By Matt Proctor
“I remember being in the bars at 3 years old with my mother singing in the bands,” says Juliet Rose. Juliet was born into addiction. Her mother drank heavily, and her dad was a drug addict.
Her mother married another man when Juliet was 4, and “that’s when monsters became real.” Her new stepdad molested her for the next five years.
She always felt alone. “I had no friends, so I quit school in the ninth grade. I had no education, no life skills.” At 16, she fled to Las Vegas, where she survived as a prostitute. That chapter of her life ended with her beaten-up, used-up, robbed at gunpoint, and left for dead on the street.
Then things got bad.
By age 32, she had been married three times and had two children. She became “a functioning addict,” using and manufacturing methamphetamine. When the Jasper County Drug Task Force kicked down her door and arrested her—for the ninth time—on 11 felony charges, prison seemed a sure bet.
Worst of all, her boys—ages 4 and 8—were taken from her. For Juliet, that was rock bottom.
“I was broken. They took the only two people in the world who had ever loved me unconditionally,” she says through tears. “I fell on my face before God, and I said, ‘I’m sorry, God. I want my babies back. Whatever it takes, I’m gonna serve you!’”
Over the next eight months, Juliet surrendered her life to Christ, turned her back on drugs and alcohol, and welcomed her boys back home. Though prison seemed likely, miraculously all charges were dropped. That’s when she heard God say, Now I can use you, Juliet. I’m going to use every vile thing that has happened to you to serve other women.
She enrolled at Ozark Christian College, and I’ve never had a student more joyful in the Lord than Juliet. She graduated with a psychology and counseling degree, and today, Juliet leads Guiding Light Ministries, a faith-based residential treatment program for women with addictions.
I asked Juliet to share her testimony as a trophy of grace in our college chapel. When she closed—“I’ve been clean and sober for six years and three days today!”—the college family stood to their feet in a thunderous ovation.
Tears streamed down her cheeks and the cheeks of six of “her girls” from Guiding Light on the front row. Jesus had taken what was “vile” and turned it into victory.
A better story indeed.
Matt Proctor is president of Ozark Christian College, Joplin, Missouri.