Janessa has a lot in common with most prison women. Starting in her teens, men abused her. She turned to booze and pot to deaden the pain. When her brother died in jail from an overdose, her life spiraled down into meth addiction, pulling her health and spirit down with it.
A meth induced brain abscess prompted her doctors to take 70% of her skull, leaving Janessa a slim chance of surviving. But survive she did. Only to face seizures, memory loss, depression, unemployment and being just plain broke.
Janessa slid back into dealing. She thanks God for getting caught and going to prison in May of 2017 where she discovered Gina’s program, Beauty for Ashes.
It takes faith and courage and maybe even some luck to survive Janessa’s mistakes.
But God is great, and He communicates in ways very special to each and every one of us. For Janessa, it was watching a monarch butterfly emerge from its cocoon. As it hung there with wings dripping wet, Janessa heard God tell her it was time to be transformed.
Janessa believes she was given this testimony so that she can continue to grow and to help others take a different path. She continues to tell her story through the Missouri S.T.O.P. drug court program. Janessa also speaks at victim impact panels for probation and parole and will be a part of the D.A.R.E program in the future.
When asked for her suggestion, Janessa said, “Look to God for strength and comfort.”
Well said, Janessa!