Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Chris Corzine
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00094B
00:15 Welcome back! We are talking to Chris about her
00:19 background and where she has come from and the fact that
00:24 she jumped into drugs, and meth, and all that craziness.
00:28 We laughed on the break Chris and you were talking
00:30 about that you have given $2000 to somebody, the police
00:36 were monitoring them, and now they are at your door and you
00:41 are being arrested for trafficking.
00:43 What happened? - right, well they took me to jail.
00:46 that's what they normally do.
00:48 - like I'm innocent, it wasn't me.
00:50 I tried that and I found out just how strong I was.
00:53 I remember we used to all surround at my dope dealers
00:57 house and talk about who would crack under pressure.
01:00 I was like it will never be me, well I cracked.
01:02 It didn't take long at all for that, but they took me
01:06 to jail, they took 25 of us to jail.
01:09 It was a big arrest.
01:11 Because they have been watching everybody? - right.
01:15 Right, and I realized how bad of trouble I was in
01:18 whenever I got put in maximum security.
01:20 That is where they put federal offenders is in maximum
01:23 security and one of the women I was in there with was
01:26 facing the death penalty.
01:27 She came, they dressed as in red jumpsuits for being federal and
01:31 she came up to me and said she was sorry for where I was
01:34 at, oh you are federal, I feel sorry for you is what she
01:37 told me, and she was facing the death penalty.
01:39 I'm like, oh boy I'm in trouble.
01:40 I am in trouble, and there were several women there who
01:46 were wearing red jumpsuits and were also federal.
01:49 They had been in there for over two years awaiting
01:51 sentencing, awaiting sentencing and rumor had it through
01:54 there that if you, and they had been there two years so
01:58 they ought to know, that federal cases never walk out on
02:01 bond, they just sit in there and get sentenced and go to
02:04 prison and I was facing 10 years.
02:06 On top of that I was going through drug withdrawals.
02:09 When somebody says, I thought I wouldn't crack and all that
02:13 stuff they don't take into account that you are going to
02:16 go through withdrawals within a short period of time,
02:20 within a day or two you are going to be in so much pain
02:23 because of the drugs that you have been taking.
02:25 It was about as bad of a situation as you can possibly
02:29 imagine - exactly. - and by the second night in there,
02:33 one of the other girls in a red jumpsuit, another girl
02:36 that was in there on federal charges, her name is Angela.
02:39 I've never seen her again, she walked by me and she said
02:43 if you think this is bad you ought to see hell.
02:46 That was it, every single seed that had been planted in me
02:50 all of a sudden went poof.
02:52 Everything that my mom had always told me and prayed over
02:55 me for, and that my stepdad had said to me, all of a sudden
02:58 it was all there. It was that one little flippant comment
03:02 that she made and I believe she was sent straight from the
03:05 Lord to me, to minister to me.
03:06 The place was so overcrowded I didn't even have a bunk,
03:10 I had a little plastic thing, they call them boats that
03:13 I was laying on the ground in.
03:14 It was like a little canoe thing and that was my bed.
03:18 I got in there that night and just prayed, called out
03:21 Christ, I'm like I'm sorry if You're there please help me.
03:25 And I didn't feel, I always hear people talking about
03:29 their conversion experience, and how the sky cracked open
03:33 and the angels sang and all the rest of that stuff.
03:35 They were washed clean and dipped into the blood.
03:37 I didn't feel any of that, I did not feel any different.
03:40 - I'll come on - yeah and I'm like, you know by this
03:44 point I had been scared to the altar is a teenager you
03:47 know and had brushes with the Lord but this time
03:50 I meant it, but I was scared.
03:53 It took me a while to realize that that was the point
03:56 where I had stopped craving drugs, I wasn't having drug
03:58 withdrawals anymore - so He did answer you? - yes but
04:01 I didn't realize it, it's like I'm in this atmosphere.
04:05 I called my mom the next day and they had denied my
04:09 getting out on bond that day, I called my mom and figured
04:12 I'd better tell her what was going on because her my
04:14 stepdad were getting ready to make a trip to Florida and
04:16 I figured they would be showing up at my house and I'd
04:18 be in jail and that wouldn't be good.
04:19 So I called my mom and my stepdad answered the phone and
04:24 I told him where I was at.
04:26 I will never forget, he said you know we love you.
