Hello! My name is Robin Parker and today I am sharing my testimony with you guys. I pray that this story touches you in some way. We all have faced addiction in our families in one way or the other. I pray that this story inspires you or your loved ones that there is hope!

I grew up in some rough circumstances. My mother never worked. We relied on welfare and disability checks to get by each month. It was me and my two sisters. My mother had a husband and a boyfriend. We all lived in the same household and were taught that that was a normal thing.

My mother’s husband was a wonderful man. He took care of us and was basically the only stable thing that we had. My mother’s boyfriend, however, was not. He put my siblings and me through mental and physical abuse our whole childhood. I had to stand in the gap for my sisters. I had to be their protector, mother, whatever they needed. I found myself being his target quite often. And that was OK for me. I took it so my sisters didn’t have to.

From the beginning of my life, this is how a grown life was portrayed to me. Being promiscuous was normal. Ignoring your children as a mother was normal. Abusing government assistance was normal. Partying, drinking, doing drugs was normal.

I remember one day we were playing outside in the trailer park. A white van pulled up. It said Victory Worship Center. They asked all the kids if they wanted to go to Vacation Bible School. It was my escape! There I met the love of Jesus for the very first time. There I got a glimpse of what normal really was.

I stayed with that church until I was 12, when my mother’s husband passed. The only man that had ever showed me compassion and acceptance was gone. I turned from God at that point. I was filled with so many questions and anger and had no one to talk to it about because my person was gone. So, I turned to the world for my answers.

Fast forward a bit. I was 15 and became pregnant with my first child, but I had no clue on what a normal family looked like. I look back now and know that I had so many things that I hadn’t dealt with. I had all this trauma, this hurt just building inside of me.

At the age of 18, I became out of control. I start drinking with friends to feel accepted. That quickly escalated to smoking weed. I left my first husband soon after that and abandoned my child. I wanted to party more than be a mom or wife.

I soon met my second ex-husband, who introduced me to opioids. I was hooked the first time I used. Our marriage was terrible. The only thing beautiful I gained were my two children. I soon lost my first daughter. I signed all rights over to her father because I thought she was just better off without me.

My marriage was falling apart. We were addicts who would hit each other, scream and fight every single day over drugs. Our need for drugs overcame our need for being parents. I decided to leave him, but the drugs had complete control over me.

Let’s do another fast forward. At this point in my life, I am 30. I have lost everything. I lost my job, my home, my vehicle and — the hardest loss of all — my children. The state stepped in and took them. They placed them with other families and said I would never be capable of being their mother.

This is where I completely lost control. I was locked up on multiple occasions. I would get out and stay in trap houses because I had nowhere else to go. You would see me walking the roads, talking to myself with my hair matted together.

 I was broken. I became an empty shell. I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. I wanted to change. I just didn’t know how.

One day, a girl who I had done time with reach out to me on Facebook. She was with a crew in Florida helping with the cleanup from a hurricane. The Lord works in mysterious ways! I just knew in my heart I had to get away, or I would surely die. Six months after being down there something started stirring in my spirit.  

Not long after that, a friend reached out to me on Facebook. He told me that the Lord had laid me on his heart and that Jesus had delivered him. He was no longer the old man, but he was a new man a new creation in Christ.

It was like a lightbulb went off. Suddenly my emotions started to resurface. The need to go back home, build a life with this man, and be a mother to my children became such a burning desire I could barely contain myself. I knew for certain that Jesus sent him to me.

I came back home. We bought a camper for $500 and started our journey. All we knew was to trust in God with all our hearts. I remember I would cry out to the Lord every day to bring my babies back to me. Six months is all it took. And it wasn’t some crazy process either. I just prayed — that’s all. I showed up for a Zoom court meeting, and they signed them over. I then went to my son’s room and said: “Haven, I did it! I have custody.”

He said: “Mom, while you were down there Florida, I prayed and prayed you would come back and be a mom to me.”

In that moment I knew it was his prayer that saved my life. His faith set me free. I thought Jesus had forgotten about me but, in fact, I had forgotten about him. I was so ashamed for the longest time to even hold my head up in public. But I am a new woman in Christ. A woman who no longer sits in shame and regret.

 In this story, Jesus saw three broken people and transformed us all into something beautiful. I found a church soon after. We all rededicated our lives. I’ve been able to witness my babies get saved and baptized. My husband and I were married at that church. We bought our own home three years ago. We have stepped into jail ministry together. My church family has been my rock. Through them the Lord has shown me how to be a great mother, a wonderful wife, a sister and a great friend. The generational curse was broken!

Six years ago, I was delivered from addiction, and I’ve not looked back. Jesus has taken every piece of my brokenness and used it for good. And now He has opened a new door for me to share my story to help UNITE. I get to give back to my community and share hope with others that need it. I get to fight back against this darkness that has taken so much from us.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah  29:11