One80 Podcast Episode 30

Air Date: December 6, 2022

Stephanie Starr, Checking All the Wrong Boxes


This transcript may have errors that do not reflect the audio found in the show.


II Stephanie Starr


Margaret: Stephanie, we were just talking about your awesome story and you shared something with me that took place in the county jail. Can you share that with our listeners please?

 In county jail, we would rack up for the night and before we would go to sleep, the girls would lead us in our prayer. And one of the things we always said was, Lord, I am not where I wanna be, but thank God I am not where I used to be. I. Stephanie is a suburban mom, raised in a loving home with a fruitful career. On the outside, she had. So how did she get to the county jail three times. And how did her brokenness get so bad that God finally reached her in solitary confinement? It was saying yes to all the wrong things, checking the boxes, keeping up appearances , on the. But on the inside was another story. Welcome to Stephanie’s 180. 

Ryan Henry: Well Stephanie, welcome to the show. Thanks so much for being on one. 

Stephanie Starr: Thanks so much for having me.

Ryan Henry: I’m so excited to hear your story. It’s gonna be absolutely amazing. I’m sure. But before we do that, we were just talking a little bit about food before the show started. Uh, so speaking of food, what is the craziest food that you’ve ever tried? 

Stephanie Starr: Oh,, I’m pretty adventurous with foods. Like, I, I like almost everything. Yeah, it depends on if it, if it likes me back, but I’ve traveled quite a bit. So, um, I’m never opposed to trying any of the local cuisines, anywhere that I go, so

Ryan Henry: Wow. Have you ever tried, roasted crickets? 

Stephanie Starr: I have not, but I hear that’s probably a great source of protein.

Ryan Henry: yeah. Right, right. Okay. Well, don’t eat any cricket then I wouldn’t recommend it. So, uh, well, let’s get, let’s get into your story, Stephanie. And if we can go back to the beginning and just talk to us, about where you grew up. 

Stephanie Starr: Sure. So I grew up in a large suburb, Southwest of Chicago. Very safe community, uh, very affluent community with great schools and, uh, pretty much anything that you could want , for raising a family. So that is where I was born and raised.

you know, very loving mother and father, um, a sister just very, very close and, yeah, you know, I never really had any problems or issues or anything other than a really, ideal childhood, so,

Ryan Henry: Yeah. So family relationships were pretty good. 

Stephanie Starr: oh yeah. , Never any conflict. Um, you know, my dad used to tell me and my sister that we were his reason for existing and my mom was, you know, the, the lunch mom, the art mom, the girl scout leader, mom, the library volunteer mom. So she was at school just about every day, um, with my sister and me.

And then, um, I love to tell the story when my sister and I were were younger, we used to share a room and if one of us couldn’t sleep, the other one would hold each other’s hand until we could fall asleep. So it was, , very comforting family, very, very close-knit family.

Ryan Henry: Wow. And would you say that you were a pretty good kid? 

Stephanie Starr: Oh, very, very good kid. I was a rule follower. I was, very shy and quiet, uh, kind of reserved. Uh, I was a voracious reader and writer and you’d always find my nose in a book. Always very well behaved. All my report cards had, very good marks for being nice to others and getting along with others and definitely a teacher’s pet type.

So that would describe me to a T.

Ryan Henry: Yeah. Wow. So, um, so what was your, what is your, your faith background like back then?

What was your view of God? 

Stephanie Starr: My view of God was, not relational whatsoever. So I always thought of God as someone, very, or an entity, very separate from anything in my heart. And. I almost thought of him as like a celestial cop, if you will. So anytime I did anything bad, it was like, oh no, God saw me.

Oh no, he’s gonna be mad at me. It definitely had more of a viewpoint of God being vengeful and scary. You know, when I would hear the phrase. Fear of God or God fearing. I thought I had that because I was afraid of God. I was afraid of him knowing that I did anything wrong. , as a perfectionist and as somebody who was always really well behaved or tried to be well behaved, if I did anything that was not perfect, it was, it was very upsetting to me.

It was very hard for me to handle that. And I, I, it would never occur to me to go to God as a father and ask for help or, admit my weakness. Anything of that sort. I remember doing my first reconciliation when I was in second grade and it was really just pretty traumatizing for me since I was such a sensitive kid.

I, I’m not even sure what I would’ve been confessing at that point, honestly, like maybe I wasn’t nice to my sister. Maybe I didn’t do my chores. remember just afterwards feeling like I couldn’t do anything So I ran out of there crying, ran right to my mom.

And I remember going home that night and just setting the table perfectly and brushing my teeth over and over so that they would be perfectly clean and like not wanting to talk or say anything because I didn’t wanna have to go back in there and confess anything that I did wrong. So it really, , separated me further from God.


Ryan Henry: So from that moment of going in and, basically confessing your sin, did that have an effect on your faith or was that kind of like a significant moment?

Would you say 

Stephanie Starr: Absolutely. And it’s something I didn’t even realize until, now being an adult and being a believer and, and going back, and God is really showing me, where our relationship veered off or where I, where that disconnect really came through. And I’m sure that not everybody has had that kind of experience with a reconciliation, but for me, I just never like got the memo that it was about a relationship with God and that he expected us.

He expects us to sin. He expects us to be weak and that’s, that’s where we need him. And I think. Going back and looking at that, what I was really missing is being Bible based. So everything that I believed about God was really kind of like a rumor. It 

Ryan Henry: Yeah. 

Stephanie Starr: what, what I would hear from, from my friends or what I would observe, you know, people who said that they were Christians doing and, yeah, everything was, yeah. The best way to put it is that I, I believed rumors about 

Ryan Henry: uh, Stephanie, how then growing up, through middle school, high school, how did those rumors and the things that you thought to be true about God, how did that affect you in the way that you lived your life? 

Stephanie Starr: So I would definitely say that because of those rumors that I believed about God, everything was very legalistic in checking the box. And I went through my confirmation when I was probably about 17 years old, and it’s really funny because I remember so clearly going on a church retreat at that time. And I felt, felt a relationship with the holy spirit.

I felt this very lighthearted, Peaceful, uh, way about me after I had that church retreat. And I, I just remember coming home and telling my mom, like, I feel so, so good. I feel different. And just like everything else in my life, you know, everything came so easily to me and I never had to work hard for anything um, including my relationships.

So, my relationship with the holy spirit was the same way. So it was kind of like a when and done, okay. I checked the box there. I did my confirmation and I felt the holy spirit. And I never thought anything about continuing to pursue that or, get that relationship any deeper. So that was definitely.

