By Robert Hull
The 700 Club
Terria Walters was raised by an alcoholic father who was abusive in every way.
“I remember him pulling my hair, punching me, spanking me,” Terria said. “I was always walking on egg shells around him. The division of youth family services was called by the school and by the time I was 11, I became a ward of the state.”
But for Terria, foster care proved to be just as chaotic.
“I went from foster home to foster home to foster home. And so, and it made me very rebellious. I was constantly running away and I was roaming the streets in the middle of the night, drinking alcohol.”
Terria’s rebellion landed her in juvenile hall before she was 14 years old. But after violating her probation, she ran away for good. She left Alaska and started traveling down the West Coast.
“That began my time of using LSD,” Terria said. “I loved it, just the things that I was seeing, the way it made me feel. It actually took me out of reality.”
Terria’s drug habit progressed into a full blown heroine addiction before she was in her 20s.
“When I met heroine, It was all downhill from there,” Terria said. “It took my feelings away, I didn’t have to face my problems. I supported my heroine habit by prostituting.”
Terria did numerous stints in jail and even had a felony on her record, but nothing could deter her from her addictions.
“I preferred to just go ahead and do my time, do jail time,” Terria said, “so that I could continue getting high rather than being on supervision, being supervised by a probation officer and not having a felony on my record.”
After years of running from the law and doing heroine, Terria wanted to stop. Her boyfriend suggested that she substitute heroine with meth.
“Being addicted to drugs and being high, there is no logic,” Terria said. “I ended up getting evicted from my place because I didn’t pay any rent and I had purchased a 64-foot old Greyhound bus. I gutted it and I put my furniture in it and I moved it out into Big Lake, onto a piece of property and continued to cook meth. While the guy I was dating was cooking meth, I was learning how to do it.”
Before long, her life revolved around the new drug.
“I hated being addicted, but I loved it at the same time,” Terria said. “I couldn’t function without it and I hated not being able to function without being on drugs.”
After months of cooking meth, Terria was tired. She decided to try something she had never tried before; she prayed.
“I didn’t like being the way that I was,” Terria said, “and I specifically remember I was putting the pipe to my mouth and in my mind I was saying, ‘God, you know I don’t want to be like this. I am tired of being like this. I’m tired of being addicted to drugs. Can you just take it away? I don’t want to be addicted anymore, I want to be able to stop.’”
“I just sat in it for a moment; I let it pass and I continued to get high that day,” Terria said.
Just two days after her prayer, Terria’s bus was surrounded by the Alaska DEA. They raided the meth lab and arrested her. Because of her extensive record, eventually Terria faced 11 felony charges.
“I was thinking in my mind, ‘I am going to be in prison for the rest of my life,’” Terria said. “I just had no purpose and I just felt worthless. I was just like, ‘God, you know, you have to do something. I just can’t do this anymore.’”
On her first day in prison, Terria asked for a Bible.
“I couldn’t put it down,” Terria said. “I could not put the Bible down. I was constantly praying and the first thing that I read was Psalm 40, that he lifts us out of the muck and rescued us! And I desperately wanted that.”
“When I finally had come to a place of realizing how much I really needed God, I just completely fully surrendered,” Terria said. “I said, ‘you know what God, I give my life completely to you. Do with me what you want. Change my life. Just make me the person you intended me to be from the very beginning. I want what you want for my life.’”
“And for the first year that I was incarcerated I was in my room,” Terria said. “I was in my room up to 16 hours a day reading my Bible and the only time I would come out was to shower and to eat.”
Throughout her sentence, Terria continued to seek God. She later became the Chaplain’s assistant. She graduated from a Christian recovery program and was released five years later on parole. Today, she runs her own non-profit to help women in hard situations find transitional housing.
“God can just totally transform your heart and transform your life and just make you a new person,” Terria said. “Being in His Word and getting to know who I am, getting to know who He is, that I have a purpose, that He has a plan for my life, that I matter, that I am worthy, and most of all that He is my father.”
“Jesus,” Terria said. “Jesus is the answer. Surrender your life to Him, get to know who He is, and watch what He does. He can make you a totally different person. And if He can change my life, he can change anyone’s life.”