Tiffany McCarver works in the business office at the Father¹s House Church on Tuesday in Oroville. McCarver turned her life around through the Father¹s House Church¹s drug and alcohol recovery programs. (Mary Weston/Staff Photo)OROVILLE — An Oroville woman knows what it means to lose all hope for your life, and to have it given back to you. Tiffany McCarver started using amphetamines with a friend at 17 to give her enough energy to raise a baby while attending high school. But she had also been searching for something to fill an emptiness she had always felt in her life. In 2008, McCarver hit bottom. She had lost her three children and her sight in one eye. She lived in a drug house and hated her life. She was often in situations where she could get killed, and she often thought she would be better off dead. McCarver said her body started shutting down. Sometimes she would stop breathing, and she had to make a conscious effort to breathe. "I missed my kids so bad," McCarver said. "I remember praying that something would give to get me out, but I was so lost and so broken that I didn't know how to get out of it." McCarver had grown up in a house with domestic abuse and violence in Joplin, Mo. Her mother moved to Oroville with McCarver and her younger brother to escape an abusive husband. "All my life I had a lot of things missing," McCarver said. "I was always searching for things to fill that void." McCarver got pregnant in high school. She had more children and became involved in an abusive relationship. When she lost the sight in her right eye from blunt force trauma to her head during an episode of domestic violence, she gave up hope of ever having a normal life. "I pretty much went into a downward spiral," she said. After that, she was afraid to have her kids with her because she was afraid they would be harmed also. While she saw them on occasion, the children stayed with her mother. In 2008, after praying for something to happen to get her out, the house where she lived was raided for sales of illegal drugs. McCarver went to jail, but she was actually relieved, and she started to breathe normally again. "I knew that was my opportunity to walk away from everything and change my life and that's what I did," McCarver said with a long breath. McCarver had been wiping the tears that ran down her cheeks as she told her story. One of McCarver's cellmates had called the Life Recovery Ministries at Father's House to interview for the recovery program, so McCarver also called for an interview. "At the end of my jail sentence, they came and got me and I never looked back," McCarver said. She lived in the women's quarters at the 10-house campus for the church and its ministries between Elgin Street and Fort Wayne Street in Southside. McCarver said they surrounded her with a team of people who worked with her on recovery while she also attended classes. They have a group that focuses on inner healing, McCarver sad, and they help the person work on inner healing. She said the team loved her when she couldn't love herself. "They bring hope to hopeless situations," McCarver said. After 21Ž2 years of recovery, an internship, and an apprenticeship that included Core School in the Kingdom Awakening Ministries to deepen her relationship with God, McCarver learned to believe in her herself, love herself and have hope for her future. "People don't just do drugs for no reason," she said. "It's not a drug epidemic. It's a hope epidemic." Her new life includes a home with her three children, a renewed relationship with her family — especially her mother who never gave up on her — and two jobs. McCarver works in the business office at the Father's House and at Thrifty Mart. She said the people who own the store where she works have also become like family because they took a chance and hired her. She hopes between the two places she can gain skills and experience to eventually find another job, but for now she is content. "I'm not complaining about anything," McCarver said. "My life is definitely the best it has ever been." McCarver is 37 and her children are 10, 11 and 17. She said her relationship with her children and family is very close now. Because of everything they have been through, they appreciate what they have as a family. Life recovery is a 12-month Christian-based drug rehabilitation program. Danny Harp developed the program at the nondenominational church in 2004. Staff writer Mary Weston can be reached at 533-4415 or firstname.lastname@example.org.