04:30 And that was all I needed to hear, and my mom got on the
04:36 phone and no looking down on me - I told you so.
04:40 Nothing, nothing other than where are you and what can
04:43 we do, what can we do to help?
04:46 I was like I think maybe prayer would be a good idea
04:49 right now, so they started praying.
04:51 I just have to interrupt right now because I'm in
04:56 recovery ministry and there are times where we will be
04:59 working with somebody and they are just stumbling
05:02 around, and falling and getting arrested at all that
05:05 stuff and somebody says Cheri isn't that discouraging
05:07 when someone gets arrested?
05:09 I'm thinking no, in fact that is the safest place for them.
05:12 They have those moments, the Holy Spirit has an
05:15 opportunity to speak and get through to them and that
05:18 is exactly what happened to you is that God was finally
05:21 able to say oh man, do you think this is bad?
05:24 If you continue you will find out what bad is.
05:27 And I remember sitting in the back of the paddy wagon
05:31 and being handcuffed and everything and thinking my life
05:34 it's over and I look back on that now and it was so right
05:38 my life was over, my life as I knew it and my real life
05:41 had just begun, that was August 11, 2005.
05:44 I got arrested on the 12th and became a Christian, called
05:48 my parents on that Saturday and they started praying and
05:52 on that Monday morning they released me on Bond.
05:56 Oh shut up, how funny is that? That is amazing.
05:59 That was. - because it is unheard of.
06:01 Well they didn't just let me out, but he let all of us
06:05 out, released on our own recognizance and the jailers at
06:08 the jail did know how to out process federal offenders.
06:11 They were scrambling around saying this never happens,
06:13 this never happens and I knew, I knew it was God.
06:16 I remember going home and getting to my house, they had
06:19 ransacked my house, but they didn't trash it they didn't have
06:22 a search warrant and I told them where everything was.
06:25 They left out my tray with a straw on it and still some
06:27 stuff on there and I remember going up to it
06:30 of course first instinct - you want to snort it?- right!
06:33 At least my finger in it and I picked it up and put it
06:37 in the trash can. No! I knew that I needed a blessing.
06:41 I knew I needed to Lord to work in my life and they not
06:45 only let me go out of jail at that point but they let me
06:48 go to Illinois to live with my mom and my stepdad.
06:52 So my stepdad - So crossing state lines?
06:55 Yes - that's another unheard of. - yes it was all
06:59 unheard of and my stepdad came and loaded me up and
07:02 moved me to Illinois as I say to live with the family
07:05 for a lifetime I have been avoiding.
07:07 I was suddenly living with them and going to church.
07:09 I remember I used to drive home every
07:12 Wednesday night from church and I would argue with God
07:14 and going, am I saved or not?
07:15 I don't feel any different, I'm not craving drugs mind
07:19 you. - were you still not realizing how miraculous
07:22 that was? - not at all, not at all I was so into me.
07:27 We are so self focused that it is just embarrassing.
07:31 Oh it is. - I always say it's close to 7 billion
07:35 people in the world and the only thing I could think
07:38 about all day long is me.
07:39 - me-me-me-me-me-me-me. So it took almost a year
07:44 before I got sentenced to prison and I went before the
07:47 judge and he gave me a year, which compared to the
07:51 10 years I was facing was another miracle.
07:54 Because I didn't know until I got to prison that people
07:57 actually got 10 years, I thought it was like state they
07:59 threaten you with 10 years and let you out on probation.
08:02 Know when the federal government says 10 years
08:04 they put you in for 10 years.
08:06 They gave me a year and a day, so I was walking out of
08:09 the courtroom and I will never forget that I heard,
08:12 I still think it was an audible voice in my ears,
08:16 seeing you have been praying to nothing.
08:17 It was like at that point I knew, I recognized the enemy.
08:21 Like if there is an enemy out there still messing with
08:23 me, then that means they're still a God out there and
08:26 He is looking out for me.
08:27 And I made a choice right there that I was going to serve
08:30 Him in spite of the fact that I had to go to prison.
08:32 Right, right now I can't hear you, I don't recognize your
08:36 voice, if you are talking to me I don't recognize it yet.
08:39 I had never heard His voice until I got into prison.
08:43 I remember that I had like a month of self surrender and
08:47 everybody would come up and tell me Romans 8:28.
