2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” Samantha Ehli experienced this firsthand.
Hope Starts Here
When Samantha was a toddler, her father killed her mother and himself. And as she grew up, she felt bitterness, resentment, and anger from never knowing her parents. She used drugs and men to cope with her feelings.
“I thought I found what I was looking for, and all I was actually doing was hiding from those true feelings that were inside. I just felt empty. I felt lost.
“[It] led to slamming meth in my arm, getting into relationships that were abusive and having nowhere to go, becoming homeless, being so dependent on the drug and the man to complete me that I lost all who I was.”
House hopping to stay off the streets eventually grew tiresome, and a friend told Samantha about the UGM Crisis Shelter.
“I was very fearful of going because…it’s a shelter. Who wants to go to a shelter? But I went, and as soon as I walked into those back doors, I felt hope for the first time.”
While at the Crisis Shelter, Samantha was introduced to a relationship with Christ.
“Once I gave my life to Him, the emptiness that I had inside me, the bitterness, the anger, the resentment, the addiction itself were completely disintegrated…From being so bitter and living in the darkness to waking up into the light, it’s almost unexplainable.”
Samantha immediately began to experience transformation in her life, both internally and externally, and she decided to enter Women’s Recovery at Anna Ogden Hall to address the pain of her past.
Whose I am
When she got to Anna Ogden Hall, her biggest hurdle was shifting her mindset on where her identity lay.
“I had an issue with contacting men, and my counselor kept on hounding me, ‘You have to learn to know who you are before you can get into a relationship.’ And that was the main focus throughout my program, learning who I am and whose I am.
“They taught me how to love myself and who loves me most, and that’s Christ.”
Samantha has carried that with her since graduating, last June. And though that lesson was difficult to learn at the time, she’s seen the benefits of it: “Today, I’m married to an amazing man who loves Christ.”
In fact, she feels her marriage has become an expression of faith.
“We strongly go off what the Bible says. [Our marriage] is full of love and joy, and God’s definitely at the top of it, and that’s how it should be…That’s how we base our relationship, is on what God wants it to be. Our marriage is to be an example for other people.”
The transformation Samantha experienced is an outpouring of Christ’s work in her. Her life and her relationships changed when Christ was given control.
“I believe once you give your life to Christ, He starts working through you. It’s no longer you, but it’s Him.
“I am glad I took that step because I am a new creation in Him.”
For Samantha, life change began at the Crisis Shelter. Give to feed and shelter others like Samantha this Easter.