 A one time experience that I’m so glad that I had, because I had the spirit in me from that point on, I just didn’t recognize it or do anything to really foster that relationship. I was really quenching the spirit and I didn’t even know it, beyond that point, but, but yes, everything was very legalistic, checking the boxes and whatever looked good for appearances, , was what I was going to do.

Ryan Henry: Okay. Okay. So then what happened from there? 

Stephanie Starr: so from there I went to college, so I immediately, it was like, oh my gosh, I’m, , you know, away from my family, I can experience whatever I wanna do for the first time. And, I was really naive. So, I didn’t realize that people at school weren’t going to think that I was a reason for existing, like my dad thought.

And I didn’t realize that my mom wasn’t gonna be there to, , be at school with me all the time and to be, at my side all the time. And I didn’t realize that people weren’t gonna wanna hold my hand when things went wrong. Like my sister did, and I was just really, really naive. So I. Started drinking and doing drugs and promiscuity followed very quickly after that.

And the combination between my being so naive and my perfectionism, it really just spiraled outta control very quickly. So I was really disappointed in myself and some of the mistakes that I had made. And instead of having that relationship with God and knowing that I could go to him, in that weakness and ask for his strength, um, it just made me further like, okay, well, God would be really mad at me now, if he knew this, you know, thinking like how my parents would think or how, a human would, would feel disappointed in those things.

Ryan Henry: Hmm. 

Stephanie Starr: All, none of my friends were believers either. Really? So, yeah. I didn’t have anyone sort of saying, you know, Hey, this is what a relationship with Christ looks like, or this is what a relationship with Christ could do for you. I would say really the biggest problem was binge drinking. the people I was hanging out with that’s that’s all we did. It helped me come outta my shell. So, , you know, I said before I was a very shy, girl So going to the bars and being a big part of the party scene didn’t really come naturally to my personality. But. I was intrigued by it and that’s what my friends were doing. And I wanted to be a part of that. So, , the drinking definitely helped, you know, loosen me up and just took my inhibitions away.

So that would be. Kind of a cycle I would get into. So I would be really hungover and then I would need to smoke a lot of weed just to kind of be able to, to function again, to get through that hangover and to do what I needed to do during the day, before I would just go, party again. So it really just became habitual and I didn’t know how to get out of it.

And it was socially acceptable.

I don’t even know that I realized I was going down a wrong path because I was still able to get everything done that I needed to do. 

Ryan Henry: interesting. 

Stephanie Starr: So it almost, and, and like I said before, so things came pretty easily to me. So I never really had to study. I didn’t have to work hard to get decent grades. I’ve always been a hard worker and able to get a job and hold down a job and earn enough money to, to get by.

So I never suffered any consequences. 

So after college, I, uh, moved back to, uh, Chicago area and I ended up, moving downtown Chicago. and, really the that’s where the partying just got more and more out of control. going out to some big bars, downtown Chicago, just finding harder drugs and. Taking it further. And once again, not really feeling the consequences of it because I was still getting my stuff done. So I was able to hold down my job. I was able to pay my bills you know, the, the hangovers and the repercussions of my going out were starting to get a little bit more severe, I could still power through.

I, you know, I remember calling out of work pretty frequently and, making up excuses for why I couldn’t be there. but again, nobody at work ever called out that I had a problem or that I smelled like alcohol or that I seemed hungover, anything like that. I kind of just still got by.

I really did not think much about him at all. since college. really the, the point from when I completely discounted myself from a relationship with God was when I was 24. And, I got pregnant and I had an abortion. And at that point, you know, like I said, growing up Catholic, I always learned about like mortal sin or V Nielsen.

I can’t even remember, you know, all the levels of sin, but, um, I knew at that point, that was it. I mean, I just, that completely separated me from any hope of ever wanting, to have a relationship with God and looking back now that is of the many things that I have done in my life. That is the thing I regret by far the most because, um, I didn’t wanna come home and tell my parents that I was pregnant and I didn’t wanna come home and tell ’em, I didn’t even know who the dad was and It blows my mind now that I would rather avoid a hard conversation and do something like that. So, yeah, that was really, really the point for me, not only, to discount myself from any sort of a relationship with God. Um, but that also definitely slowed down, um, my partying lifestyle.

  I’d say for about six months after that, I just remember, sitting still in that beautiful apartment on lake shore drive and just sitting in the dark, not wanting to go out, not wanting to do anything. Just a very, very deep depression after that didn’t wanna talk to anybody about it. it was nothing, nothing was an option for me, cause I didn’t wanna talk about it.

Ryan Henry:  Wow. 

Stephanie Starr: that summer I met a guy and he was older than me. And he was not really into partying so much. And he was really responsible and he was like a grown up and we started talking.

I’m like, okay, this is, he feels like a safe guy. He feels like not the kind of person I had been hanging out with before. I wanna be in a relationship now and, just kind of got into a relationship. um, because I was lonely and I wanted, to change and I had no idea what a change looked like.

so to me at that time, a change looked like getting into a relationship with somebody who was completely different than anyone I had ever spent time with. um, so this man, he, um, he was Jewish. And I thought, okay. well, I, can’t be Catholic anymore because God is so mad at me for what I’ve done.

So, um, I never really understood what Christ did for me on the cross. all that just was totally over my head, so I thought, okay, I can be Jewish. So, started at attending a temple and we went through, conversion courses and I actually then ended up converting to Judaism, 

And really, yes, my motivation for doing that was, certainly that guilt I was feeling after my abortion. 

And, wanting to run about as far away, or what I thought was as far away, 

So, it ultimately didn’t end up being all that different, for me spiritually, but again, checking the boxes and looking on paper, it felt very different to me and I needed to change.

there are, there are parts where I definitely was getting fed spiritually. So I did enjoy, diving more into the old Testament and feeling, I guess, like I had a fresh chance at a relationship with God. I don’t know why I thought it was like a different God than what the one I was afraid of before.

now the relationship I was in, it was definitely more being culturally Jewish, um, than really spiritually. So it was more about. The holidays and the traditions and, the, the cultural aspects. so we would attend temple on high holidays and do, the rituals that were involved with Judaism, but the tourist study, understanding once again, God’s character or what he wants us to know about him through the Bible.

 that was totally not on my radar whatsoever, but you know, there I am checking the boxes and okay, now I’ve got holidays to celebrate now. yeah, I just felt like that was my fresh start.