08:49 "All things work together for the best for those who
08:52 love the Lord." And I would go blah, blah, blah, blah,
08:54 blah, you know this can't work out for my best I'm going
08:56 to prison and you are crazy, God is crazy.
08:58 How can this, and worse than that is that they had a woman
09:01 at my mom and dad's church who had a similar story.
09:04 She was in recovery and she was going off to work for
09:06 Joyce Meyer, and everybody would get us mixed up.
09:08 They would come up to me and go over, here you are going
09:11 off into ministry, I'd go know I'm going to prison
09:13 but thanks for asking.
09:15 I was so consumed with jealousy and fear and I went in and
09:20 did my time in Lexington, Kentucky Atwood. Quite a dump.
09:25 But in there I met some of the spiritual giants of my
09:30 life and I learned lessons in there.
09:35 I think one of the biggest lessons is where I started
09:37 learning that God loves me. - Amen!
09:39 You know not just Jesus kind of likes me and that He
09:43 purchased my salvation with blood.
09:45 So he could tolerate you? - right!
09:48 I always thought that I would have to hide behind Jesus
09:50 when I got to heaven because God would be really angry
09:52 and would be like this you know.
09:55 That is where I discovered that He likes me.
09:57 Now of course I know He loves me and He always loved me.
10:00 - He's crazy about you. - though He's delighted in me
10:03 from day one, he stitched me together in my mother's
10:06 womb and I have gifts and everything and He always
10:08 had His eye on me.
10:09 Yeah the nine months inside - I gotta just say, Jesus
10:13 really knew that was important to you because He said
10:16 I want you to know that the Father loves you. - yes.
10:19 He really wanted us to know that.
10:21 Oh He made a point to where somebody walked up and gave me
10:25 a book and said they felt the Lord wanted me to read that
10:28 about when the father ran, the prodigal and the heart of
10:32 the father towards the prodigal.
10:33 I knew that that was God trying to tell me how He felt
10:38 about me and I did my time and got out.
10:42 The whole time I was in there, this is the crux of the
10:46 matter, the whole time was in there everybody inside you
10:49 just despair of having any life on the outside.
10:51 It's like I figured I was either going to come out and
10:55 work, well if I was lucky Wal-Mart. - yeah!
10:58 Probably cleaning somewhere and here I had a degree in
11:01 and everything else and I wouldn't never be able to use it
11:04 - never get a job again. - right, never have
11:06 a future, I'm just going to have to settle.
11:09 A federal offense. - right, 500 gram trafficking and
11:12 distributing and no one will hire me with that.
11:14 I came out and was believing that and my first job was
11:19 cleaning hotel rooms, and I'm pushing around my cart
11:24 and cleaning rooms trying to do it as unto the Lord,
11:29 which isn't easy. He taught me so many lessons in that
11:33 job though, but I think after I passed whatever test
11:38 I had to, I call them my wilderness period.
11:40 Because that was tough, we walk so close together in prison
11:43 that I could feel Him all around me and He held me up and
11:47 I get out and it's like Whoosh.
11:49 There I am shoving my cart, cleaning hotel rooms and
11:53 I met a guest in the hallway and she told me that her son
11:57 was in prison on federal meth charges.
12:00 I felt like the Lord told me to tell her my story.
12:04 So I sat and told her where I had been and what
12:07 I had done and how it was on the inside.
12:09 She said he was a Christian, I say God needs bright lights
12:13 inside of a dark place.
12:14 Then she started telling me that he had received
12:17 counseling, drug counseling at a place in town called
12:21 Caring Counseling Ministries that did Bible-based drug
12:25 counseling and it was like at that moment I knew.
12:28 I never even heard of the place before, but I knew
12:31 that is where I wanted to work. - Amen!
12:32 Bible based drug counseling yes Lord I know this is
12:35 what You want for me. - I can do that.
12:37 Yeah I can do that. So my mom and dad, my stepdad,
12:42 my dad had wanted to send me back to school to complete
12:46 my masters degree and I went into the social work program
12:49 for counseling and ran over to Caring Counseling
12:53 Ministries and just busted in my boss's office and said,
12:57 hi, here I am. - I'm ready to work. - yeah I'm a
13:02 recovering meth addict who has been in prison, hire me for
13:04 an intern position, at first he was like oh no.
