Renewal Story: Tonya

Posted: November 15, 2017

After 40 years of drug addiction and a total of 27 years in prison, Tonya had little sense of what it took to live a responsible, sober life. “I always wanted to be clean,” she remembers, “but I didn’t know how. Then I finally asked for help.” When Tonya pleaded not to be sent back to prison, a compassionate judge recommended treatment instead. 

“They set me up with an appointment at UGM-TC and saved my life! I love it here. I needed a structured environment. I’m learning about God and I’m learning how to live.”

Growing up, Tonya had few positive life lessons. “My whole family is messed up from drugs,” she explains. “I lost my brother from drugs.”

As a resident at UGM-TC, Tonya found the support and guidance she needed. “I go to Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings here. I have the women’s meeting and recovery and Alpha. I’m learning and I love it!”

Tonya is also learning what it takes to become a counselor, so she can someday help others discover the peace she found in sobriety and in Jesus Christ. In the meantime, she volunteers in our kitchen. “It helps me because I feel like I’m giving back to the community. Plus, I like to be busy,” she says. 

“God has me here for a reason, Tonya tells us. “He opened the door for me at UGM-TC and gave me a chance. I never had that before.”

Something Tonya hasn’t had for a very long time is a proper Thanksgiving dinner outside prison walls… she can’t wait! I’ll be sober. I’ll be with godly people,” she says. I can honestly celebrate. Praise God, because that’s the time to give Him thanks!”

Tonya’s gratitude to God, UGM-TC and friends like you isn’t reserved for the holidays. Every day is Thanksgiving for Tonya as she looks forward to the Lord working more deeply in her life and in the lives of her loved ones. “God is doing awesome things for me and He’s going to do it for my family. I believe that!”

For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. – 2 Corinthians 4:15 NKJV3

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