Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Up From Hell
The following "witness" was given at the Diocesan Convention in Great Falls, Montana. Teresa's presentation "electrified" the convention. I share it here with her permission.I hope some of these words may help another soul "on the way"
From Addiction to Freedom
My name is Teresa Scheie and I am proud and grateful member of St. James Episcopal Church in Bozeman. Freedom in Christ Ministries means a great deal to me because it would mean that more people like myself would be reached.
Five years ago I was in the deepest darkest depths of hell addicted to heroin, prescription narcotic medication, and methamphetamine. I wanted so badly to either end my life or end the madness so I chose to pick up the phone and call alcohol and drugs services of Gallatin County. In october 2012, after 12 years of complete and utter madness I admitted myself to Rimrock treatment facility in Billings Montana. Due to some legal issues in July of 2013 I was incarcerated in Gallatin County. during my stay.
One Monday morning I heard the guards announce "morning devotions" , and so without hesitation I went. I was surprised to finally get to meet a woman I had known of for years, The Reverend Roxanne Klingensmith. She had worked with several of my friends and those friends had successfully survived drug and alcohol addiction and went on with her mentorship to redeem their lives and completely turn themselves around. I came to Roxanne that morning in a state of surrender.
I had had that God experience, so I had come to believe, but just didn't know where to go with it. Roxanne played a Rob Bell program that morning called Breathe. It was just what I needed to hear. I was fragile and vulnerable and in one breath Roxanne helped to put the Lord back into my broken soul. She helped me see that the Lord was living in me and that God was sanctifying me. She told me to forgive myself because God had already forgiven me. it was the first time I felt free in many long years. I asked if I could join her survivors group when I was released from jail so after 7 months I was released and she graciously accepted me. The rest is history!
I have been attending Saint James for two years this will be my third year. I was confirmed by our Bishop, the Rt. Reverend Franklin Brookhart onof this year. I get to do many great things with the church. It is my calling.
I am alive and well completely; body and souly by the grace of God. All the guilt and shame from my past. All the wrong that I did has been forgiven. With the help of the clergy and the many wonderful people at Saint James, they taught me to ask God's forgiveness and know that I am forgiven, to pray for help to make it through each day, not in regret of the past, but thankful for the opportunity to make a change in my life. I realize that I am God's miracle and have the rest of my life to let God work through me to reach others. Thank you and God Bless!