13:07 That he was like okay, yeah.
13:09 He hired me not because or despite what I'd done,
13:14 but because of it.
13:15 He heard my story and it was like I can use this so that
13:17 is what I want to tell people whenever they are on the
13:19 inside is that you don't have to hide where you have been,
13:22 God uses us and all things work together for the good
13:25 when we love the Lord, all things.
13:27 This has been the cornerstone of my ministry, he hired me
13:30 while everybody else was scrambling around looking for
13:33 employment and I never had to leave my intern place.
13:37 He put me in charge of starting a drug and alcohol
13:40 recovery program, and through two years of staying there
13:44 through school, he hired me afterwards and I never had
13:47 to fill out a job application, never had to job hunt!
13:52 Never! And the place is amazing, he is amazing, Kent.
13:56 He never looked at any of the problems I had in the
14:01 past, not anything but a stepping stone into helping and
14:04 reaching into people's lives. - Amen!
14:06 Here we are in is very conserv- ative community and he has
14:09 got this amazing counseling organization.
14:11 So let's stop right now because I know that there is
14:15 people in the café that has gone through that program
14:18 also, also has gone through Teen Challenge which is one
14:21 of my favorite programs and I just want to ask Andrew.
14:26 Say a little bit about where you come from and I just
14:30 want to say I'm so proud of you, I'm proud of your
14:33 recovery, and Chris I'm proud of your recovery.
14:36 - I'm proud of God for my recovery. - exactly, exactly.
14:38 - no credit to me. - what do you think about what
14:41 she is saying and tell us a little bit about your story.
14:44 First of all I just want to say how thankful I am for
14:46 being here, being on the set with everybody, being with
14:49 3ABN, and just be able to sit here and talk about the
14:52 wonderful things God has done in my life, and Chris's
14:56 life, you've been in recovery for about six months,
14:59 eight months? - I've been clean for eight months.
15:02 Yeah, I've actually went to a program up in Peoria,
15:05 Peoria, Illinois, Teen Challenge.
15:08 I learned up there it wasn't a drug addiction I had it
15:11 was I lack of a relationship with Jesus Christ. - Amen!
15:15 While in there and learned how to pray, I learned how to
15:19 talk to God, I learned how to be intimate with God,
15:22 to be open with God and to be able to rely on God.
15:25 Just to turn everything in my life over to God.
15:29 I learned that my family was a blessing from God.
15:34 I've learned a lot. - you have, La Donna and Andrew and
15:39 your relationship you were not a co-addict with him,
15:44 were you? - no. - you have two children so that
15:48 has to be hard, it had to be hard for you to walk it.
15:51 Help him to walk through his addiction, and for you
15:54 you were just wanting to hang on to him and say
15:56 please get clean. - yes I wanted to hang onto him,
15:59 just praying he would get clean and then trying to live
16:02 the day every day life, I was a preschool teacher.
16:06 Having my children and having our family just like
16:09 a daily shame of what we was living secretly at home,
16:13 with his addiction. - wow, so you have been clean
16:17 for a while, went through Teen Challenge.
16:19 Did you go through the program with Chris?
16:22 Did you see her at all? - I didn't get to go through
16:25 the program. - like the ministry that they have.
16:29 No but I have joined their counseling program and I'm
16:33 going to counseling with Chris, I met with Chris a
16:38 couple times now and she is very spiritual, filled full
16:41 of knowledge and I look forward to spending a lot more
16:43 time counseling and getting to the depth of what our
16:46 problems were in life and healing from there.
16:50 Okay besides the drug addiction, and I would like to ask
16:54 Chris about this too, so you have to be honest.
16:55 Beside the drug addiction you're talking that you have to
16:58 learn about anger, you have to learn about being a father
17:01 and a husband, you have to learn not to run during
17:04 conflicts and all that kind of stuff.
17:06 It is not just that I have to stop using. - no.
17:08 Well I think one of my biggest things I have working on
17:12 right now is solely depending on the Lord for everything
17:16 in life, just to look to Him for those things and not
17:19 get back into the old pattern of thinking I had to be the
17:22 one that goes out and provides.
17:24 I have to be the one that does that, I have to learn
17:26 to look to the Lord for those things.
17:28 And Him to be faithful. - and He will be faithful.