Ryan Henry: Yeah. 

Stephanie Starr: So we did get married we had a, a Jewish wedding ceremony. It’s the only Jewish wedding I’ve ever been to was my own. Um, and we had our daughter, two years later. So, um, she’s our only child. And, she’s a wonderful, little girl.

Ryan Henry: Yeah. Wow. did you feel like, cuz you were talking about how I’m really glad that you said this too, that you know, with. Box that you would check, you know, doing the thing, going to school, getting my stuff done, keeping a job, getting married, changing my faith, checking all these boxes, having a baby.

Did you feel like that solves the the inner struggle, you know, of just, finding your place? Who is this? God. talk to us about that. 

Stephanie Starr: So the more boxes that I checked that society would say, yes, this girl is successful and she’s doing everything that she needs to do. The more boxes that were checked, uh, the less spiritual I was feeling and the more broken I was feeling on the inside. So yes, all those boxes that I’m talking about, checking that is just burdens upon burdens laying on your shoulder.

So trying to keep up the appearances of being a great mom, having the great career and still having growth there, being a great wife, you know, society will tell you that you can have it all. .

And, you know, really by the time my daughter was born, I was, I was already exhausted and I was only 30 years old. but I just, I, I couldn’t really even see a future for myself. I was trying to maintain everything that I had before she was born. And then in addition to, you know, being a perfect mom, so you know, that perfect perfectionism never went away.

it only compounded. as I started to get more responsibilities, especially looking back on that I had really severe postpartum depression. I didn’t give myself any sort of time to heal.

I didn’t have any grace with myself. So I was back to work three weeks after a C-section. I was trying to get a promotion at work. I was, trying to still continue everything as I was, before I was a mom. And didn’t realize that having a daughter, wasn’t just another thing to add onto my list.

That that was really

something life changing and that my body had gone through something life changing. And, I, I didn’t take any sort of. care, um, to how I was feeling and thinking that I needed to change anything. And of course, I didn’t wanna talk about it with anybody either. So I just really suffered in silence.

Ryan Henry: What was that postpartum depression like? 

Stephanie Starr: Oh goodness. just very, a lot of emotional, highs and lows. Um, a lot of not being able to articulate my feelings, um, not understanding why everything was checking the boxes and looked so good yet. I felt so bad and I couldn’t explain. With any sort of, um, grace or tact, how I was feeling. So then I would end up coming out like explosive after a certain point.

And I couldn’t articulate it in a way where people would still understand that I love my daughter and I love everything, uh, about being a mom, but that I was still struggling. Like to me, the, it was so black and white and those things couldn’t coexist.

Ryan Henry: Yeah. Kind of an attitude of, well, you should just be happy. You’re a mom, like just, you know, don’t be depressed. Get over. 

Stephanie Starr: E exactly. Yeah. It’s like the, you should, you should, you should. and that actually then all culminated, when my daughter was about 18 months old, so, I was trying to, uh, breastfeed her for two years and I didn’t realize at the time that, um, I actually wasn’t producing, any more breast milk for her and my hormones were going absolutely crazy.

Um, but I didn’t realize that at the time. I just was not feeling well. And I told my husband, I said, I need to go to a doctor. I need to see somebody. I just, I can’t stop crying. I can’t pull myself out of this fog or this funk. And I’ve gotta go talk to somebody. Well, of course, in the midst of that, it’s, it’s the holiday season and, uh, my family and I were also getting ready to pack up and move to Texas because I had gotten a big promotion with my job.

 Thinking. Okay. You know, maybe I’m just stressed out about these things that are coming. Um, but I don’t, I just really, at that point, I, I could not even get myself outta bed and I said, I need to go get help from somebody.

Stephanie Starr: So I went to a counselor and I told her my symptoms. And, uh, she said, well, it sounds like you have bipolar disorder. Well, that just scared me so bad. And I thought that it was my fault. Um, I looked on, you know, Dr. WebMD, you go on Google, you try to look up your symptoms or why, why am I like 


Ryan Henry: a good 

Stephanie Starr: Yeah.

Never, never do that. 

Ryan Henry: Oh 

Stephanie Starr: it’s hard not to. Um, but you know, I’m looking at, it says, you know, that smoking a lot of pot can make you feel like that. I’m like, oh my gosh, like I did this to myself. I felt so guilty. And so. Responsible for how I was feeling that it made me want to shy away again from getting any sort of help.

So, um, and then, especially back then, mental health stigmas were not, prevalent than, than, uh, what they are now even, and nobody was talking about having those issues. And I just, I thought that not talking about it would make it go away.

So, um, so we ended up moving to, um, a suburb of Houston, Texas a couple months after I had that counseling appointment. And I just thought, okay, you know, maybe I just needed to change a scenery and I’ve got this new job. We’ve got all this exciting new stuff coming up once. Check the boxes once again.

Ryan Henry: Yep. 

Stephanie Starr: I thought maybe I would be better.

And, um, after a few months down there I realized I still wasn’t feeling well at all. And I finally went, uh, to a doctor down there, uh, to, to get that taken care of. And that’s really where everything went south from there. And that’s why I called Texas my Egypt.

Ryan Henry: Wow. Yeah. Okay. So, so take us to Egypt, take us to, to that place. What, what did they, what did they say? What was the advice, um, from the, you know, from the, um, your doctor?

Stephanie Starr: So I went to, uh, again, I’m brand new down there. I don’t know anywhere to go or anything. So I went to, uh, the psychiatrists office that was up the street from the office, you know, nice neighborhood should, should be safe. My insurance takes them. Shouldn’t be a problem. Um, and I saw a psychiatrist there, let him know what my diagnosis had been, um, from my counselor in Chicago.

And he pretty much took my word for it and said, okay, well, we’re gonna start treating you for bipolar then. And you know, I’d explained the symptoms I was having and the ups and downs. And, 

um, , he said, okay, yeah, you’re gonna need to start taking some medications for the bipolar disorder. And looking back now, I realize I was going to, uh, what they call like a pill mill.

Doctors who will really just prescribe any sort of medication that you. 

Ryan Henry: mm-hmm 

Stephanie Starr: I think back now. And I realize I was sitting in a huge waiting room that was always packed full of people who looked very addicted. And I was so naive that I didn’t even notice that that’s what was happening around me.

So I, I was in there for legitimate help and I bought into the thought that, okay, bipolar is really hard to get medication straight and you’re gonna have to go through a lot of different meds to really get this cocktail right for you. So, um, so that’s what I did. So I started taking, um, a lot of combinations of, of different pills and I wouldn’t feel better.

