Lisa lost custody of her children as she battled an addiction that destroyed her marriage and left her homeless. Then she fell into a relationship with a man who was abusive, and a tent was their only means of shelter. Her drinking escalated. Her health declined. And she remained in that self-destructive environment… for four years.
“I was punishing myself because I didn’t feel I deserved anything better after losing my children. That still is the hardest thing for me. There’s an empty feeling without them.”
Yet throughout that tragic time, she continued to attend church. “I had a lot of people praying for me in the community,” she says. Finally, no longer caring if she lived or died, she sought help and was referred to Rockford Rescue Mission. As she came through our doors, she remembered those who had prayed for her. “I believe it was their prayers that got me here.”
In our Life Recovery Program, Lisa is learning to understand the root of her addiction, but she believes learning about God is where real healing begins. “Knowing His Word, connecting with Him, hearing His voice; it makes me want to live again.”
And this year, the holidays will be much different.
As she continues her healing process, God is restoring her relationship with her children. Although they can’t visit her at Christmas because of COVID-19 restrictions, she will talk with them by phone and have gifts for them through David’s Closet. “And being here now, I have a family of sisters who build me up and encourage me and I’ll be happy spending Christmas with them.” Yet perhaps the most dramatic difference from last Christmas, Lisa says: “I’m able to look at myself and not be ashamed. God has given me hope and a future.”
For the Holiday 2020 issue of The Rescuer, click here.