lord has restored her relationship with her four kids. Machelle serves the Lord through the homeless ministry and in her church. She wants people to know that “there is nothing you can do–past, present or future–that will make God love you any less.” She knows that God is waiting with open arms for those who turn back to Him. Even though her life has been full of trials and sadness, Machelle has found God’s grace and restoration.