Nikki: A story of recovery
Nikki Marion was raised around bars. Her father took her to bars as a child regularly, so when Marion began to drink and use drugs at a later age it seemed natural. Marion’s life, like so many others addicted to drugs and alcohol, grew worse from there. A series of divorces, increased drug use, and abusive relationships eventually left her at a cross roads. Marion decided to look into a Christ-centered church in Tennessee, Peoples Church, under the direction of Pastor Drew Hayes. Upon meeting with Pastor Hayes, Marion was invited to become involved in a 12-step recovery group, “Celebrate Recovery.”
Marion’s life began to turn around from that point forward. Marion reported that applying the biblical 12-step principles was the most effective aspect in her personal recovery. Through steps of faith and with the help of a community of believers, Marion now owns her own home, obtained her GED and subsequently is in attendance at a local college, and has a job as the assistant to the Pastor of People’s Church.
The interesting thing about Marion’s story is the immense, life-changing opportunities that churches can provide to people struggling with addictions through adopting 12-step support groups like Celebrate Recovery. Celebrate Recovery, and similarly structure 12-step groups, can provide support for those on the road to recovery and resources for those that may need professional care or psychiatric hospitalization. The following is an excerpt from the Times-Gazette that gives the chronology of Marion’s life-changing experience:
Nikki Marion, pastoral assistant to Rev. Drew Hayes at The People’s Church, is a living miracle; an example of God’s power to change a life completely. The difference between Marion today and when she first stepped through the doors of People’s Church is like day and night.
Today, Marion is an invaluable member of the staff at the church, but when she first visited the congregation a number of years ago, she was tormented with addictions, depression, and constant thoughts of suicide.
Born in Long Island, New York, Marion was raised by parents who were no strangers to rough living, both mother and father involved heavily in drugs and alcohol.
“I was a Daddy’s girl and I would spend a lot of time with my dad in the bars when I was little,” Marion said. “I guess I kind of grew up in bars. Drugs and alcohol were always around, and I saw it all when I was growing up.”
By the time Marion hit her teen years she was running the streets and began doing drugs and alcohol herself. She became pregnant when she was 16, and the father wanted nothing to do with the baby, or, as Marion soon found out, babies. She was pregnant with twins.
At 17, she married a man who was getting ready to go into the U.S. Navy. He wasn’t the father of the twins, but he took in the little family as if they were his own. The couple later had a son together. The family found themselves living on Naval bases in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia, but Marion divorced her husband when she was 21.