Special from the Adams Rescue Mission
By Lex McMillan
When she arrived at the Agape House last summer with her two small children, she wasn’t sure what to expect. What she found was unconditional love from the moment she walked in the door. “They swooped me up into life and helped me believe in myself again,” she said. She feels safe and loved. “It’s like a family,” she says with gratitude. From the time of her arrival, they let her know, “we’ve got your back.”
Although only 28, she has had a long, difficult journey that began in her early teens when she began using alcohol and drugs. She finished high school and started college, but her substance abuse was getting worse. She dropped out of college and was pregnant when 20. A second child followed a couple of years later. She knew she needed help but feared losing her children. Her relationship with the children’s father was rooted in their shared addictions, so she knew she had to escape. They were never married.
When she left him, her only option was a homeless shelter. After a series of false starts, she recognized that she needed help to escape her dependency. Before coming to Agape House, she found her way to Safe Harbor at Mountain Manor in Emmitsburg where she successfully completed a seven-month, residential substance abuse treatment program that allowed her children to be with her. Not only did she escape from substance abuse, but she learned to be a better mother.
When the Safe Harbor program ended, she had no place to go. Her sponsor suggested she apply to Agape House; she now knows how fortunate she was to be accepted. “They have loved me through the transition,” she says. She’s learned to be more positive, to love herself, and to hold herself accountable . . . “how to be a sober Mom.”
She is especially pleased that her children seem so much happier and better behaved with a loving, structured life. With her, they are finding faith and accepting God in their lives. She says for the first time in her life she feels “normal, not worrying every day.”
She has a part-time job. Her little boy is in the YWCA day care; her daughter is in kindergarten. She has enrolled in our local community college and plans to become a medical assistant. She has found a warm and welcoming faith community at the Intersection Church.
Every night before their bedtime, she reads to her children and then prays with them. She encourages them to make a list of the things they are thankful for. Her little girl recently said she was “thankful for my lips, so I can pray.” She has been sober for 15 months and is feeling grateful as well.
The Adams Rescue Mission exists to proclaim the passion of Jesus toward the hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted; to accelerate recovery and restoration to the least, last, lonely, and lost. Lex McMillan is an ARM board member.
To support the Mission: http://www.adamsrescuemission.org/donate-now.