17:32 I like that, so when you first met, thank you Andrew.
17:36 When you first met Andrew in counseling, you know what
17:40 he is going through because you have been through it.
17:43 Right, am I allowed to speak confidentiality. - sure.
17:47 You're so telling on him. - It's all right.
17:50 - Just so I don't get sued.
17:53 Yeah I have absolutely been there and I understand there's
17:58 tests and things we have pass while we are on this road
18:03 of recovery and then learning to trust the Lord is
18:06 I think is one of the biggest ones.
18:07 We learn to trust Him for our daily bread then He can
18:10 go ahead and provide the bigger things.
18:12 That has been one of the biggest lessons I've learned
18:15 being with him. - what is really amazing too, is not
18:18 only when you talk about tests, one of the things I tell
18:21 people when they first get into recovery and
18:23 I needed to know myself, was the people around me they
18:26 don't really know if I'm going to stand or fall.
18:28 So they really are leery and it is really tough to build
18:32 up the trust relationships again, and part of our recovery
18:36 is to let them, people that we love have the time that
18:40 they need to have in order to know our journey is real.
18:43 Sure, because addicts are wrecking balls. - we are.
18:47 We are and everything we go around just pooh, pooh.
18:50 Trust and nobody has any trust for us that is why I'm so
18:54 amazed by my mom and dad that automatically I moved
18:56 there and they are handed me the car keys and wherever
18:59 you want to go here have some money.
19:00 I'm like, I was floored by that and never said anything
19:03 to them about it, but it amazed me and I don't think it
19:06 ever cross their mind to be careful.
19:08 Do not trust in the salvation that I had in inside of me.
19:13 I wanted so desperately to change.
19:15 In our addiction, I love the saying where it says how do
19:19 you know when an addict is lying?
19:22 Somebody says when their mouth is open.
19:24 Because it is in our addiction that we can't be trusted
19:28 at all, in our recovery because I really am fighting to
19:32 be all of that, I'm fighting to allow God to teach
19:35 me how to communicate and reconnect and all of that.
19:39 So in that place I can be trusted. - right, right!
19:43 And also learning that it is okay where we are at.
19:46 Because God is going to get us to where we need to be.
19:50 I think that's one of the greatest things that He has
19:54 been showing me is that it is okay to be me.
19:57 Me, where I am at, where I have been, what I am going
19:59 through right now, because it is all about His grace
20:02 and Him walking me through the process.
20:03 He is not going to give up on any of us while
20:07 we're halfway through this journey.
20:08 People are like well why is this happening faster?
20:10 It's taken us years to get to be in the mess we are in
20:13 and we expect to be able to be better automatically.
20:16 - exactly. - it's a process, feeling human again
20:19 is the process.
20:21 I remember the first times I started feeling emotions
20:22 again, and I was like what is this, I'm crying at
20:24 Hallmark commercials - it's true.
20:27 I hadn't had tears for all those years and all of a sudden
20:29 I'm just highly emotional and I love it.
20:31 I'm very sensitive to the Spirit and when you start
20:35 feeling the health comeback and that is still a journey
20:40 to get my body back to normal.
20:41 My brain being healed, I saw a picture of a cerebral
20:44 cortex after my long-time meth use and it looks like
20:48 battery acid had been poured on top of it..
20:50 - like Swiss cheese. - like holes eating through it.
20:52 Now granted I hadn't seen that before when I was an
20:54 addict but it probably wouldn't have stopped me anyway.
20:58 But I believe it takes awhile for the brain to heal and
21:01 just a return to health.
21:03 What is amazing to me is around those holes, holes don't
21:06 fill in, but your brain starts to wire around them.
21:10 It's like we are really wonderfully made.
21:13 We are fearfully and wonderfully made yes, yes.
21:15 And all that takes time. - yes.
21:18 So what you are learning is that it takes time, but what
21:22 I love about what you said Chris is that even when you're
21:26 heart was drawn to even having enough guts to call this
21:30 ministry up and say what about me?
21:32 They never even questioned, you got the job, you got
21:35 respect in the community. - yeah, that is the most
21:38 amazing thing to me is the fact that
21:41 I am respected in the community.
21:43 We go into churches and speak and it is no secret where
21:46 I have been and what I have done and who I am.
