Kay has been an essential member of our Work Start Program since it all began. She is one of our hardest workers on the custodial tract, an excellent trainer, and an even better leader for her dorm. She is completely devoted to God and well-versed in the Bible, often spending hours at a time in study. On top of everything she does around Gospel Rescue Mission, even going above and beyond to trim the hedges and help with other landscaping needs, she works full-time at a great job. “I do more than what is required here because I’m grateful for the bed, the clothes, the food… just everything,” she told us. So, what in Kay’s past would’ve driven her come to GRM in the first place when she is so obviously an overachiever in every other aspect of her life?
It started while she was married. He wasn’t physically or verbally abused, but he was a very jealous man and extremely controlling. They both worked full-time, and he had a part-time job as well, but all their money went straight back to him. His money was his money, their money was his money, and her money was his money. After the bills were paid, he got to buy tons of toys for himself, but Kay? She never saw a dime. The jealousy was unnerving and his desire to control every detail of their lives was driving her mad. Although they had been married for years and had a 14-year-old son together, Kay found herself at the point where she could no longer stay. It wasn’t that she felt scared or angry, it was that she felt nothing: not anger, not sadness, not frustration, not love. Just nothing. So, she left him their best vehicle, their son stayed behind with his father so he could stay in a stable environment, and she decided to set off on her own.
As she started getting her paychecks, she was overjoyed that they were all hers. She could buy a cup of coffee if she wanted without having to hide it. She could go to the casino without having his jealous eye on her. And before she knew it, she was in the casino every chance she got. She found herself in a relationship after a while that promised a greener life out in California, so eagerly, she packed up to see where this adventure would take her. While the relationship didn’t end up working out, she decided to stay in the Golden State where she had a job that she loved, a great little apartment, and other than the relationship that went south, things were going well. It wasn’t too long before she decided to move back home to be closer to her son, but that change of scenery would ultimately do her in.
The casinos back home were prying every dollar from Kay’s hands and not realizing the tailspin that she was in, she kept feeding her addiction until all her money was gone. Having no where to go, she found herself at Gospel Rescue Mission. “God and his sense of humor has gotten me through a lot of tough situations,” she said, reflecting on her struggles. She worked the program, made friends, and eventually decided to move out with her new buddies. One thing we try to emphasize here is the importance of being able to stand on your own. If you would have to depend on others to pay a portion of your bills each month, then you are not ready. That’s a lesson she had to learn the hard way.
Things didn’t work out with the new “roomies,” and she wound up back at GRM. While it might sound like a bad thing to be back here, sometimes it takes people a few rounds before they learn what they need to live a full and productive life, and that’s okay. This time around, Kay is thinking 2 steps ahead. She has a car and has been able to make her car and insurance payments on time with no troubles. While she is still working on her gambling addiction, she is seeking some recovery meetings tailored toward gambling. Up till the pandemic of COVID-19, meetings hadn’t been able to fit into Kay’s busy schedule, so the option of online meetings will actually help her. She has been saving her money, and with the stimulus checks arriving any day now, Kay is already doing some house shopping and hopes to be out on her own in the next 3-4 weeks.
While we are sad to see her go, we are much happier to see how God has been working in her life and excited to see what the future holds for her.