Broken up by Divorce
By Rod Thomas
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“I went into the bathroom at the banquet hall where they were having the banquet. I always carried a bag of meth and a pipe with me and so I went to the bathroom and I got high.” Deborah Kovach’s drug addiction had consumed her life. And on a day that her father was honored for his work in helping others live drug free through Teen Challenge in Arizona – her life was falling apart. “I was a failure. I was a failure at being a daughter. I was a failure at being a mom. I was a failure at any of the relationships I was in. And so I just continued to do more drugs.”
As a child, Deborah learned about God from her parents, but when they divorced, things changed in their home. Her mother Sue remembers the impact it had on her young daughter. “I think when the divorce happened, that it just tore something out of her and maybe me too, at that stage. I was young as well, so we had to deal with it. But God was always there.”
Deborah struggled to adjust to the change. The once easy-going church kid rebelled against her parents and God. “I knew I was loved, but I felt like I didn't fit in. I started sneaking out at night. I would meet guys. The guys made me feel wanted. And so I became very promiscuous. I started smoking pot. I started doing acid.” When Deborah was 17, she bought a bus ticket to California. There, she met up with a boy she knew in high school. “He was a juvenile delinquent,” she remembers. “He had already spent time in juvenile hall and we did the drugs.”
Before long, they had a baby and returned to Arizona; but he spent most of his time in jail, which exposed Deborah and her daughter to a new culture. “The majority of the men I hung out with were convicts. They were bikers. I also got into the biker lifestyle. They made me feel like I was somebody, and so they said they would take care of me. Whatever I needed out here on the streets, they would handle.
By now she had distanced herself from her parents. They knew she was headed for trouble, but could only pray for God’s protection. “I know more times than one that God probably protected Debbie from death. Because we held on no matter what. If we didn't know where she was or if she was sitting there, all we knew to do was when she's around, show her love, and acceptance,” Sue recalls.
Eventually Deborah got hooked on crystal meth and started smuggling drugs into prison for the gang. All the while, she raised her daughter, and held down a job. “I was what they call a functional addict. I got high every day, but I always went to work. I always had a job. I always had a roof over our head.” she said. “I never did drugs or anything like that in front of her.”
Her unrestrained lifestyle had more devastating consequences. “I didn’t protect myself from getting pregnant, because I didn’t care. I would say I had probably about seven abortions. I knew it was wrong. I knew I was taking a life. But I tried to justify that with ‘it probably wouldn’t be normal anyways, because I’m doing drugs.’”
For years, she continued living life according to her own rules, but once after her dad bailed out of jail, he had some sobering words for her. “He said, ‘You know, Deb, through Teen Challenge I have helped thousands of people get off drugs, and I can't even help my own daughter.’ It wasn't my time. I wasn't ready to quit.”
That changed one night at a banquet held in recognition of her dad and his work with Teen Challenge. Deborah got high before taking her seat. “All these people were there. It's a faith-based drug and alcohol rehab program that my father and mother started when I was three years old; and here I am high? I looked around at all these people and it was like God opened my eyes and said, you know, ‘What are you doing? What are you doing?’ I felt convicted.”
A week later, she went to Washington and met up with a trucker she knew. The experience with God was still fresh in her mind as they hit the road. “I crawled back in the sleeper and I said, ‘God, it's me. I want to quit this lifestyle. I don't want to do these drugs anymore. I don't want to do this crime anymore, but I can't do it on my own, I need Your help.’”
That night, Deborah says God performed a miracle in her life. “I feel asleep. I woke up the next day with no cravings. I was totally delivered from drugs. To this day I never had the craving to do those drugs again,” she said. “I remember looking out and seeing the mountains and the snow and the trees -- it was like ‘Wow.’ It was like God opened my eyes and I saw this world totally different. It was like, ‘Where have I been?’"
When Deborah returned home, she left the biker lifestyle behind and started going to church and studying the Bible. Her mother was glad to see the changes in Deborah’s life. “I know that God protected her all those years. God kept her and my granddaughter safe. We held on for over 30 years, and when she came around, she came around big.”
She’s now married. She and her husband Tracy met while working with Teen Challenge. “I know I’m a child of the Most High God. I love myself. He's taught me to love myself. There is no drug, there is no drink, there is no man that would give me the peace that God gives me, and I would not trade it for anything in this world.”
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