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The Blessing of a Stolen Bible

After 15 years of drug addiction, Jamianne Roy finds the Lord and family restoration.

Jamianne M. Roy entered the addiction recovery program at Home of Hope in Casa Grande, Arizona, after stealing a Celebrate Recovery Bible from a car in Spokane, Washington.

Addicted to methamphetamine since the age of 18, Roy broke into vehicles in search of money and valuable items to sell to support her habit. Thinking that she had stolen a laptop, Roy brought the Bible — which had been concealed in a cover — back to her apartment.

“The one thing I stole that I thought had no value, ended up saving my life,” says Roy, 40.

Roy’s drug habit began when she fell in with the wrong crowd as a teenager in Spokane. Her friends introduced her to cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana.

Roy began using meth after giving birth to her daughter, Kailianne.

“The first time I tried meth, I liked it,” Roy says. “Unfortunately, it takes a lot from you.”

Roy’s addiction took her ability to parent. She left Kailianne in her parents’ care so she could get high.

Although she managed to stay clean while pregnant with her second daughter, Emerald, her sobriety ended when Emerald’s father left.

Roy and Emerald moved to Tucson, Arizona, to live with her parents and Kailianne. She did well for a while, but a feeling of emptiness drove her back into addiction. She left Kailianne with her parents and sent Emerald back to Spokane to live with her father.

“I tried to run away from my problems, but you can’t run away from yourself,” Roy says. “If you don’t fill that emptiness, it will catch up to you.”

Roy began smoking crack cocaine and started dating her dealer. They lived together until police raided their home. She and the dealer both went to jail.

After serving time, Roy returned to Spokane and rekindled her relationship with Emerald’s father. They used and sold drugs together while living with Emerald in a garage without running water.

Child Protective Services intervened and removed Emerald from Roy’s custody. After two years in foster care, a couple from Emerald’s school adopted her.

“When you’re in addiction, all you think about is when you can get high again,” Roy says. “You love your kids, but you don’t think about how it’s hurting them.”

The pain of having neither of her children drove Roy deeper into addiction. She resorted to prostitution and theft to support her habit. That’s when she unknowingly stole a Celebrate Recovery Bible from an automobile. She eventually decided to open the pilfered book.

“I read stories of how God helped people like me,” Roy recalls.

Roy returned to her habit of seeking to get high on drugs, but after reading Scriptures, she says she started feeling emotions for the first time in a long time. She wrote a prayer asking God to help her.

The answer to Roy’s prayers came in the form of a phone call. Her brother, who lived in Tucson, called to say he thought she could use some help from Arizona Teen Challenge. He offered to buy her a bus ticket to Tucson so she could enter the program.

“It was the first time that I was honest about my addiction with anyone in my family,” Roy says. Although her parents realized she struggled with drugs, they had no idea of the full extent of her problems.

Roy’s sobriety began when she boarded a bus for Tucson in February 2015. “I prayed the whole time,” she recalls.

“Jamianne gave God everything she could give during the program,” says Jennifer L. Toro, center director at Home of Hope, the Adult & Teen Challenge center for women and children. “She gave her heart to Jesus and He began to change her.”

“The Jamianne that God created me to be came out during the program,” says Roy.

Roy spent one year in the program and participated in an internship with Home of Hope after she graduated. In 2018, she became public relations coordinator for Home of Hope.

In 2021, Roy joined the Teen Challenge Arizona corporate office in Tucson as the public relations director for all five centers in the state.

God also brought restoration to Roy’s relationship with her daughters.

“The Bible talks about how God will restore back what the enemy took,” says Roy, “He has restored that time back to us.” Kailianne and Emerald will serve as bridesmaids in their mother’s wedding in June to Tavis Tessler. They met while attending Celebrate Recovery meetings.

Bottom Photo: Jamianne Roy and Tavis Tessler will marry in June.

Ally Henny

Chicago-based Ally Henny is a writer, speaker, minister, and vice president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective, an organization committed to encouraging, engaging, and empowering Black Christians. She has her Master of Divinity from Fuller Seminary with an emphasis in race, cultural identity, and reconciliation,