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“Nothing is too broken for God!”


"I don’t have a whole lot of memories of my young life...I do remember...standing outside the trailer and hearing things crash against the wall and people yelling. People just acting very erratic...having conversations with paintings hanging on the wall, there was a time that I walked out and saw people having sex in the driveway. It was very, very insane," says Stephanie. 

Chaos was normal for Stephanie Wedel. Her father was the biggest drug dealer in their small hometown in Florida...and an alcoholic. 

"My dad was a great guy when he was sober...but he was very distant a lot of the time because he was out running the streets. We wanted nothing but love and acceptance from my dad and it hurt that we couldn't get it because that wasn’t a priority to him."

Then, when Stephanie was just a young child, her mother took off with another man.  

"When mom left, I felt abandoned and I needed my mom. I needed her love and compassion and we didn't have that."

That left Stephanie and her brother with their father, and easy access to drugs and alcohol. 

"I was smoking weed when I was 11, drinking by 13...by the time I was 14 I was selling drugs...we did what we knew. We saw Dad doing it. It was just normal. I just stayed high, I stayed wasted."

At 15, Stephanie dropped out of school and moved in with her 24-year-old boyfriend. 

"That was probably one of the stupidest things I've ever done. He used me for sex, and he would cheat on me on a regular basis...he told me to deal with it."

Eventually, she found another man, and then another, a pattern she would follow for years, looking...hoping...to find someone who would love her. 

"I was looking for love and acceptance. Looking to fill the hole in my life that was left vacant by my father not being there. I hated that I let men use me for sex, I hated that I would jump from relationship to relationship...I hated pretty much everything about myself for a lot of years."

Then at 23, looking at a future where she'd be in jail, strung-out, or dead0--Stephanie took a friend's advice and joined the army. There, she earned her GED and worked as a mechanic. She also quit using drugs. Her drinking and promiscuity, however, escalated. 

"I ended up being stationed in Baumholder, Germany, where bars like don't close. And I drank more than I ever drank before. I would stay in bars all hours of the night. I would wake up with different guys. I would continue the insanity...it just looked a little bit different."

After serving four years, Stephanie left the army with an honorable discharge. Returning to her hometown, she picked up where she left off—using drugs and men to fill the emptiness in her heart. But one thing had changed: her mom was not a Christian and conviced her daughter to attend a few church services. 

“There had to be something bigger than me out there. I had been trying to get sober on my own for years and I couldn't get me sober. I couldn't change my behavior or the way that I was living."

Then finally, after a weekend of getting blackout drunk, Stephanie reached out to God for help. 

"It was finally my rock bottom. It was finally enough. I was so tired and I couldn't do it anymore. I just got on my knees and asked God to change me. That weekend was the last time that I drank or drugged...or took pills or did anything like that and He completely freed me from it. I found peace and acceptance and love and mercy and all those things that I had looked for for so many years...And I found that in Jesus."

Soon after, she found a church with a sign that said, "Come as you are." There, she learned more about God, His love...and His grace.  

"Our pastor talked about God's forgiveness and love and mercy, and how it wasn't through anything of my own...I was like 'Wow' my eyes kinda were like opened and...that was the moment that I just asked Him to forgive me for everything I had done. And He uh, He did. He has completely transformed my life."

Today, Stephanie is a wife, adoptive mother, and founder of Freedom Life Compass—a Christian centered, non-profit rehab and recovery organization. As for Stephanie's family, her siblings have all gotten celan and reconcilded with their mother. Her father, currently servng time for drug trafficking, not only overcame his addictions, but also gave his life to Jesus Christ.   

"Nothing is too broken for God. Nothing...And I’m just so excited to see how God is transforming him and me and my mother and my siblings and...I just can't wait till we're all out here one day talking about how God completely redeemed my entire family. It's amazing to see what He can do when we let Him work in us!"

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