A Godly New Direction

The youngest of 11 siblings, Shirley’s life was empty of the acceptance and affirmation children need to grow up self-confident and strong.

As a teenager, “I went looking for love in all the wrong places,” she says. It was a futile search resulting in a cycle of addiction, incarceration and homelessness that lasted more than two decades. “I was living with the comfort of drugs, and I lost control of my life,” she explains.

One night, in the depths of despair, she decided to pray. “I asked God to show me another direction – to lead my footsteps in the way I should go.” When she woke up and began walking, she turned away from the park where she usually spent her day using drugs. “I ran into a friend who told me about Rockford Rescue Mission.”

Shirley joined our Life Recovery Program and struggled at first, uncomfortable with the transition going on in her life. But as time went by, she was empowered by her growing relationship with the Lord… her fellowship with our godly staff and volunteers… and our comprehensive recovery curriculum. “The program has given me tools to live a successful life,” she says.

Today she is free from addiction and is transitioning to independent living. Last year, she attended a job fair, where she was interviewed by representatives from Bergstrom, a local employer and business friend of the Mission. “They hired me, and I’m still there today,” she says, adding how fulfilling she finds her work. “The environment is clean, the people are friendly, and the atmosphere is peaceful.”

As she looks forward to getting her own apartment, buying a car and moving on with her life, she shares her gratitude for the opportunity friends like you – and partners in this community – have provided. “I feel like I’m one of the chosen ones,” she says. “This place saved my life.”

To read our most recent issue of The Rescuerclick here.