I met Tessa, 21, in a class I taught as part of her drug rehab. What she taught me confirms the benefit of spiritual roots beginning in childhood.

Tessa’s story

journalingTessa (not her real name) gave me permission to use this letter she wrote as part of her recovery. Notice how she writes about her drug use as a relationship that she could turn to for support, eventually replacing it with her relationship to her higher power.

My dearest friend,

I am writing you to inform you that we can no longer be in each other’s lives. I no longer need you.

At first I loved you because you helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life. You made me feel numb to my reality, like I could do anything. You gave me power. I felt invincible. But then I became dependent to you. I was the puppet and you were my master.

I thought that our relationship was okay for a long time because I was able to function like a normal person, living a double life. Until one day I lost all control of myself and allowed you to move completely into my life and take hold of the wheel that steers my future. I trusted you to get me through the road ahead.

But you deceived me. You drove me into a world of darkness, shame and guilt. You made me do things I would never do, but you were that voice inside my head that made me believe it was okay to break in to cars and houses, and to break the law. You made me a criminal. You no longer made me feel numb. Now all you did was cause me more and more pain, and because you became a huge part of me, I needed you like fish need water.

But now, today, I am strong enough to stand up for myself against you and say that I don’t need you in my life. That I am worthy to have a good life and that I can get through anything without you because I have a loving God. As long as I continue to walk by faith in Him, He will lead me on my path. He will be there to comfort me when life gets emotionally hard.

Tessa is now relying on her relationship with her higher power— God

— to help her when life becomes overwhelming.  But consider this: What if she’d had that relationship all along?  What if she had a sense of spirituality since childhood and a higher power who is willing to be known? Quite possibly she’d never have turned to heroin at all.

Why not do everything in our power to give children a chance to form some kind of relationship with God?

They can always abandon it later if they find they don’t need it. But if they do—God is there.

Tweetable: Strong spiritual roots in childhood may have spared this young woman from finding love in the wrong place. Click to Tweet