“The Mission taught me what having God in my life looks like.”

Diane was in her early 20s when she lost three precious loved ones. Her grandfather, brother and fiancé passed away within a year of one another. “I didn’t have the resources whatsoever to cope,” she says. So she did the only thing she knew how.

Following the example set by her father – an alcoholic – she started drinking… using drugs… and she fell deep into a destructive lifestyle. Over the years, she endured the horrors of domestic violence. The tragedy of homelessness. And the heartbreak of separation from her children while fighting a battle with addiction she just couldn’t win.

Finally, she was incarcerated.

“That was the best thing that could have happened to me,” she says. “While in jail, I was introduced to God as a loving Father who had created me specifically for a purpose.”

When she was released, she wanted to change her life but didn’t know how to do it. So she reached out to her pastor who directed her to Rockford Rescue Mission.

During her journey through our Life Recovery Program, she says, “I learned to trust God and to listen to that still small voice.” With His love and the guidance of our counselors and staff, she learned how to live free of alcohol and drugs. And in our Works! Center, she began online classes and is currently working toward a degree in addiction recovery counseling.

After graduating from our program, Diane was hired by Rosecrance Health Network as an inpatient addiction counselor where she leads sessions in spirituality, relapse prevention and anger management, as well as provides one-on-one counseling. “It’s really exciting to be able to use my brokenness from ‘before’ to help other people in my ‘after,’” she says. “I feel like this is exactly what God saved me out of my mess for – to spread His strength and hope to anyone who asks for it.”

Today, with a heart of thanksgiving, Diane shares these words with friends like you who have given her life new meaning: “One of the ways God shows His love is through the people who work at the Mission, who volunteer their time and who donate. They love you until you can love yourself.”

To read our most recent issue of The Rescuer, click here.