Katie’s Poem

Freedom and Thanks

By Katie Pritchard  Katie Pritchard small


As I stand here now

and I think of what I’d like to say,

I will begin by telling you

that I’ll never forget this day.


I greatly desired to change

but even more so willing to learn.

To see people healthy, happy, and free,

made me question when it’d be my turn?


Throughout all the years

feeling the tears upon my face,

God let me go through hell and back,

but with His mercy and grace.


I would have any drug

and partake of any drink.

My emotions were dead and gone;

I did not know how to think.


I hated the mirror and myself.

I said putdowns to my face.

I drank and used, used and drank,

all the time and any place.


My past, my failures and mistakes

haunted me as I ran.

Everything to slash and torment me

From drinks, to drugs, to man.


I tried to get away from

the pain I always had:

always proving, always trying,

yet still always looked at bad.


All the people who hurt me

and didn’t care about my pain,

I tried to run away from

in the hard, knife-slashing rain.


But no matter how fast

or how hard or far I ran,

I just became weaker,

like a beat up, tired old man.


Even as I ran, I found

I couldn’t be free from what was said.

The memories enveloped my mind,

and I wished all of me were dead.


I believed I could run as far as I could

but knew I still could not be free.

So I believed that ‘imprisoned’

is all I would ever be.


I struggled in a cage and

hated life for all it was

I even started to hate that drink

and loathe it for all it does.


There were days

scarce and far between

when I had thought of stopping,

tossing it and coming clean.


But my addiction war was led

by he who steals, kills, destroys.

He took the things I loved,

he snatched my smiles and my joys.


Freedom or to forever be a slave:

which one did I want more?

It was God’s will for me to learn,

To spread my wings and soar.


And then I finally said, “Enough!

I want to live!” I cried.

I realized that my freedom was the thing

for which He spread his arms and died.


God said, “Katie, I gave you courage,

And the strength to persevere.

I want you to see what I see,

Every time you look in the mirror.”


So when I came to Naomi

it was God’s will for me to see

the person I never was

and the woman He created me to be.


That was my time

and that was my day.

I came to Naomi Center

longing to find my way.


I searched and strived

and longed to learn and grow.

To conquer drink and addiction,

is what I’ve come to know.


Basic Services and WorkNet

are finished with dedication.

And all about my past God says

with love, “No condemnation.”


God gave me Naomi Center

to know freedom from above.

Without Naomi, I’d never know

I don’t need ‘works’ to receive His love.


So with this I say “thank you”

for sharing my laughter, joy, and tears.

I know that all of you at UGM

I’ll remember through the years.


I’m so glad I won’t forget

all that God can make me be.

After all, I’m here to learn and grow,

and finally be set free!


© Katie Pritchard 2016