So I go back in a month and, okay, well we need to up this. We need to take this out. Um, and so I was before I knew it just taking more and more pills and, uh, you know, finding myself. Ultimately, they then like asking for higher doses and just feeling like I needed all of that to get through, but it wasn’t even really helping me because I was still an emotional mess.

Um, at, at least at that,

um, in that part of my life now, um, with my career, things were taking off and going awesome. So that was, uh, definitely a, another way that I could hide that there were problems or anything going on. Uh, because at that point I was doing international travel. I was, um, working with all these different business units and people from around the world.

So again, nobody knew that I was having any of these problems because I hit it so well. And I was really determined to hide it because I was so broken on the inside that I had to look even better on the outside.

Ryan Henry: Hmm. Yeah. Wow. So from, would you, what would you say about the, the psychiatrist? Um, I mean, would you say he was a good, good psychiatrist? Just lots of meds or would you say overall? Not good. Just, 

Stephanie Starr: I would say, I, I don’t think that they had malicious intentions. I would, I think more that they kind of treated mental illness as a one size fits all like, okay, you’re showing XYZ symptoms. This must be it. And this is the protocol. Um, there wasn’t any more of a deep dive into, um, looking at it holistically.

So, you know, there, wasn’t a look at, you know, where are you spiritually? Where are you? You know, what’s going on in these other aspects of life? How is your diet, you know, do you have food sensitivities? Do you have, you know, looking at any other reason why there would be bipolar, why there would be anxiety?

Um, you know, they really just looked at it from. A physical standpoint and they treated it that way. So, you know, I would talk about my problems a little bit in there, but nothing really is, is a deep dive or they, they weren’t asking the right questions 

Ryan Henry: Yeah. How, how bad did it. 

Stephanie Starr: So I would say my low point, my marriage had fallen apart. Um, we were divorcing and, uh, that was really, really a dark time for me. Um, you know, being down in Texas without my family there trying to, uh, raise a young daughter and going through, um, this medical crisis that I was still in, um, you know, trying to get my finances in order.

And once again, still give that appearance that everything was okay. This was too much. Um, I can’t ever come back from this. Um, of course in, in my divorce, I was like, I’m not being Jewish anymore. So I put that all to the side and I just had no faith, uh, whatsoever. 

 So that was really the beginning of, um, two years of in and out of mental hospitals. Um, you know, would would tell, say it was medication management to work.

Um, so that’s why I couldn’t be there for a couple weeks at a time. 

And, you know, so I, I would go away and get on different medications, uh, would kind of level out a little bit, um, get my head screwed back on straight and then go back into, uh, the real world. So I was really almost living like a double life.

Like I was so mentally sick. Um, yet I was still doing great at work. I had started a graduate degree program. I was 

Ryan Henry: my 

Stephanie Starr: in the, yeah. In the process of like buying my own house. So really, I mean, once again, checking the boxes and, um, making everything appear perfect. When in actuality, um, I was just, I was crumbling inside.

I was, um, having affairs. I was still on all of these pills and, uh, really addicted at that point. Stephanie, what was it like to be on a cocktail of psych psychiatric drugs? 

It was really frustrating. I would, I would try to take my drugs as much. As I was supposed to, um, you know, being a compliant patient. So, so that’s the thing when you have, when you’re diagnosed with mental illness and you get that label on you, um, especially with people who are diagnosed with bipolar, they say, they’ll tell your caretakers or your loved ones that if they’re not taking their medications properly, they’re not being compliant.

And they’re about to go off into an episode. So I was kind of fighting against that. So if I would, would tell somebody like, you know, I don’t feel right when I take this. Okay, well, you’re supposed to take this. The doctor said you’re supposed to take this. And, um, so it was really kind of a, okay. You know, if I’m gonna do the right thing and be obedient, um, then I better just keep taking these, when I would go to the doctor and say, I’m not feeling right on this, or I need more of this.

Um, like I said, I was going to that place that was really kind of a pill mill. So they would just give me, uh, whatever I thought I needed. 

Ryan Henry: Mm-hmm 

Stephanie Starr: I would think, okay, if I’m not feeling better, maybe I need more, or maybe I’m not taking the right combination. And then of course, I would drink and I would, uh, be smoking weed.

And so I’m sure that that was not helping either, but really, I mean, I was just very foggy. I was not making good decisions. I was not a good employee. I was really, not an engaged mother at that point either. I was really just kind of spaced out all the time and, um, just really going through the motions.

And, uh, and I was very numb. I didn’t wanna think about anything because if I were clearheaded, then I would have to face my problems and I didn’t wanna do that. So at this, I guess the, the cocktail of medications really made it possible for me to hide from myself. Um, you know, looking back with, with hindsight, uh, because just like how, I didn’t wanna talk about my problems to other people by that point.

I didn’t wanna talk to myself about ’em either.

Ryan Henry: Yeah. Wow. Stephanie, did it get to a point where it was too much and how did you know. 

Stephanie Starr: yes. so I knew it was too much, when I would try to use those pills, uh, to overdose. And that was, uh, yes. So, so that was my first suicide attempt was trying to take too much of my anxiety medication. 

Ryan Henry: I see. 

 And nothing happened. Like I woke up a couple hours later and I was fine. 

Ryan Henry: oh my goodness. 

Stephanie Starr: so that was, that was a big sign to me like, okay, this is, I, I don’t want to die.

I don’t want this. I don’t wanna be gone, but I just, I don’t want my, I don’t want these problems. Maybe I need to be on something else. So, so that would be probably the biggest hint or, or reason that I felt like, like I needed rehab. were also other times where. Friends saw me really tripping out on the drugs and, you know, called the hospital on me, had had the ambulance take me away.

And then from the hospital they would, commit me into rehab, involuntarily. but finally the last trip to rehab that I took, was because, something upset me and I, you know, turned back to drinking and taking the pills and I knew I wanted to take too much. Um, and I had my daughter with me I said, this is not, good.

This is not appropriate. So I had enough clarity, to check myself in. This last time was just, like an intensive outpatient program. So I could still, you know, keep up the appearances of being okay. And being able to pick up my daughter and, be a parent. But, you know, during the day I, I was going to rehab.

So in fact, um, her first day of kindergarten, I I’ll look at the pictures of, of that. And I, it shows me I’ll dressed up for work and dropping her off to kindergarten. Um, but then I was on my way to rehab. So, you know, once again, check checking those boxes. And, um, I, I just look at that picture now and I see how sick I was.

