The scene played out in her head every day—the lifeless body, her pounding headache, the taunt of addiction still whispering in her ear.
Nadia* and her husband tried for nine years to leave opium behind them. But having first tasted its effects at a young age, it was too difficult to let go. The swamp they found themselves in just went deeper and deeper. The thirst overwhelmed them. They lost contact with their family, and they fought regularly.
Ultimately, opium addiction led Nadia to murder her own husband.
His death was all Nadia could think about while sitting in her prison cell. She realized she had lost everything and vowed never to touch drugs again.
When Nadia was released from prison, she had nothing left—no husband, no family, no friends. She knew she could never go back to drugs, but as hard as she fought for normalcy, she broke and turned to alcohol. She loved the way it calmed her, numbed her. It provided her with a means of escape and soon became a daily habit. She allowed herself to slowly slip away, accepting her fate.
But then Nadia discovered a local rehabilitation center and admitted herself. She had no idea what was in store for her future. Nadia saw herself as an addict, an alcoholic and a murderer, and she didn't think her guilt would ever fade.
But she had decided to try one last time.
At the rehab center, Nadia joined a small group of patients to watch a movie. It was in this group that she saw "Magdalena: Released From Shame." Nadia admired Jesus's compassion toward sinners.
Nadia finally saw a point to life in following Jesus. She saw how He could lift the burden of her guilt off her shoulders and how He loved her in spite of her sin. For the first time in her life, she began reading the Bible and now reads it daily as she continues to progress in her rehabilitation.
God used "Magdalena" to open Nadia's eyes to see she is no longer an addict, an alcoholic or a murderer. Instead, because of Christ's redemptive work, Nadia is a child of God.
If this story resonated with you or reminded you of someone in your life, know that God has not forgotten you or them, and nothing is too hard for our God. Be encouraged by reading, "3 Lessons from the Life of Mary Magdalene."
*Some names and/or locations have been changed for confidentiality.