His Plan Is Better


“God carried me here, and CORE taught me how to live my life sober.”

Heidi Butler’s story of recovery is not the one most people picture when they think of someone who struggles with addiction. She lead a fairly normal life, was married with two children and perfectly happy when she first encountered the disease.

“I had three surgeries within a four month span. I had my tonsils removed, my gallbladder removed, and a hysterectomy. I took the pain medication just like my doctor prescribed, but when it came time to quit, my body freaked out and I needed more,” said Heidi.

Heidi went to her doctor, explaining her concern of addiction to the pain pills, which resulted in her doctor immediately cutting her off and led to Heidi searching for other ways to obtain the pills.

“I started stealing pills from my friends’ medicine cabinets. No one ever suspected me because I didn’t look like the typical addict,” said Heidi. “I did some dark things for pain medicine.”

Eventually, people did begin to notice and Heidi’s picture perfect life began to fall apart. She lost her job and her husband filed for divorce, getting custody of the kids in the process.

Heidi went to a 30-day treatment facility, where she received help and believed she was cured for life. She moved to Nebraska, started a new job, and slowly began to piece her life together again. She reconnected with her high school sweetheart through Facebook and they were married within a matter of months. Heidi even got to spend time with her children again. It seemed like she was finally in the clear; however, she soon learned that the worst was yet to come.

“I realized that my husband was an alcoholic. I wasn’t working at the time, so I only ever spent time with him and he was always drinking,” said Heidi. “I felt so isolated and lonely.”

The turning point really hit when her stepson was sent to jail and her husband hit rock bottom. He began using meth, which eventually led to Heidi trying it and toppling off the deep end.

“It only took one hit and that was it for me; I was hooked,” said Heidi. “All I could think about was where I could get more. It was a really deep, dark place that I went to.”

Heidi’s ex-husband eventually found out about the drug use and told her that she would never be allowed to see her kids again.

“I thought that I had just become this huge burden and everyone’s lives would be better without me,” said Heidi. “I went home. I grabbed the shotgun from the house and went outside. I prayed to God to forgive me, put the gun in my mouth and pulled the trigger.”

But, as it turned out, God had other plans for Heidi because the safety was still on the gun and her husband pulled into the driveway at that very moment and stopped her from doing anything more.

Heidi went to her mother’s house in Hollister and tried to get into a treatment center, but was turned away because she was 4 days clean at the time and wasn’t eligible for their detox program.

“I went and got high just so I get into the program,” said Heidi.

But, instead of going back to the treatment center, Heidi found herself drawn to the New Beginnings Church in Branson. She sat in the back of the sanctuary and cried throughout the entire service, until a woman came and sat down next to her.

“She sat down and said ‘I know you have a story to tell,’ and I just started telling her everything,” said Heidi. “We met for lunch the next day and she told me about CORE. I didn’t want to go; I didn’t think I needed a yearlong program. But, she followed me home, helped me pack a bag, and followed me to CORE.”

Heidi didn’t want to stay at CORE for long. She set a goal of 4 months in her head and planned to leave after that, but she made it to the 4 months and found herself wanting to stay. She started really listening in her classes and realized that the people around her were truly happy and she could be too if she just allowed herself to heal.

“You cannot do this until you are absolutely ready,” said Heidi.

Heidi commenced after completing her year at CORE. She has been with us for 18 months now and works as a House Manager, staying involved in our 2nd Mile Program as well. She is able to see her kids again and she mentors the young girls who live with her, offering wisdom and comfort to those who need it.

“Being a mom is what I was born to do, and now I can use that to help all of these girls living with me,” said Heidi. “God’s plan for me was different than my own, but it was infinitely better.”

We love Heidi and we are so proud of the Godly woman she has become. Her journey to recovery was a long one, with many twists and turns, but it led her exactly where she needed to be.

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Wow! Thanks to all of your incredible donations and generosity, we were able to raise a combined total of $47,020 at our fundraisers on May 16th! This is a 20% increase from last year and a new record for CORE!

We cannot begin to express how appreciative we are for the support you have shown us. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It means the world to us and to our clients that you believe in our mission and in them so much you are willing to spend your hard earned dollars to help them succeed and have a better future. The proceeds from these events are instrumental in allowing us to continue providing and improving our services. We are so incredibly grateful, and we are already working on ways to make these events even better for you next year.