21:49 Kent's has never received any flack for hiring me.
21:52 People are just welcoming me with open arms.
21:56 I tell my story and they are like oh, ex-meth addict,
21:58 and convict, no problem come have dinner with us.
22:01 You know, that just doesn't happen.
22:03 Outside of the will of God, outside the heart of God.
22:07 Yes but God has a plan in everything.
22:10 You know we think we mess up at God has to sit up there
22:12 and try to figure out how He is going to fix our mess.
22:15 Not realizing that He already knew about all of this in
22:18 advance, and He has a plan that is so much bigger.
22:20 I used to think that He would just want me working with
22:23 addicts, and that is where I would be always working
22:27 with addicts, but that hasn't been, I have felt so drawn
22:30 toward sexual assault counseling.
22:32 So it is all of this. - what about that why sexual
22:35 assault? - because that is my story, that is my story.
22:39 That is where I have been and who I am.
22:42 I am a survivor, I'm healed from pain that nearly
22:47 destroyed my life. I've forgiven my father.
22:50 - everything was an outcome of that?
22:52 I would like to say that but I can't rest comfortably in
22:57 that, genetic, and generational curses we don't know.
23:01 I would like to say yes that is the reason, but I don't
23:04 know, I know it is a big part of my story and who I am.
23:07 I know that it writes on the Slate of who you become.
23:11 - right. - Christ can heal that.
23:13 - so you work with a lot of folks who have been sexually
23:18 assaulted? They just started coming in.
23:21 It seem like all of a sudden everybody, I thought I would
23:23 be mostly working with addicts and all of a sudden
23:25 everybody I'm getting in for a new client is sexual
23:28 assaults, so I was forced to deal with the oldest pain
23:31 that I had spades full of dirt on top and think we're not
23:35 going there. I have forgiven my father who died while I was in
23:37 prison by the way, and I don't have to go there anymore.
23:41 But then through counseling I've had to go there.
23:44 Once I went there I felt like the Lord speaking to me,
23:47 this is where I want you, ministering in this capacity.
23:52 You know to me it is amazing to think about what our
23:57 pain and our injuries lead us to, then what our
23:58 injuries lead us to then what our addictions do to further
24:02 cause that pain.
24:04 So we get all mucked up and God says, now I am going to
24:07 come in and I'm going to clean all that up.
24:10 I'm going to take that stony heart that you have, that
24:13 damaged heart and I'm going to turn it into flesh.
24:16 What you said is that all of a sudden I'm crying over
24:19 commercials because God is just opening you up
24:23 to the ability to feel.
24:24 All of that is such a miracle to be so lost, to be so
24:30 damaged and to realize that today I'm healthy.
24:36 right! - I love life. - right.
24:38 And not only healthy, when we were imprisoned I used to
24:41 sit around and think how far would I have to go back
24:45 to change and not be where I am at?
24:47 I used to think back, think back to that story I told at
24:50 the beginning of coming home and my dad sitting in that
24:53 chair and being so scared and hiding outside.
24:55 Maybe there are all the way back to the womb I don't know.
24:59 But now I sit and think, thank you Jesus for everything
25:03 I went through because it doesn't hurt anymore and
25:06 I get to use it in ministry.
25:08 And in the mean time my job is great I get to join hands
25:11 and pray with pray with people. and pour into their hearts
25:14 and listen to their stories and tell them there is
25:16 always hope in Christ.
25:17 There is no place that you can be so far gone, I mean you
25:20 know that, that Christ can't reach in there and pull you
25:23 out and turn something horrible into something beautiful.
25:27 That is what it is all about and now I am like oh, that
25:30 stuff that I don't want anybody to know about that, now I
25:33 find myself opening up and telling people Heh, it is okay.
25:36 He can redeem that.
25:38 I want to break here, I want to say first of all thank you
25:41 for being here on the program and I want to break here.
25:43 We are going to come back and do a close.
25:45 But I've heard a lot during this segment about mom
25:49 and your stepdad and I would like to bring them up during
25:53 the close and ask a few things of them.
25:55 And just, you know your mom prayed like crazy.
25:59 Your stepdad prayed like crazy and I can't even imagine
26:03 what they felt when you jumped into recovery and got it.
26:06 So we are going to come right back, stay with us.
26:08 We are going to meet mom and dad.