Marilyn: Yes, God has opened many doors. I had an opportunity through Cocaine Anonymous to do something I never would have dreamed. I went to Spain and spoke at a conference about addictions in May. I went all the way to Europe. Me! They gave me a passport and allowed me to board a plane to go talk to some addicts in Spain. That was an experience!! I have never gone anywhere but to prison, jails and institutions and I flew on a plane to Europe and talked about drug addiction!! The life I live is only by the mercy and grace of God! Wendy: Wow that is amazing. Look at the lives you are impacting from California to Spain. God has taken you from jails and prisons to Europe. Marilyn: I know. No one had ever asked me to go anywhere but out of their presence. It feels good to be able to help someone else. It feels good to give without false motives. Today I don’t have any motives. Before, you couldn’t even be a part of my life unless you were giving me something. All I want from you today is your honesty. As long as you are honest, I can help you. As long as I am honest, I can get the help that I need. I no longer have an ego. I had an ego as big as Long Beach. I found out from being in recovery that E.G.O. means Edging God Out! I found out that the ego needed to be smashed. Wendy: You sound happy. Marilyn: I’ve just celebrated 8 years sober. I have to surpass the 38 years I was in the streets. God has changed my life. I learned how to give Him control. I’ve learned how to forgive myself. That’s an important step. I read the book Beauty Come Forth. That book was me. I can’t begin to tell you how each chapter helped me to grow. The chapter on forgiving yourself, whew, that helped to change my life. Wendy: Wow. That’s awesome and congratulations on your 8 years! Do you have a word of advice to someone who may be struggling with addictions or life period? Marilyn: Learn how to surrender to God, let stuff go, and get out of your own head. See I know that my best thinking only got me to where I was. So, I couldn’t depend upon my thinking. My advice to anyone would be to turn your life over to God. Give Him every aspect of it and don’t take it back. Get out of the way and let God help you and show you who you are. We stuff so much on the inside. It covers up the real us, and the God in us. Once I got sober and started uncovering, discovering and discarding those things that I had piled and stuffed on the inside of me, I started to blossom and shine. God started to come out through me. Now instead of being known for my drug use and prison record, I can leave a spiritual legacy. I can be known for something beautiful. I can be known for my acts of kindness, my service, and for guiding others to God. Wendy: Well, you are known for something beautiful and speaking of beauty, as we bring this interview to a close, tell all of the Beauty Come Forth magazine readers how you define beauty? Marilyn: Beauty comes deep within. It’s like an unfading, gentle, and quiet spirit that’s great in worth and in Gods sight. You can dress the outside up really good but its how you are living on the inside that matters. Beauty is when the inside in right with God. Wendy: Marilyn you have truly inspired me. I’m sure your story will inspire and motivate others. I appreciate you taking time to share your story. God bless you as you continue on your journey. Marilyn: It has been my pleasure.