 It was frustrating because I felt like I would take one drug and then it would make me really sluggish. So then I would wanna take another pill to make me feel more alert. And then that would make me feel really anxious so that I would wanna take another pill.

So it was, I was always chasing a different feeling and then whatever I would do to counteract that one, feeling it would give me another. And, um, it was, it just felt exhausting. I was like constantly trying to manipulate how I felt and I could never get that feeling. Right.

Ryan Henry: Yeah. So trying to like find the perfect. Place, but not landing there. 

Stephanie Starr: Yep. So it would just be in the checkups. How are you feeling? Okay. Well, I don’t, I’m not feeling well with this. I’m not feeling well with that. Okay. Well then we better switch it. Let’s try this. Okay. So then I try something else so that I’m having different side effects. Now I’m having weight gain.

Now I’m having, uh, weight loss. Now I’m not being able to sleep now. I’m not being able to concentrate now. I’m it was, it was always something. 

And um, every, every symptom I would have seemed to have another pill to go with it.

Ryan Henry: So you probably just got tired 

Stephanie Starr: yes. I was emotionally exhausted.

Ryan Henry: Yeah. How did you get outta that place? 

Stephanie Starr: my last trip to rehab was that intensive outpatient program rehab. And I really. At that point, I just, I wanted to be better. I didn’t wanna be on this rollercoaster anymore. And I said, you know what, whatever it takes, I don’t, I don’t wanna live life like this. Um, one of my trips to rehab, I saw a woman in there who was in like her seventies or eighties, still doing this medication management.

And I’m like,

I do not want this to be me. I, I can’t have this. so while I was in that last rehab program, um, I met, met a guy who was in there and he had the same sorts of problems that I had. And you know, you sit around in group therapy and you talk all day and you share your feelings and you talk about all of these things that are ordinarily.

Very shameful to share with the rest of the world. And I thought, wow, this guy likes me. And I like him and he knows everything bad about me. Um, so I’m gonna try something new again. I’m going to, um, get into a relationship and see maybe this is what I need. 

Ryan Henry: Hmm, 

Stephanie Starr: Um, yeah, so that was really, um, the beginning of how God got my attention honestly, um, is through this person, um, because he, he was so bad.

I mean, I, I would just, I would just say, how, how are you a Christian when you’re, when you’re this bad? Because you know, he would always be praying over meals. He always had a copy of the new Testament in his pocket, like this little jail issued, um, new Testament and I’m like, wait, you’re a Christian. Yeah.

How, how are you a Christian when you’re so bad? And he said, it’s because I’m so bad that I need a savior. And that was like the first pebble in my shoe that, and the first person who ever really admitted that they needed Christ because they were a sinner. And I’m like, I mean, that just ended up flipping my world completely upside down.

One simple statement.

Ryan Henry: Wow. Wow. And so what, what, what happened from there? 

Stephanie Starr: So from there, um, so I ended that stint in rehab, so it was like probably a two month program. Um, and him and I started hanging out, uh, right away and we were pretty much inseparable. So, um, you know, we unfortunately had the same mental issues and the same, uh, you know, issues with, with the pills and whatnot.

And I was still medicated at that point. Um, but where we differed is that he had all these connections in the Houston area to be able to get illegal drugs. And I had all the money to buy it. So we were, um, kind of a, a lethal combination there because he, he could hook everything up and then I, uh, would be able to afford it.

And that was really, um, kind of the anecdote to how those pills were making me feel was to start using more and more, um, illegal drugs. And before I knew it, um, probably two or three months after that stint in rehab, um, I was completely addicted to cocaine and I was doing a lot of ecstasy. I was doing a lot of, this, like a cough syrup drug.

They call it lean. Um, it’s like a promethazine with codeine, um, sort of thing. I mean, I was on a lot of Xanax as well, so, um, it was kind of that next level of trying to control how I was feeling. Um, but, but really amplified. So if my pills were making me feel slower sluggish, um, the Coke would, would wake me right up.

It would get me through to work. You know, I was still was holding down that job was still still in my grad school program. Although I was dropping classes pretty frequently. Um, you know, just, I would get started after a few weeks. I just couldn’t keep it up. And, um, so I was doing all of those. With the right things during the day, and then every night going downtown and getting drugs and partying and barely sleeping.

And, um, it was really unsustainable and it got outta control really quickly.

Ryan Henry: Yeah. Yeah. So what was your, what was your lowest point with.

Stephanie Starr: Lowest point I would say, would be, when I had taken a lot of drugs, I had been not going to work and I had, a mental psychosis really. I. Don’t even remember exactly what my thought process was. I, if you could even call it a thought process, I was really just dysfunctioning, but it ended up, in my first arrest.

So, um, my boyfriend, , and I were arrested and charged with, uh, possession of controlled substance. And that was definitely, uh, the beginning of rock bottom., 

Ryan Henry: what happened? What, how did you get out of this rock bottom? 

Stephanie Starr: so my first trip to jail, only lasted a few days. So, remember I’ve got that really supportive family and, people who, would help bail me out. So, you know, within a few days in the county jail, I was, I was bailed out and, trying to really white knuckle it, through my court dates.

So of course, when you get out on bond, they say, okay, you need to be sober. You can’t use, you’re gonna have to take drug tests. and that worked for a couple weeks and then. I, I hit rock bottom, I guess, even more of a rock bottom at that point. I was, not doing well, being sober on my own accord and in my own strength, coming off of that level of illegal drugs and, you know, still trying to take my prescription drugs, you know, as prescribed cause I was able to, um, but there were even some things then that I wasn’t allowed to take because they were considered narcotics.

So, I was, you know, just holding on by a threat and trying to still make sure people at work didn’t find out and still trying to maintain those appearances. 

so my boyfriend he had a pending case in a different county, where we had actually been. Pulled over. And I was in the back of a cop car a few months before that, um, I was released and he was arrested and charged with PO with intent to deliver.

So he was looking at like a really big prison sentence. um, we had decided that we were going to like Romeo and Juliet and, uh, we commit suicide together. So we. Picked up enough drugs, um, to where we knew that we would overdose, um, because we knew somebody who’d overdosed on that amount, um, pretty recently.

And so we, we went and picked those up and I don’t remember a good part of that day. I was very, very out of it, but I remember waking up and it was, uh, it was nighttime by that point. And, we were just about a mile from home and we had a flat tire and I was so, so angry at, how are we gonna get home?

