One thing that surprises people is just how much support it takes for a woman to get back on her feet after experiencing homelessness, addiction or abuse. But after so much trauma, it really does take a lot of time, lots of loving encouragement, and a wide variety of practical helps for them to get back on their feet again.
Take Ashley’s* story, for instance. You may have read about her in our latest newsletter. Raised in chaos and neglect by a meth-addicted mother, Ashley was often forced to fend for herself and her younger brother. The family moved from place to place all the time — Ashley would end up attending 9 schools before she graduated. She first tried drugs at age 14, and by age 15, Ashley’s habit was being supported by her mother.
When she tries to describe what the last 10 years of her life have been like, she struggles to find words. It’s almost like those years have just disappeared into a dark hole. She calls them her “lost years.” After so many years spent trapped in drug addiction, Ashley says she is learning how to live life the right way, with a clean and sober mind. It’s a daily process, and some days it’s a struggle. When a person has literally grown up surrounded by drug users their whole life, it’s hard to figure out what “normal” is.
But given time and support, Ashley is finding a new normal. She’s learning how to parent her little boy the way she wants to. She’s building a future for the two of them. She’s learning to rely on God as she heals from the wounds she’s experienced. Please pray with me for the women and children who will be here with us this Christmas. Many of them are just now learning how to experience happy memories with their children. We want it to be a deeply encouraging time for all of our families!
Thank you and may God bless you and yours this Christmas!
*Name changed for privacy.