A Graduation Day She Wasn’t Sure Would Come: Debbie and Shannon’s Story

By Jen Harp

Perhaps one of the toughest things any parent has to witness is watching their child seemingly self-destruct right before their eyes — and to feel powerless to stop it.

Not that Debbie didn’t try.

Debbie’s daughter Shannon was a good student and an athlete when she became addicted to drugs. Like most parents, it caught Debbie completely off-guard.

And, like most parents, she did what she could to try to rescue her daughter on her own. She thought: “I can help her. I can fix this.”

Shannon thought the same thing. She said, “Mom, I can fix this myself when I want to. I just don’t want to right now.”

But Shannon went downhill quickly. She ended up in jail, in the hospital, and off the radar for weeks and months. There were times Debbie laid awake at night, worrying constantly, not knowing where her daughter was, or even if she was still alive.

But all that changed when Shannon finally came to Shepherd’s Gate.
While in the program, Shannon found the right support she needed to face not only her addiction but the underlying brokenness that made her vulnerable to drugs in the first place.

Many parents would do anything for their child to be free of drugs, but they don’t have experience and they’re often so close to the situation that it’s hard to know what the right choice is. Because of your support of Shepherd’s Gate, Shannon and Debbie weren’t alone in this desperate fight for sobriety and wholeness.

Today Shannon is sober, healthy, active in the community, reaching out to others – and she assists with the children in childcare on the Shepherd’s Gate, Livermore campus.
She is determined to use her story for good. Though she works full-time, Shannon volunteers in youth ministry, sharing her story with teenagers in hopes they’ll make different choices than she did. She also recently completed her ministry degree, which will open even more doors for her to share her story!

Debbie couldn’t be more proud of her daughter.

Debbie and Shannon’s relationship has been restored, and they’re so thankful to have each other. Debbie never takes it for granted — she’s so thankful her daughter has been restored!

*** To hear from another family who regained their daughter after losing her to addiction, please check out this video on YouTube:

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