My story may be familiar to some, but it’s unique in its own way because it’s mine. Just three years ago, I couldn’t stand before people as I do today, look them in the eye and speak. I avoided looking at people because I didn’t believe I was worthy.

For thirty years I fought what to me was a hopeless battle with addiction. The situations that grew out of a terrible childhood led me to start using drugs when I was thirteen. From there I carried all of my childhood hurts into adulthood, not knowing what else to do with them.

At first it was pleasurable–and then reality began to set in. The drugs transformed me into someone that I hated, destroying everything good in my life–my marriage and my relationship with my son. My actions also led to three prison terms over the course of those thirty years.

But thanks to God, my story has taken a vastly different and joyful turn. During my third prison stay, I finally came to the end of myself. I knew I needed a savior. Although I had tried to fix myself time and again, nothing had ever worked. One night, I knelt beside my prison rack and told God I couldn’t do this without Him and surrendered my life to Him.

In the days that followed that moment, I began to notice something different. My heart had begun to soften and change. As my release date grew closer, I knew I didn’t want to return to the same town and people from where I had come. So, I began to pray for God’s direction about where I should go when I was released.

During a visit to the prison chaplain, I told her about my search for God’s direction. She gave me a directory of places where I might find a fresh start. In the pages of that directory, I found Lighthouse Rescue Mission.

I came to Lighthouse nervous and unsure of what to expect. But it soon became apparent that this is where God had led me.

I came to Lighthouse nervous and unsure of what to expect. But it soon became apparent that this is where God had led me. People there welcomed me with open arms and loved me freely and unconditionally. My true healing after years of pain began there and then, and it continues on to this day.

It’s been two and half years since I walked through the doors at Lighthouse. My life has turned completely around. I owe it first to God and His mercy and grace. And I’m also thankful to Mr. Ken and Miss Kim for answering the call to this ministry. I could not have done it without their love and encouragement.

After completing all the program phases, I received the opportunity to stay on as a dorm mom. Now, I’ve had the privilege to bless and help others who are coming from where I have been. And, as my relationship with Christ has grown stronger, so my broken relationship with my son has been restored.

The Bible says in Joel that God will restore “the years the locusts have eaten” when we turn to Him. I am living proof of that. Because of Him, my life is no longer broken and I can help others to reach Him.