“Now I know I’m a woman of Christ”
From a young age, I never really understood what love was. I came from a broken family, my mother abandoned me at only two months old and my father was extremely abusive, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. I became so timid, self-conscious and was always afraid to talk to others.
One day I discovered my father’s alcohol; I was finally able to smile and like myself for what seemed like the first time. Little did I know this temporary satisfaction I discovered was the start of a destructive journey.
When I was nine, I moved in with my older sister, started hanging around the wrong crowd and began experimenting with harder substances. Over the years I began to embrace a life of crime, was in and out of prison, and finally found myself living in the woods. One day while walking the streets, I wandered into a parking lot where food was being served to those looking for a meal and people were talking about God, it was the City Rescue Mission. I let them know that I had a problem and did not want to live like this anymore. They took me right in, I can remember hearing how loved I was by God when I walked through the doors and that made me so eager to learn more about Him and form a relationship. I began reading my Bible, talking with the LifeBuilders counselors, who helped me explore the pain and anger that consumed me for years, and I started to find strength. I began to forgive my father; I had compassion for the first time and maintained my sobriety while learning practical tools and life-skills.
I am now a recent graduate of the LifeBuilders Program. I have a place to rest my head comfortably, a car, a job and a savings account. “Before being in the program, I didn’t want to love, I didn’t want to strive. Before, I treated myself like trash, the way my father used to. Now I know I’m a woman of Christ and with that comes self-esteem, self-worth, self-value.”