I had grown up knowing who Jesus was and going to church. I was adopted and didn’t know any of my genealogical background. I experienced a lot of rejection growing up. When I was young I was sent to a private boarding school for girls. I didn’t want to be there. I was alone in my dormitory one day, feeling sad, and I said to Jesus, “if you’re real, I need You.” I then felt this peace come over me that I can’t even describe. So, at the age of 13 I accepted Christ. However, I didn’t always walk with Him.
I started drinking and trying drugs in junior high and high school. At first it was just to fit in, but then it turned into a cover up for pain. I drank on and off for many years. I tried many different things to quit. I would have success for maybe three years, something would happen, and I would drink again. This went on for many many years. I didn’t know about addiction. I didn’t know that if I picked up another drink I would be right back where I started; I had no clue that it would be just as bad or worse.
Before coming to Visalia Rescue Mission I was in a pretty dark place, and I think coming here was part of the bigger picture of God’s hand on my life. He had already gone before me to make a way for me to get well. I had gotten in trouble with the law and faced the possibility of time in prison. My brother reached out to me when he found out what was going on in my life. He, and his wife, took me into their home, where I ended up detoxing, and that was the beginning of change.
I came to Visalia Rescue Mission through a connection my sister-in-law had here at the House of Hope. I remember they recommended I enroll into the program and go in the next day. I wasn’t ready for that. I knew I wanted to get well and, in the back of my mind, I didn’t want to go to prison either. They told me this was a faith-based program and said, “Jesus is your Rock here,” and I knew I needed to return to that. So, my journey to recovery began.
Here at the mission I was able to address those issues working with the counselors here. Not only did they teach me about recovery and warning signs about how to deal with, how to look for what might trigger me to go back to drinking again, they also took us to various places to be in public situations without any kind of crutch. The classes we took in the program always left me with a greater desire to know Jesus in a deeper way. To this day it’s that connection with Christ that keeps me going.
I was on the road to destruction, almost dead, and since coming to Visalia Rescue Mission I am a new creation in Christ. I am now going on 7 years of sobriety and have been working at Simply Chic Boutique for almost 4 years. Life change is possible, through Jesus Christ. There’s hope and I learned that here at the mission. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12