I look back on my experience at the Mission as a rebirth…
Everything good happened for me when I walked into Rockford Rescue Mission and made the decision to change my life. I had been in drug addiction for five years, bouncing back and forth between Rockford and Beloit. As long as I had a few dollars to give someone, they would let me sleep on their couch.
Finally, because of my addictions, I lost my two kids – and it felt like my life was over. Homeless and pregnant with my third child, I came to the Mission, stayed two weeks and… left. I just wasn’t ready.
But I came back a year later, pregnant again and with my toddler on my hip. This time, I put everything I had into the Life Recovery Program. I stayed 22 months – longer than most – because my sister came into the program the year after I did and I walked through her recovery beside her.
My sisters and I were brought up in the church… Dad was a youth minister and mom sang in the choir. But when I finally decided in desperation to seek Christ for myself, it was a whole different understanding. You can watch somebody else’s life change, but to actually live through it – consciously aware of what He’s doing in your life – is completely different.
Today I live in Tucson, Arizona, with my three daughters. And my sisters are both here, too. I work at Whole Foods, and my daughters and I do what we call “Be a Blessing.” Every day, we come up with 10 random acts of kindness we can do for people around us. Recently, a neighbor lady passed away and we ended up doing this huge origami mural for her grandkids. We create a lot of artwork that we give away.
And I’m a grandmother! My beautiful grandson was just born to my son, who still lives in Rockford. I continue to attend City First Church online.
Life is an absolute blessing, and I look back on my experience at the Mission as a rebirth. I am so grateful.
Naomi’s testimony is featured in the current issue of The Rescuer.