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CBN.com -“In our house, we served no god,” Monica Delaurentis explains, “because it was really too confusing which one to serve. So my god really was my father.“
Monica’s father was a Muslim. Her German mother was a non-practicing Catholic. Monica’s father died of cancer when Monica was only 12, and that greatly affected Monica.
“That realization that my father was gone struck me so hard because my dad was my god, and it was like God died. I was sad, depressed. I really wasn’t caring about too much at that point,” she recalls.
Monica started using drugs. Her mother sent her to Iran to live with her uncle, hoping to get her away from the bad influences. But her mother didn’t realize that she was actually reinforcing the lifestyle she desperately wanted Monica to leave behind.
“There were discotheques opening up all over Iran under the Shah. He was westernizing the country, so I was 15 and going out to discotheques with my uncle, dancing and drinking.”
After two years, Monica came back to the United States. At 15 she met a boy who introduced her to heroin.
“He would actually tie my arm up and do it for me,” she says. “It seemed like peace came.”
But that peace quickly turned into one long nightmare.
“I was addicted and I couldn’t stop. The one thought that I had every day was ‘this is my last day. I’m not going to use it tomorrow. This is it.’ ”
Over the years, Monica’s drug habit turned into a $500 a day addiction.
For 15 years Monica tried to break her heroin addiction. Nothing seemed to work. She thought her only hope was to end her life. She woke up in a hospital room where a stranger told her about the saving power of Jesus Christ.
Monica recalls, “I told him, ‘It’s too late. This is not the time that I want to hear about your Jesus.’ I didn’t see Jesus as viable, something that could help me. Jesus was for good people. ‘Are you nuts? Look at my arms. Don’t you know who I am?’ I wanted him to leave me alone. I said, ‘Give me that Bible. Just give it to me and just go.’ “
Monica returned to drugs. It seemed as if nothing could stop her addiction. Then her mother suggested a solution.
“She said, ‘You need God.’ I looked at her. ‘Mom, we don’t know God,’ “ Monica recalls saying.
Monica remembered the Bible she received from the hospital chaplain. When she opened it, she found a phone number to a ministry for girls with drug addictions. Monica quickly enrolled. But after nine intense months, she still craved drugs. Monica felt there was no hope for her.
“I fell on my knees and I started crying, saying, ‘God doesn’t work either. God isn’t going to work for me. I can’t do this.’ Again I heard that small, still voice say, ‘You’re right. You can’t do this. But I can.’ That was it. About 20,000 pounds fell off of me, and when I stood up, I was a different person.”
Monica’s craving for drugs instantly subsided.
“It was gone in a second,” she says. “When I knew that the God that created heaven and earth knew I was alive, and not only knew I was alive but loved me and thought I was precious after all I had done to everybody, that was enough for me. That’s all I needed to know that He was real.”
Monica completed the program, and from that point on, her entire life changed.
“I am so far removed from who she is and who I am today,” Monica explains. “She was a taker, a hater; today I want to be a lover, I want to be a giver.”
Today Monica is married and has a beautiful family. She and her husband, Chris, have committed their lives to inner city ministry.
“I wanted all of these people that are walking the streets that are rejected and nobody wants them because of their problems and their attitudes, I wanted them because that was me,” she says.
Monica and her husband are seeing many people set free through the power of Jesus Christ. She knows that God truly had a wonderful plan for her life.
“My last day is long gone. Today is the first day of the rest of my life because His mercies are new every morning,” she says.
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