Hi, my name is Natalie Lajas, I’m 20 years old and from Cleveland TN. I’ve been in Teen Challenge 10 1/2 months, and God has completely transformed me. I’m not the same young lady who walked through the doors of this program.
I was adopted literally and figuratively. First at the age of 3, into a family that I felt never really accepted or approved of me. I felt different, unwanted, unloved, and unimportant. I thought of myself as a mistake and never good enough. My mother was never really happy with who I was. Everything she tried to force me to be or do, I did totally the opposite. My road trip to hell started when she spoke curses over my life. I started making bad decisions, and fell into a life of partying and drugs. I let in hatred, anger, pain, and despair. I allowed my emotions to control the choices that I made, feeling sorry for myself. That led to self-injury, which is a form of addiction along with the abuse of drugs.
All I really wanted was the approval of others, someone to love me. I found that to be another addiction, because I was looking for it in all the wrong places and from all the wrong people. I felt so alone in the world. Then one night as I was crying in my bed feeling sorry for myself I heard the Lord speak to my heart telling me that I am more than this. An overwhelming presence of peace took over as I submitted all that was left of me to HIM.
Since then, I have welcomed the Lord into my heart to take total control of me. He is the lover of my soul. I’m not who I once was. I have a relationship with HIM who lets me know how loved I am, how important I am, how wanted I am. And nothing compares to the knowledge of being a new creation, not a mistake; a child of the most high God, found and forgiven by HIS amazing grace; a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people set apart for God that I might declare HIS praise of HIM who called me out of darkness and into HIS wonderful light.
I live and breathe for God. I have a reason to get up in the mornings. Now I am a young lady with a purpose, and that purpose is to live for HIM. His approval is all I need because on Christ the solid rock I stand.