Shout Out-Natalie Bilbro

JESUS, I’m addicted to YOU!! I’m a full blown addict that’s shifted her focus 

Healing, Healing, Healing, Restoration

After reading Natalie’s testimony, these are a few words I would use to describe her before the Lord healed and restored her: bad childhood, alone, rejected, hurt, drug addict, needle junky, hopeless and desperate. The Lord had other plans for Natalie and other words to describe her. These are a few words the Lord would use to describe her: child of God, redeemed, healed, forgiven, blessed, Spirit filled, a new creature in Christ, joint heir with Christ, overcomer, warrior, the head and not the tail and soldier of God.

The Lord can change and transform you, just ask Him to.

LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. Psalm 30:2

This is Natalie’s testimony, but it could also be yours. Satan wants to steal, kill and to destroy your life. Jesus wants to give you life everlasting with Him in heaven and an abundant life on the earth as we are prepared for heaven. Abundant means large quantities, plentiful, lavish, generous, huge, overflowing, having plenty of something, more than adequate. My cup runneth over. Thank You Jesus.

The choice is yours to make. Once you get to the end of yourself choose Jesus. Open your heart to Him and let Him take care of your needs. Put Him first and live your life for Him and you will have an abundant life on the earth as well as eternal life in heaven with Jesus and all other followers of Christ.

Testimony:  I’ve often wondered where things went wrong. I can remember being just a little girl and seeing my mother sit and watch the 10 o’clock news because my dad wasn’t accounted for. Sometimes she would call the local hospitals and jails. Then there were the times she would wake me up because I guess she thought it was ok to drag my dad out of countless bars.

When I was 10 years old my parents divorced. My dad had been having an affair and had gotten another woman pregnant. I can remember my mom telling my “one day you’ll grow up and you’ll understand.” My mom took it really hard. I pretty much lived with my grandmother after that and rarely saw my dad at all. When I was 16 my mom had a terrible car accident and was thrown from her vehicle. I hadn’t even known of it, but she had acquired a pretty bad addiction to prescription pain pills just before the wreck. She was lucky to be alive, but she hasn’t been the same since. Her habit only escalated when she got prescribed OxyContin. I felt alone most of the time. My mom wasn’t my mom anymore and my dad, well, he was just my dad- whatever that was.

I met Jacob right after I turned 17 and I was crazy about him. When I was 19 I became pregnant with my first child. Only a couple of months into the pregnancy I got a phone call from a girl telling me she was pregnant by Jacob also. Devastation hit me all over again and I remembered the words of my mother. When my daughter was only a few months old I got a job at a local night club. Drinking wasn’t really my thing, but it was everyone else’s so I just joined in. Drinking led to smoking pot and taking pills.

When my daughter was 3, I got pregnant with my son. I stayed mad pretty much the entire pregnancy because their dad never missed a beat. I had my mind made up that after the baby was born I was going hard. When my son was only about 2 months old I signed up for a local methadone clinic. The truth of the matter is, I never knew what addiction was and had never experienced a single physical withdrawl until I went too long in between methadone doses.

I couldn’t even wrap my head around what I had done to myself and I was left in a state of hopelessness and despair. I can remember trying to stop and on day 5 I literally hit my knees and begged God to take the air out of my lungs. Even then, I had not hit my rock bottom. I hadn’t even come close.

When my daughter had finished her first year of kindergarten (my son was 3) I packed our stuff up and went to go stay with my grandmother in Birmingham. I knew I needed to change; the kind of change that requires sacrifice, hard work and dedication. I also knew that my daughter and my son needed more stability than I could give them, so I made the decision to send them to live with my uncle and his wife. It was the 2nd hardest decision I had ever made, number 1 being the desire to change. We went before a judge and I signed over temporary custody.

For a good month I just isolated myself and tried to regain whatever life I had left in me. The demon was still going strong and I eventually ended up participating in a medical study for sub Oxone. That only lasted about 6 months and when it was over I found myself in an even darker place than before. How had my life come to this? How is it that I was shooting heroin? I didn’t have the money to go to a sub Oxone doctor and there was no way I was going back to methadone. What would my uncle say?

A good friend of mine named John stepped in and promised me that I’d never have to be sick enough to put another needle in my arm because he was going to the doctor and he would supply me with the sub Oxone. We made an agreement, and the hard part was over. So I thought. Things were pretty good for a while.

I ended up going and taking the GED pre-test and scored so high on it that the state of Alabama paid for my test. I got my GED and John paid the deposit for me to enroll in cosmetology school at Paul Mitchell School Birmingham. I graduated Paul Mitchell with honors and got a job at an upscale salon in the Birmingham area.

Still, that demon was living somewhere deep down within me. The salon is a very fast paced environment and as unfortunate as it is, there’s a good amount of drug use; a whole lot of pills. Because of the sub Oxone, pills did nothing for me so I didn’t bother.

I had managed to maintain a decent relationship with my uncle and I still saw my kids on the weekends. In September of 2013, my grandmother had taken a turn for the worse. Since my uncle had power of attorney over her, he made the decision to put her in a nursing home. So just like that, my grandmother was moving out of her house and I had nowhere to go. My uncle and I had a small dispute over the vehicle I was driving because he was unaware that she had already given me a bill of sale for the car and it was mine. When I refused to take him the car he changed the locks on the doors of the house with all of my belongings inside and refused to allow me to even speak to my kids.

So I made the irrational decision to decrease my sub Oxone dose until I no longer needed it and I would just use methamphetamine to get me through because surely I could control that. I don’t know what I was thinking. I had moved in with my best friend at the time for about 6 months and when I realized I wasn’t getting any better and that I had been there long enough I packed up and moved in with a family member.

I didn’t realize just how bad things were. The drug was clouding my decision making skills and my reality wasn’t reality. I lived in a trailer that had an extension cord from the neighbors as a power source. The water lines were ran off of the neighbors lines. There was no heat and no refrigerator. I stayed isolated and high in that place for two years. The way I looked at it, I deserved every ounce of misery around me. Even when I tried to be better, I only got worse. I traded in one bad habit for another. I was living in at least three different versions of hell and I had nothing and nobody. I rarely slept, and when I did I suffered from sleep paralysis and night terrors. I was tormented when I was awake and I was tormented when I went to sleep. I knew I’d just about had enough. I can remember sitting in my car and just crying out to God for help.

I attended a revival at a local church on a Friday night. Every hand in the congregation was on me and I could feel God pulling on me harder than I had in a very long time. It seemed like a domino effect after that. I went to church that next Sunday and on the Saturday that followed I ended up swallowing everything I had and quitting my job the next Sunday morning. Something in my spirit said it was time to go. I called the Lovelady Center (TLC) Monday morning and again on Tuesday morning. I couldn’t take no for an answer. I walked into the doors of TLC on April 20, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. and I can honestly say I haven’t been the same since. All the glory to God. I graduated the program on January 20, 2017. I still reside here at the center and have been given employment through the center. Today, I’m thankful for my sobriety. I know God isn’t done with me yet and I know He is a God of restoration. I can’t wait to see my babies again and never again will I take time for granted. 

“LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.”
Psalm 30:2