Special from the Adams Rescue Mission

By Lex McMillan

We met recently via Zoom.  From her sunny, pleasant smile one would never guess the pain she has experienced in her 30-something years.  She came to live at the Adams Rescue Mission’s Agape House in September 2018 after completing an eight-and-a-half-month residential treatment program at Mountain Manor Treatment Center in Emmitsburg.  Mountain Manor referred her to Agape House, and she feels deeply blessed that space was available. She candidly describes herself as “an addict and alcoholic.”  But she quickly adds with a big smile that she’s been sober for two and a half years.

She describes her childhood as “privileged.” Her father is a physician; her mother a nurse. They divorced when she was 13.  By her sophomore year in high school she was rebellious.  She began secretly drinking alcohol and routinely lying to her parents.  Although she finished high school and had some college, by 20 she was pregnant and married the father.  A second child arrived a year later.  The marriage ended after three years. Her first husband died of a drug overdose.  Her second marriage was also short and marred by drugs and alcohol.  Her third child arrived in 2011 and another in 2012.  By 2017, she was “in a dark place,” and sought help through the Rescue Mission in Frederick, Md., where she was referred to Mountain Manor.

Having recently completed the rigorous program at Agape House, she said that “Mountain Manor taught me to survive without drugs; Agape House taught me how to live without drugs.”  For several months she has been working full-time in retail merchandising and recently completed a “Certified Recovery Specialist” program that will enable her to work part time at Mountain Manor as a counselor tech on a rehabilitation team. She is excited about the opportunity to use her painful experience to help others in recovery.

She praises the “amazing, total support” she has received at Agape House for helping her to discover, “I am stronger than I think.”  She knows now that her addiction was an effort to avoid feeling; she feared that feelings would kill her.  She now understands herself better and learned at Agape House a host of practical skills like budgeting, time-management, and realistic goal-setting.  She has gained confidence in her ability to succeed. “I am worth it,” she said confidently.

The opportunity to explore her faith through the Agape House program has deepened her relationship with God.  “He loves me like I love my kids,” she said.  “Although he doesn’t approve my mistakes, he never stops loving me.”  I asked if “unconditional love” is what she was describing.  “Yep, that’s it,” she replied.

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.