I’m like, get outta the car. you get in the passenger seat, I’m gonna drive and we’re just gonna go home or where a mile from home let’s go. So, , started driving and, I got pulled over for a broken tail light of all things. , now I just imagine that it’s, God sending his angels, like punch out that tail light and save us.

 So. We got pulled over. They immediately, you know, run my plates, they run my license and they see that I’m out on bond. They see the pills that I’m prescribed. So, um, they see, see the stuff in the car. And, , so we are arrested once again. So, , after about three weeks after my first arrest, I was put in jail again.

but this time I was on no bond status, so I was stuck there for a while, 

Ryan Henry: Hmm. 

Stephanie Starr: nowhere to go.

Ryan Henry: Wow. What happened? 

Stephanie Starr: so while I was in there, in the holding cell in the first couple days, I was really just kind of in shock and I’m thinking, okay, you know, I can’t even call and tell my family where I’m at.

You know, they’re, they’re totally done with me. I’m sure at this point, I’ve, I’ve screwed up too bad once again, in kind of that black and white thinking. And 

Ryan Henry: Hmm. So, when those trays of food came around, um, in the holding cell, I prayed and it was the first time I had ever really set a prayer on my own accord. Yep.

Stephanie Starr: Yep. The first time I ever remember.

In my heart wanting to talk to God and, you know, any other time I had prayed, it was, you know, in church, like saying in our father or, you know, a corporate prayer or, you know, my grandpa sang a prayer at Thanksgiving dinner or something like that, but this was my first prayer ever on my own accord.


Ryan Henry: Wow. 

Stephanie Starr: Yeah, that was really the beginning of me starting to think of a relationship with God. 

Ryan Henry: Yeah in prison. 

Stephanie Starr: Yes. Yes. So, my first week in county jail, was really kind of a blur because you know, I’m again getting off of all these drugs. Um, they’re not giving me nearly the prescription drugs that I was taking on the outside and.

About a week in there. Um, you, I was really just having another mental breakdown. Like I, I, I can’t do this. The jail cell looks exactly like what you see on TV. There’s no windows, it’s stainless steel. You’re in a, a small room with four women. Not really nice people. you could say, And so, I was pulling my, my usual antics and my usual manipulation, and I told the guard, I said, if I don’t get out of this place, I’m gonna kill myself.

Well, that’s a great way to get yourself put into, uh, solitary confinement. , so I thought my cell was bad, but, then they ended up throwing me in the padded cell where I had, um, 

really Yeah, I had to use the restroom, like in a grate on the floor, bright, fluorescent lights.

It was freezing in, there was felt probably like 60 degrees. And, to me, to me being a cold is like the worst thing ever. So. 

Ryan Henry: Oh my 

Stephanie Starr: You know, not bar, barely eating, you know, maybe getting, uh, what they call Johnny S once or twice a day, which is like a baloney sandwich and an orange, barely any water I remember having, they would give us like a powdered, like a tank, almost like a, a powdered drink and I didn’t have any water.

So I remember just trying to make enough saliva in my mouth to dump that powder in and try to drink something. it was, it 

Ryan Henry: oh my gosh. How horrible. 

Stephanie Starr: was, a nightmare, but that’s, that’s where the Lord met me. And, that is I, I liken it almost to, I was thinking about like Jacob and the wrestling match in Genesis 32. I, I was in that room for three days and I didn’t know, day from night.

I didn’t know how much time had passed. I didn’t know if or when I was gonna get out of there. Um, there were certain points where I thought maybe I had died and gone to hell because I, it was just, it was a nightmare. And 

Ryan Henry: Hmm. 

Stephanie Starr: in there.

Eventually just rented to my heart. And I said, okay, whatever it is that you’ve got for me, Lord, it’s gotta be better than this.

I, he had me in a checkmate and I couldn’t do anything for myself. 


Ryan Henry: Wow. 

Stephanie Starr: and after, after that, he had my heart,

Ryan Henry: Wow. How, how, what, how did you get there? I mean, was it just, was there a prayer that you said, was it, was there a specific moment or did you just completely surrender?

Stephanie Starr: it was just, it was complete surrender, you know, being, being in that room with absolutely nobody to help me, nobody to talk to nobody who cared, how I was doing. that’s when, when I realized. That God was it? you Know, people had like carved a bunch of stuff into the, the walls there and I would look around and I would see, um, like crosses carved into the walls.

And those would just like jump out at me. You know, I was just noticing the crosses but yeah, it was really just that feeling of being completely alone, completely 

Ryan Henry: Yeah, yeah, yeah. What, what changed was there? Was there, um, I mean, when you, well, let me ask this. Um, so when you, when you’re in this cell and you’re all. What, what did that feel like for you? Did you feel a shift? 

Stephanie Starr: I I did. Um, it, it felt relieving. I mean, it was, it was just really like a, the biggest cry for help that, that my heart needed. It was like, I, I cannot do anything for myself. I am so dependent. I am so helpless. This mess that I’ve gotten myself in is, is too big for me to unwind, but at least I want to unwind it now.

 I don’t wanna be gone anymore. , I, I need this fixed and it’s gonna

take, the only entity who can move mountains to do it.

Ryan Henry: Yeah. Did, did it look like crying? Did it look like screaming? Was it talking to God? I mean, was it silent in your heart? I mean, what did that look like? If somebody was a fly on the. 

Stephanie Starr: I think it was more silent. I mean, I was very uncomfortable in that room. It was, you know, very small. , you know, I was just trying to like twist up into different positions and, it probably honestly looked like a rebirth, , like a baby fighting to get out of the womb.

Like it was 

just really, um, yeah.

Yeah, a lot of like fetal position and just trying to, trying to stay warm, trying to be as comfortable as possible. trying to shield my eyes from the light after a while. I don’t know if I slept or how much I slept.

It was just this complete time warp and, I don’t remember really crying out or screaming, anything like that, but it was just more of like a, you throw my hands up. Okay. I’m done. I’m so, so tired. So 

Ryan Henry: yeah. Wow. Wow. What, what happened after you? You, you know, gave your heart over to God. You surrendered. What happened next? 

Stephanie Starr: So that Monday morning, a volunteer from the mental hospital came and, took me out of the room. They, they changed me out back into the uniform and he said, I’m gonna take you to a place, , that I think will be much more comfortable for you. And so he walked me back, , to what they called the pods.

