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Zack’s Journey

Drinking was a normal thing throughout my life. My mother drank on a regular basis and it always seemed to be controlled. She also drank and drove pretty much everywhere we went on the weekends. If I had a sleep over at a friends you could bet your life a Natural Lite traveled with us in the cup holder. It was normal to me and never seemed to cause any problems. She worked hard. We had a nice big house and never wanted for much. Plus, I was one of the “cool kids” because she didn’t mind us teenagers drinking right alongside of her.

Unfortunately, the normalcy of drinking and drinking and driving flowed right into my life as an adult. By my mid-thirties I already had multiple DUIs and still chose to drink. At 43 I was facing a long prison sentence for an accident I caused because of drinking and driving. Thankfully, God was with us all that day and no one died; however, I was full of despair and hopelessness. At my lowest I pulled into my garage one night and closed the garage door without turning my car off. That was the first time I heard His voice. He spoke to me and told me everything was going to work out for my good. I turned the car off and I began my new journey with Him. I have always been a believer but after reevaluating my relationship with God I realized it had been a one way conversation far too long.

After that, I did end up with a ten year prison sentence. In May, 2017 I walked in and the gates closed behind me. I knew I would not survive without putting all of my faith in Him. Within three months I started an amazing class which helped change the trajectory of my sentence. I learned so much about myself and why I continuously made poor choices. When the class was over I wanted more. I wanted to absorb all of the information I could about me and the fact I was never alone and was truly loved by God.

Eventually, I ended up meeting some volunteers who became mentors and their guidance and love helped me flourish. By the time I walked out of prison I had written three children’s books which I am working with a publisher on. I was teaching in the Therapeutic Community within the prison helping other women learn their past does not determine their future. Also, two months after my release I took the CPRS training and became certified in March, 2022. I am nowhere close to being flawless, and I still make mistakes; but I am so much better than I was before. I use to say “my unfortunate incarceration” but now I refer to my time there as my “fortunate one.” Not many people have the opportunity to spend every day, all day growing and learning how to be better and I got to do it for four and one half years. What a blessing that has been.

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