People You Should Know: Naomi

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. I walked her recovery with 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, it’s completely different.

Today I live in Tucson, Arizona with my three daughters. 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. Like recently, a neighbor lady passed away. We ended up doing this huge origami mural for her grandkids. We do 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 a rebirth. I am so grateful.