And that’s different than the four person cell I had been in. Um, this was, a large room that housed 48 women. there were windows, there were tables, there were books. There were games. There were, I mean, it looked like I had walked into the Ritz Carleton from where 

Ryan Henry: Oh my gosh. 

Stephanie Starr: To have access, to be able to go outside and to get fresh air and to be able to see, um, like a little slice of sky.

 I was thrilled to be put in there. and I would say for about a week, I didn’t talk to anybody. I was just still really traumatized from what had happened. I was really worried about my case. I, had not really been able to contact my family, you know, they didn’t wanna be talking to me.

Um, so I was, I was very quiet and just, , kept to myself and, you know, you kind of have to put up an appearance to like, , being a little bit tough or having kind of an edge in there cuz you don’t know who’s who yet, or sort of the order of things in there. , so I took that time to just kind of get my bearings.

And I figured out that the girls who were doing Bible study were nicer than the girls who were not doing Bible study. So, , I started to sit with them and I started to, you know, walk around with them out, when we would be able to go outside and, do the reading with them. we, you know, we were able to get Bibles, very easily in there.

So I got a Bible and, eventually just more and more, Was asking questions. And I, talked to people who are just evangelical Christians for the first time ever in my life. So that’s where, uh, I accepted Christ then as my savior. I’d say a few weeks after I moved into the pod.

So we were reading a book called treasures of the transformed life. It just taught me so much about what a, a relationship with God was like, it taught me how to pray it. Does anything that I ever would’ve wanted or needed to know about a relationship was in that book. , and then, uh, you know, they’ve, they’ve got the, prayer in there that you can pray to accept Christ. And so I did that, um, and it’s actually kind of cool because the girl who led me to that prayer, um, she had been waiting and waiting to get, what they call a pen pack, which means, uh, it’s your packet that you get when you’re getting moved from county jail to, uh, state jail or to prison.

And she had been waiting for that and it hadn’t come, um, about an hour after we prayed that prayer, um, her pen pack came and she was ready to go after that. 

Ryan Henry: Wow. 

Stephanie Starr: So it means, so when you’re sitting in county jail, it means like you’re either waiting to get sentenced or. Um, if you have been sentenced, like to more time, um, yeah. Then, then you’ll go to either state jail or prison. And that’s where you spend like your longer time. So people wouldn’t really stay in county, uh, for longer than a year.

I mean, I guess depending on what, what their case is, but, uh, county’s more temporary or for short term and then yeah. Going to your state jail or to your prison is just like your next step and it’s one step closer to home.

Ryan Henry: Okay. Gotcha. 

Stephanie Starr: Yeah. 

Ryan Henry: Wow. was there a bit, so in this Bible study, in this Bible study, was there a biblical truth that you just finally came to understand? 

Stephanie Starr: Yes. So that is, uh, where I first learned, uh, what is still today. Uh, my life first, which is, uh, second Corinthians 12, nine and

  1. . Actually, I can pull it up and read it right here. So, um,

so I’ve got it’s uh, each time he said, my grace is all you need, my power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me.

That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ for when I am weak that I am strong

Ryan Henry: Wow. Wow. That’s like just such a perfect verse for, for you and your story. I could see why that really re. 

Stephanie Starr: Yes. That was really the, the first time that I felt like, like I could rest in my weaknesses because that allowed Christ’s glory to, to shine through. And it started to click for me. Um, after that time

Ryan Henry: Wow. Okay. Yeah. So, so, you know, you’re in this Bible study, you’re growing this life verse is impacting you. I mean, what happened after that? How did you, I mean, you’re still in jail, you know? So, so can you just talk to us about how life changed from. 

Stephanie Starr: Yes. So, from there, so I, I was in jail for 10 weeks and my sentence. Uh, so I was charged with the DWI and, the possession of controlled substance where I ended up getting, , a program called, drug court or the court assisted rehab experience, uh, was my sentence. So, it’s really designed for people like me, who hadn’t really been in trouble with the law before, who were having some mental health issues who were. It just really needed rehab more than they needed, , like correction for behavior. So I went through, that rehab program, so that was a year long. Um, and I finished that successfully. Um, I, I say successfully, but it really kind of just checked the boxes there as well. Um, because I did relapse after, um, after that program.

So, um, you know, I would say that really the hardest year of my life was that year after I got out of jail. So, um, I equate it to when you, uh, read the Bible where Jesus says when, uh, when the word falls on like Rocky soil and it doesn’t really take, so, um, I was just still so immature and I kind of thought that, okay, well I’m a Christian, so everything should be good now.

Right. You know, going back to like the rumors about God almost. So, um, you know, it was very easy to be surrendered in jail when I didn’t have to worry about. 

Ryan Henry: right, 

Stephanie Starr: else, you know, there were, there were still things going on in my life, on the outside, but I didn’t know about it. So I, I could just focus just on being in the word and just, um, you know, it was really almost kind of a sweet slice of time because I didn’t have a lot of worries at least that I could do anything about.

Um, but when I got out, and I was in rehab. Um, my daughter and her dad had moved back to Chicago from Texas. So I wasn’t getting to see a lot of her. I was very alone.

So, I was, I got really angry with God and I thought, , I I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing now, I’m checking these boxes again. You know, why am I not getting everything that I want? You know, I didn’t realize at that point, that he refines by fire and that he was, um, He had broken me and he’s the Potter.

He’s gotta put me back together, but it doesn’t take a day. So it was really hard trying to, um, you know, of course I lost my job. Um, so I still had big girl bills from someone who made six figures in the oil and gas industry. So I was making $8 an hour as a hostess. I didn’t have my driver’s license.

Was really dependent on my family to help me pay my bills. And, um, so that was, that was a really challenging year. And when I got out of rehab, once again, I was kind of checking the boxes and I, you know, I was doing better, but, you know, as soon as problems came up again, , I ran right back, to using and, really the reason why I stopped using is because I overdosed on cocaine and, 

um, I passed out, I hit my head on the bathtub and, and then knowing how I felt after that, I said, okay, I gotta be done. 

Um, so that was the last time that I used.

Ryan Henry: Wow. Wow. It’s amazing how, you know, so many bad situations, God has truly used to get your attention and to turn things around. You know, obviously he doesn’t ever desire for us to have to go through those things, but. It’s almost like it’s built that way, you know, where it’s like a slap in the face, a gentle slap in the face, but yet a slap in the 

Stephanie Starr: Yes. You know, it just reminds me in, uh, the book of Hebrews, where it talks about how God disciplines, the ones that he loves. And, uh, that, I didn’t know that verse back then, but, you know, had, I spent more time in the word at that time, I would’ve been able to find comfort in verses like that because I know, he’s got a bigger plan for me and he didn’t, want me to go that way.

