Happy and Healthy
Today I am smiling, happy and healthy… well healthier than I had been. Because of past traumas and mental health issues that were not addressed properly, I headed down a path of self-destructive behaviors and life altering addictions. I started out with smoking Marijuana and consuming alcohol at an increasingly alarming rate, and I continued to make poor choices. I continued hanging around with the wrong crowd. Eventually, I ended up turning to harder street drugs: Heroin and Meth, was headed down a life of crime, and stuck in the revolving doors- in and out- of jails.
It wasn’t until April 29th, 2014, the last time I was arrested, that my life would take an abrupt turn, starting down a path I was unaware existed for me. On June 3rd, 2014 (while incarcerated) I got down on my knees and I prayed to God… To help me and that I couldn’t do it on my own anymore. Since that day, my life has been different and on the mend. I have been a full-time student at Rogue Community College in Grants Pass, Or since the Summer term of 2014 working towards a degree in Electronics Technology, as well as, an Associates of Arts Oregon Transfer degree. I have been excelling in school, and it’s pretty amazing what happens when I apply myself.
Earlier this year I had to come to terms with some trauma from my past and identify it for what it really was. I am a survivor of sex trafficking. This past July I was the first of many survivors to be photographed for the Ride My Road campaign that is raising funds and awareness for survivors of sex trafficking through the Rebecca Bender Initiative (RBI). RBI facilitates an online program called Elevate, which is a 16 week class where sister survivors meet to heal and grow. I graduated the Elevate program April 4th, 2016. Many doors have been opened along this journey of sobriety, and walking with God. I have spoken to youth groups, at women’s retreats and church events sharing my testimony in hopes to help others who are going through a rough season. What I have learned, is that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” – Philippians 4:13
I am also a Life Coach at Hearts With A Mission in Grants Pass, where I get the honor of working with the homeless youth population. I get to be to them who I wish I had when I was their age. Loving them and letting them know that they are so much more than what bad stuff is happening or has happened to them. I am so much more than the words that were used to describe me based on past choices and experiences. Today I am becoming more and more the woman I was always intended to be. I am a dog mom, a student, a watercolorist, a mentor, a daughter of Christ, and a positive, contributing member of my community.
I have been told “No!” a lot, and I’m here to tell you that’s just a word. I am proof that you can write your own life story and become who you were always meant to be by never giving up.
- Shannon Redline-
To hear more of my story or to book a speaking engagement email me: firstname.lastname@example.org