When Towana Manning came to 7 Springs Ministries, she had lost custody of her kids due to her drug problem, and she was living life on autopilot. She knew that she needed help, but the pain was much greater than her desire to get sober.
“I had been on drugs for about three years, and there were warrants out for my arrest,” she said. “One day the cops tried to pull me over for speeding. I had no tags, no license, no insurance, so when I saw the lights go on, I ran.”
As Towana sped away from the police in the rain, something inside told her to put her seatbelt on. Seconds later, she lost control and flipped her truck.
“By the grace of God, I didn’t have a scratch on me. I climbed out of the back of the truck and the cops arrested me.”
Towana spent two weeks in jail before she was released to the 7 Springs recovery program. After two days in rehab, she walked out in fear of what lay ahead. It was fight or flight.
“I was terrified; I was lost. When I look at pictures of myself before I entered the program, I can see the lifelessness in my eyes.”
Fortunately, God led Towana back to 7 Springs, where she would eventually finish the residential recovery program.
“Daniel [Hughes] told me that 99% go back to jail when they leave the program. I was blessed to be part of that 1% that make it back to the program.”
Once she committed to recovery, Towana harnessed the same “hustle” mentality that had fueled her drug addiction. The same drive that got her in trouble was now being channeled in a healthy direction.
“You gotta chase being clean as much as you’ve been chasing drugs.”
She started fasting—first from food and then from words because “you can’t hear God when you’re talking.” The answers she received from the Lord during that time were miraculous. She learned how to be humble and patient. She gave everything over to God, and that’s when things started falling into place.
“I learned I can wait on God and sit still. That was a hard thing for me to grasp because I’m a control freak, but I realized I wasn’t really in control of anything. I figured out that I don’t always need to ask ‘Why?’—I just have to be obedient to God and he will bring me through it.”
Towana started reading her Bible more, and her faith grew. Even though there were still days when she felt scared, she kept pressing forward. She graduated from 7 Springs’ recovery program and now manages the Esther House Thrift Store in Jacksonville, Alabama. She loves being able to encourage the women she works with as they pursue their own recovery journey.
“I realized how much I wanted to give back and help other women find themselves. I want these girls to get their life back—their smile back.”
Towana now has her own house, a restored relationship with her kids and a flourishing relationship with Jesus. She likens the recovery process to sorting clothes at the thrift stores:
“I’ll gather the staff together and say, ‘Between y’all, we have hung, tagged and sorted every single article of clothing in this store. Each rack has about 100 items, but we do one rack at a time. Small goals lead to big accomplishments.’”