He didn’t want my life to end that way. And he, for his namesake and for his glory, he has rescued me so that I can tell other people, how good he is and how he has restored me. And when I say he has restored me, it’s, it’s been in ways that our mountains, I never even thought could be moved.

Ryan Henry: yeah, yeah. It’s really good. When would you say that the soil got, uh, you know, good and the, the word really took root in your life? 

Stephanie Starr: So, as I started to get my life back together and started getting better jobs and started being a little bit more, self-sufficient started getting more contact with my daughter. I really was kind of feeling, in my own strength again.

So I had gotten plugged in with the church I had, it really been in my Bible more and just the word just captivated me. And I thought, wow, God has rescued me from so much.

And, um, you know, kind of my mantra at that point was that the best apology has changed behavior. And I thought I am, I’m just rooting my witness if I, um, if he’s brought me through all this stuff and I am still not living for him. Um, my mom had always said, come home, please. We’ll take you back. So like, like a prodigal, I packed up my car and I got home 

Ryan Henry: Oh my goodness. 

Stephanie Starr: So yes, praise God. I mean, he just like scooped me up and got me out of Egypt, like almost seven years to the day, um, when I got there 

Ryan Henry: Wow. 

Stephanie Starr: when I got back, things just were restored wonderfully.

I had, just a stroke of, of blessing financially, where I was able to get a lot of debt paid off. I was able to have my daughter full-time during the quarantine, because we were on lockdown and she had to be home and I was home. So I got to spend like a good three months with her, with my sister, my mom, my nephews.

I was accepted back into my grad school program and I was able to graduate this past December with that degree. So the two year 

Ryan Henry: Wow. Congratulations. 

Stephanie Starr: Um, was able to. Yes. I mean, just really anything and everything that, that I had lost, he, he restored, um, just reminds me of, uh, Joel too, where he talks about the locus swarms and that, that he’ll repay us after that.

So, um, so I’m living proof of that and I just kept on, just following more and more in love with Jesus and more, wanting to, to serve him and wanting to turn my story into something good for him. Um, so what that has turned out to be now is, um, being very active with prison ministries. So, um, I’m involved with Nia house, uh, radical, radical time.

Um, where I have the opportunity now to, volunteer, um, I’m signed out to be volunteer at Stateville prison, which is, you know, God moving mountains right there to be able to get in, volunteering at DuPage county jail, um, sharing my testimony, just really providing support, So, um, you know, when I look back at my story and I see that I can relate to now to so many people, um, who are going through hardships about so many different things. And it just makes me so grateful for everything that God, allowed me to experience, because I can’t imagine any other way that, that formerly spoiled self-centered naive, everything went fine.

Uh, girl, that I was how I would ever have a heart, um, like what he’s given me. So I’m just so 

Ryan Henry: Wow. Wow. yeah. So Stephanie, after, after that, last cocaine, overdose and, and the bath, the bathtub experience, was it just over for you with that? I mean, how, or did you have to go rehab? Just talk to us a little bit about that. , it was over for me after that. And I really, um, think that the Lord just delivered me from that. , it was what I needed to really scare me straight, I guess, if you will. Um, you know, I also, at that point hadn’t been using regularly, so I guess that addiction hadn’t really kicked back in yet. So, I don’t wanna say it was easy, but yeah, knowing how close I came to, really not being here anymore.

Stephanie Starr: it scared me enough to where. Where I didn’t wanna do it anymore. And the Lord was very gracious to, to take that, addiction away from me. 

Ryan Henry: Wow. So, so you are, you are drug free. 

Stephanie Starr: I, yes, I, I am drug free. So, um, another amazing deliverance that I received, from being in jail, um, you know, I realized I was feeling better in jail without all those medications.

And I thought, well, this is weird. Like, I should be anxious in here. I should be depressed in here. and I’m not. so when in my, uh, rehab program, the judge said, well, you know, I can tell that you’re not taking your medications from, uh, the drug tests that you’re taking and you’re supposed to be taking these.

And I said, but I, I don’t wanna take them. They don’t make, I don’t feel well when I’m on them. He said, all right, well, here’s the deal. , I’m gonna send you to a doctor that I say you go to, and if that doctor says you need to be on the meds, then you need to be on the meds. Um, and if he doesn’t, then you.

So I went and saw this doctor and I, talked with him at length and he examined me and he said, there’s nothing wrong with you. You don’t need to be on any of these drugs. And, um, so I’ve been delivered from that and the bipolar was a misdiagnosis. And, you know, not to say that I don’t still struggle with, depression or anxiety issues, um, now, and then still.

But, but it’s something now that I’m able to lean into my faith and, uh, to be anxious for nothing, because I know that the Lord will not leave me. He will not forsake me. 

Ryan Henry: Yeah. 

Stephanie Starr: to be strong and courageous.

Ryan Henry: Wow. That’s awesome. It’s so good. Um, yeah. So Stephanie, if you had the opportunity to go back to the 17 year old in that, on that retreat, in that, in that small group, doing the journaling, answering the questions, feeling the peace of God, knowing what you were going to be going through, what would you tell yourself at that age? 

Stephanie Starr: I would tell myself to keep pursuing a relationship with the father son in holy spirit. Um, I would tell myself that that feeling that I felt when the holy spirit entered my heart is something that only grows through getting to know God through his word and through creation and through fellowship. And that, that feeling far exceeds any feeling from a person or from a drug or from an accomplishment or anything of the world that I thought would give me so much joy.

Um, I would just let my 17 year old self know that the feeling of the holy spirit and my heart exceeds all of that infinitely

Ryan Henry: Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Stay the course. Right. Stay the course. Keep going. Wow. Stephanie, what a story. There’s truly, I like to say a trophy of God’s grace, you know that it’s just. It’s amazing how, you know, you are living proof for so many people out there who might be going through the same thing that you’re not too far gone.

They’re not too far gone. Like the Lord’s grace is enough for you. And that’s what we want our listeners to know. Is that no matter how far gone you may feel, or how many times you’ve said yes, or try to make it better or whatever, um, that the Lord you’re not out of, out of his reach. And so to just surrender.

Yeah. Just surrender. That’s great. Stephanie, Thank you so much for being on the show. 

Stephanie Starr: you It was a pleasure. Thank you 

Ryan Henry: Yeah. Wow.