By T.S. Tiernan Jr.
Polly Johnson, 38, of Corinth has overcome a lot in life.
She was pregnant at age 12. Married by 13. Divorced by 25. Addicted to crystal meth by 26.
Up until crystal meth, Johnson was quite an overcomer. Despite her pregnancy and early marriage, she graduated from high school with honors, went to college on scholarship, got a teaching degree, and then found a teaching job she loved.
Life was good….until the divorce.
“Once I divorced, I needed to make some extra money. I found a job detailing cars. Between teaching and raising a daughter, I was tired. Then a friend of mine came along and told me he had an answer to my tiredness. It was called crystal meth,” she said.
“I was hooked. I can still remember those words today – ‘I have something that will keep you from being tired.’”
“It was readily available and free.”
Eventually, though, the drug took its toll. She lost her teaching job in 2005.
“Actually, I resigned, but I would have been fired had I not resigned. I was showing up late to school, didn’t want to grade papers, etc.”
“I lost my rental house. Lost my car. Lost custody of my daughter. I was in and out of jail on drug-related charges,” she said.
And, when things couldn’t get worse, they did.
“In February 2007, I found out I was pregnant again, but I couldn’t stop using meth. I wanted to. But I couldn’t.”
“You see when you are on drugs, your thought processes are all mixed up. It’s like you are in outer space. You just think you will fix everything tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes. That drug is so desirable you just don’t care about life. The drug itself is more important than life.”
And then the friend’s house where she was staying no longer was available because her friend moved to Alabama.
Johnson found a portable building in the back of an acquaintance’s house to stay. That building, much like the buildings on the side of the road offered as rentals, had no power and no running water. She slept on a box springs with no mattress.
“I thought I had it all together, but I was wrong.”
The former honor student and college graduate who had overcome every obstacle in her life had no answer for the situation she was now in. At least, she didn’t until she met Jesus.
“I delivered my second daughter. She was truly a miracle baby. Despite me using meth every day I was pregnant…despite not having any prenatal care…despite my living conditions, my little girl was born perfect. That had to be God. She did have drugs in her system and she had to stay an extra week at the hospital for observation, but she had no side effects or damage because of my drug use.”
“I remember lying there in the hospital getting ready to deliver her and deciding ‘I was done with drugs.’”
Johnson knew she needed help to break free.
While the baby stayed with her mother, Johnson went into a faith-based rehab facility. She was there for seven months. She graduated from rehab in May 2008 totally free because she “found Jesus two and half months into the treatment.”
Because it was faith-based, Johnson said many classes were devoted to learning about Jesus along with attending several church services weekly.
“During one of those church services, I heard a still small voice that I knew was the Holy Spirit that all I needed to break free of the chains was Jesus. A couple of days later at another service, I surrendered my life to Jesus.”
“You know I had been in church when I was a kid. I knew the process, but I didn’t understand what that meant for me. I found out differently and I am glad I did. I found out when you don’t have Jesus you are just in survival mode. And that’s all I was doing in life until I surrendered to the Lord.”
Jesus is the only one that can take the overwhelming desire for drugs out of a person’s heart, she said. “I have no desire whatsoever for any type of drugs. I am truly free.”
“He (Jesus) changes the desires of your heart. He gives you the desires He wants you to have,” Johnson said. “I have come to find out that life with Jesus is so full and rich.”
Besides setting her free from drugs, Jesus also has restored Johnson’s life. She is working as the manager at a medical records storage facility. She is married. She and her husband, Craig, and their two daughters attend Oakland Baptist Church in Corinth. Her first daughter who was taken from her is now 26 and she has a relationship with her.
Craig’s testimony is also featured in this edition.
Today, Polly Johnson is working with Living Free Ministries as its Women’s Director and is helping women to overcome their addictions.
“It’s never easy listening to the pain they are going through, but I understand and want to help.”
As for what the future holds, Johnson said, “Whatever I do will be God’s will and it will all be for His glory.”
Living Free Woman Director Polly Johnson’s video testimony