Shawnda, 43

Shawnda, 43

Meet Shawnda…

I became addicted because it made me comfortable in my own skin.

Shawnda, 43
Incarcerated: 2 years
Housed: Wyoming Women’s Center, Lusk
It didn’t help that my mother died when I was 10, she was shot by my step dad, then he shot himself. I saw the aftermath and it traumatized me for life. I grew up institutionalized, in group homes, juvenile detention centers and foster homes. I never belonged anywhere. I was shown how to alter my mind with many different chemicals. I became addicted because it made me comfortable in my own skin. I had my first baby at 17, and still knew nothing about God. The moment I realized there was a God, I was fasting with the Arapaho people and a pipe. My son’s father prepared me and told me to “pray through that pipe.” For three days I fasted and prayed. I thought “Why can’t I just pray to God myself, why do I have to go through the pipe?” That night it was raining, and I got rained on in that teepee. I remember covering my head and crying. I asked God why I was raised so poor, and to help me get ahead for the sake of my kids. Then lightning struck right outside my teepee. My vow was fulfilled. I got a nice apartment and my children their home, but I messed it up with alcohol. I was the driver of the car wreck where my two babies passed away. I passed out at the wheel under the influence and in the heat. I went to prison. Then their father tragically overdosed and died. I got out of prison, tried to go to college, built a family, and lived a straight life. Yet again, I allowed alcohol to destroy everything. No one ever says: when you give your life to Christ it’s going to be easy, but why has it been such a rollercoaster for me? I’m so tired of the ups and downs. I’m doing a 15 year sentence for aggravated robbery under the influence. I violated rich peoples’ homes because I was envious. I stole a vehicle with a gun and jewelry in a bag. Getting money to shoot up dope was all that was on my mind. The family I made is very unforgiving to me, it breaks my heart everyday and it’s been two years. I know He’s a forgiving God. The question is: will I ever forgive myself?

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