Trystram’s new identity in Christ

I came to Teen Challenge SA because I thought that there was something wrong with me. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew that I wanted to learn how to be more assertive, and I thought that would fix everything.

I told people that I didn’t want to use drugs, but I wasn’t able to follow through with the act of white-knuckling. I was crumbling inside with every display of not having control over my addiction. I drank, used ice, and gambled heavily. Externally, I didn’t appear to have a problem as I held a job, kept on top of bills, and kept my house immaculate.

Coming to Teen Challenge SA has taught me that the problem lay within me and that the use of addictive substances was a symptom and not the problem. Teen Challenge SA helped me to identify the broken parts of myself.

That is where Jesus comes in, and, if I’m honest, I’ll say that when I entered the program, I was sure that I was going to do it on my own. I see now that that was impossible. If I could do it on my own, I wouldn’t need help. Teen Challenge SA helped me to find Jesus. When I started faithfully looking for God, I found myself.

The first thing that I wrote was that I thought there was something wrong with me, and that was my first mistake.

I began looking into what my identity actually was, and I learned that everyone is made perfect by the work that Jesus did on the cross.

Now, I know who I am, and I am no longer tied to the belief system that I previously had. Unfortunately, the old me was created by my need to survive in an upbringing of abuse and trauma. One of the hardest things to do was to acknowledge that I had been lying to myself all these years. I believed the crap. When I got beaten, I felt I deserved it.

When I got psychologically broken, I felt it was true. When I was abandoned, I felt alone. When I spoke, I got told to shut up, and I felt I had no voice. When people saw me broken and in need of help, I was used by people that had their own insecurities to cover.

My identity in Christ proves without a doubt in my heart or soul that I am worthy of love, my body is precious, my mind is unique, and God created me to be one with him, never alone – as have all of you.

I owe my life to Jesus, and as much as I can, I thank Teen Challenge SA for always pointing the way to Jesus and helping me attack my addiction from so many different angles. God lifted me up, and I see now that the things in my life didn’t happen to me but happened for me. Praise be to Christ our Lord.

‘And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself, restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast’ (1 Peter 5:10).