Woman of Courage: Kristin’s Story

By Carla McRee

Each month, we want to share stories about women here at Shepherd’s Gate who, by the grace of God, are turning their lives around for good. Thanks to your prayers and support, women and their children get a brand new start — and we want to keep you posted on how they’re doing!

December’s Woman of Courage is Kristin. She is the oldest of five kids, and though she was raised in a broken, alcoholic home, she worked hard in school, earned great grades, graduated, and dreamed of college. Becoming a mom at the age of 20 to twins changed her plans, though, and after leaving her abusive partner, she found herself alone and heartbroken, trying to provide for herself and her young family. She worked hard at her job and she was able to remain strong — at least, it appeared that way. But she grew overwhelmed trying to raise the twins on her own, and as time went on she fell victim to the same cycle of substance abuse and turned to the same thing that had “helped” her own mother cope with pain: alcohol. One drink became two and two became four, and she soon had several drinks just to get through the day. Soon her seven-year-old twins were looking at Kristin the way she used to look at her own mother. “Mom, when are you going to stop?” Kristin knew she wanted to give her kids a different life than the one she grew up in, and so she decided to get help. Researching recovery programs led her to Shepherd’s Gate, and though it was really humbling for her to accept help and come to a shelter, she knew it was the right choice for not only herself, but also for her children’s future. Kristin was deeply touched by the warm welcome she received from staff members at Brentwood — they believed she could change things. Through the Recovery Classes, Parenting Classes, and Bible studies at Shepherd’s Gate, Kristin has left her addiction behind and is now able to be the kind of mother she always wanted to be to her twin son and daughter. We’re so proud of Kristin for having the strength to seek help when she needed it — and for giving her children a different childhood than the one she had. Thank you for all your prayers and generosity on behalf of Kristin and her two wonderful kids! We’d love to hear from you and pray for you, too. What impresses you about Kristin’s experience? What would you say to another woman who found herself in her same position? What Bible verses encourage you when you struggle? Please let us know. Remember, Kristin found Shepherd’s Gate online. Encouraging words from friends like you could help the next “Kristin” who is looking to change her life. And please keep an eye out for next month’s Woman of Courage!

Carla McRee Associate Director, Shepherd’s Gate

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