My name is Sarah Laing, and I’m from Detroit, Michigan. I grew up in a religious home where both of my parents worked in ministry. But, our life behind closed doors did not testify to that.
My father was sexually abusive to my sister and me, and my mother was verbally and physically abusive to all four of us kids. It often made me feel lonely, scared, shameful, and longing for love. I always sought out attention from men as I got older.
When I was 12, I was already fully promiscuous with grown men. I got pregnant at 15 and had a daughter when I was 16.
I moved in with her dad in fear that she would grow up like I did. That living situation did not end well. There was physical abuse, and I had to leave. I went back home, and, at that time, my father ended up in jail for the previous abuse in my childhood. Social services took us kids from my mother and placed us into foster care. My baby was taken from me and placed into foster care as well because I couldn’t care for her.
I aged out of the system at 18 and moved back in with my mother to get a job, and tried to work on getting my baby back.
I met a man who was about 10 years older than me. I fell in love with him because he showed me attention. He was an alcoholic. We moved in with his mom, and I eventually got my baby back when she was 2 years old. He and I started having kids every 2 years. He drank every day, and we fought all the time. He started using pain pills and eventually I started using them, too.
I was 28 years old when my addiction began. I started using cocaine and hanging out in Detroit, not caring about myself or my kids. I started withdrawing when I didn’t have pills, so I went to a detox center. That is where I learned about heroin. I got out of the detox center and stayed clean for 2 weeks.
I couldn’t shake the thoughts of using and told my husband about it. Of course, he knew some people. I ended up trying heroin by injecting it, and I instantly fell in love with the feeling.
I became a full blown IV drug addict who lived with my husband and kids in his mom’s house. I was empty, broken, hopeless. Deep down I wanted to be a good parent, but I was too selfish and lost to get help.
I moved to Kentucky to get clean, which lasted for about 2 years. I never changed on the inside, though. I was still bitter, hopeless, and wanted to chase drugs. I eventually met new people and started using Suboxone. I started going to a clinic when I found out the government would pay for it.
I started shooting and selling the Suboxone and began using meth, which caused me to lose my mind. I also lost my kids due to my drug use and ended up back at my mom’s, walking the streets completely lost, broken, and wanting to die.
I ended up in jail in June 2018. I was released with an ankle monitor and went straight to the dope man. My ankle monitor was cut off, and I ran from the cops and ended up on life support two times that summer.
The second time I came off life support, a nurse in the hospital showed me the love of Christ. She spoke life over me, prayed with me, and encouraged and loved on me. She saw me as Christ saw me, but I got out and used again.
I eventually landed in Laurel County Detention Center to serve a year in the county jail. I went to church services, and Hope City staff came in to do the service. For the first time, I saw hope and a real life. I started praying for the Lord to put me in a place where people loved Him and around people who wanted to be different.
I came to Hope City on Jan. 16, 2019, and the people were different. They smiled all the time and always said “I love you” – two things I never knew.
The Lord started dealing with me and working in my life. I started getting visits with my kids after no contact since May 2018.
Three weeks before I completed treatment, I got custody back of all 5 of my kids. The court had stated that “some supervised visits” were my best shot at reunification, but my God had a different plan!
I have been at Hope City for almost 5 years, and today I have my mind back, my own home, my children, and I earned my GED. I am the court/community court liaison for our facility. I am a cheer coach at my daughter’s school and am currently in college for Criminal Justice. I want to be an alternative sentencing worker and help people just like myself.
Most importantly, I have a living relationship with the Lord. Only because of Him is my life different today. Jesus has been so good to me, and He saw fit to allow me to be a part of what He is doing.