Terry N - Tillamook, OR
 
My name is Terry N and I am from Tillamook, Oregon.  I am 44 years old and the youngest among five brothers.  My early years of learning about God were very confusing to me because I thought my family represented all that being a Christian was supposed to be like.  It was typical for my family to go to church together on Sunday but as soon as it was over, start smoking, drinking and verbally abusing each other as soon as we were out of the church house.  In my own child-like way, I would try to understand God, but it seemed as though the closer I got to really know Him, the more I felt like my issues in life kept me from getting any closer to Him.  An act of violent abuse on the part of a family member, cost me the permanent and complete loss of eyesight in my right eye.  Due to the  growing amounts of physical, verbal and sexual abuse, which was rampant within my family, the State of Oregon stepped in and removed my two younger brothers as well as myself from the only home I had known.  We were then placed into a foster care setting where all three of us were further abused physically.  However, my two older brothers were big enough to be allowed to stay at home with my parents.
 
Looking over my history it seems that I endured levels of abusive behavior from the time I was five and continuing on for over 12 years through my mid-teens.  Each time I encountered some form of violence or abuse, I would try to think of ways I could somehow get away.  At 17, I made a very bad choice while under the influence, which resulted in a serious felony charge.  The consequences (beyond the poor victim himself), was that I was arrested, remanded to an adult court and over time, committed to a mental hospital.  This was a change in my life that I hadn’t foreseen and although I felt free from all the hurt and pain caused in my past…to be in this setting was such a dark and lonely time for me.  Real depression set in all around me and I attempted to take my life.  Then the routine of medications began as I was treated with anti-depressants.  These had some weird side-effects which I hated.  I would hide the meds and later flush them down the toilet because I didn’t want to be so sedated.  I was miserable in the mental hospital and after two years I told them I had had enough.  Being 19 at the time, they concluded that the only  other option was to incarcerate me to fulfill my sentence.  I was then sent to prison for eight and a half years.  It was during my time in prison that I found the Lord.  I was watching a compelling video in the prison chapel and there I decided to put all my trust in Him.  Surrendering to the Lord gave me a feeling I had never experienced before.  I spent the greater part of my prison stretch being faithful to the Lord to the best that I knew how.  Most of you reading this cannot imagine my level of excitement and anxieties as my release date finally came.  But a great presumption set me up to fail miserably.  The day I was let out…I thought how I would be okay without God, so I stopped reading my Bible and going to chapel/church.

After leaving prison in March of 1989 I got a job at a nursing home where I met a wonderful girl named Tammy.  Six months later we were married.  I knew there was something different about her and later I found out she was a believer.  We received a lot of pressure from well-meaning family and friends concerned that we needed to have a child to make our lives complete.  After ten years of happy marriage we had our daughter, Amber Rose.  We then started receiving more well-intended pressures from people as to how we needed to raise her.  Amber was taken away from us because people thought we were abusing her, due to the fact that she was not gaining weight.  Later it was determined she had a medical condition.  Nevertheless, all of this pressure took a lot out of our marriage and during this time I fell into the trap of looking at pornography.  I found this stuff primarily on the Internet and was downloading it to my computer.  I thought it was going to help me get away from the pain of rejection.  However, it only led to driving a huge wedge into our weakened marital relationship, splitting our marriage apart.  I began to verbally threaten my wife, which resulted in being served with a restraining order and I could no longer be close to either my wife or daughter.

I was now spiraling downhill with sexually addictive behaviors, smoking, and drinking.  I had burnt all my bridges with family and friends because of my lying, cheating, and constant manipulation of others.  Just when I thought I had lost everything and nothing could get worse, I was fired from my job.  I have to admit that during this season of heartache, the Lord was calling me to come back to Him.  It was then that my friend John Begin told me about “Freedom House Ministries.”
 
Since being here I have concentrated on rebuilding my life and a heart after the Lord.  I have learned so much about Christ’s love and how I need to live for Him and serve others.  Just as Jesus has forgiven me, I am learning how to forgive myself for the horrible way I have treated others and the hurt I have caused.  I’ve also found grace to extend forgiveness to those who have hurt me.  I have decided to give it all to God.  It is my desire that over this next year I will live in one accord with God and others and just let these past issues go.  I need to become a man responsible for my choices in life and not see myself as a victim, over and over again.
 
If you know of anyone suffering with addictions, please encourage them to get in touch with Freedom House.  I can testify that this truly is a life-changing program.  Perhaps they too will benefit as I have.  This is nothing like the years I’ve spent paying a debt to society.  Being here gives me time to focus, as the Lord does His deeper work within and that brings new life and new hope for the future.  I also want to say a special thank you to those who support Freedom House Ministries with your prayers, financial giving, and volunteering.  Without faithfulness to the part of each one of you, this place could not exist and I would have had nowhere to go for this type of help.  Thank you!          
 
In Him, Terry N
Terry successfully completed his one-year commitment to the
Freedom House Ministries Program
on February 9, 2007, becoming Graduate #1
 
    

"My year at Freedom House gave me the opportunity to concentrate on rebuilding my shattered life and seek after the Lord.  I now have a new life and a new hope for the future."

 
 
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