Jessica is an amazing volunteer here at Gospel Rescue Mission. She is a leader for Doorways of Hope which is a faith-based recovery program for people with addiction, abusive relationships, grief, and anyone that is hurting. It is a mandatory program for our guests, but it is also open to the public and anyone is welcome to attend. They teach a group lesson and break into small groups for more in-depth personal discussions.“We are more like sounding boards than advice givers,” Jessica explained. The stories of healing that come from this program are so incredible and inspiring! And Jessica’s, although now a leader, is one of these incredible success stories.
During my meeting with her, another woman popped in that was there to attend Doorways of Hope. She sat quietly listening as Jessica filled me in on what a powerful program she was helping to lead. Toward the end though, she began to open up and was able to share with me some of her story as well.
Her name is Camille. Her life was great until a few years ago, she lost several important people in her life all within a four-year time frame. Imagine losing your mom, then a year later, your father, followed by your step-dad and your aunt. It was like she couldn’t fully finish the grieving process from losing one before another was lost. Her grief became a quicksand; not all at once, but slowly consuming her year after year as those deaths, combined with her own divorce started to suck her under. Before long, she could no longer cope with her heartache and turned to alcohol as a way out. But just like when you struggle against the quicksand, it takes you in faster; the alcohol had the same effect, deepening her depression until she couldn’t continue anymore. And then there it was: rock bottom.
But just when she was about to give up, Gospel Rescue Mission extended a branch into her quicksand, and with a shaky hand, she grasped it. Through the tears and the pain, she was able to get sober. She found Doorways of Hope along with a couple other key programs and slowly started pulling herself out of the pit. So where is Camille now? She’s in her own home, she has a car, and she has a job. Even though her life is back on track, she sticks with Doorways of Hope to continue her growth and recovery.
At this point in our conversation, the two ladies were excited to share with me a new program coming up called The Challenge. Their motto is “Letting Go, Letting God.” It’s a program built to challenge people to let God take the wheel and watch just how far he can take them. It’s amazing what can happen when we aren’t in control, and we just turn it over to God. Just like with Doorways of Hope, their top priority is giving people a safe and judgement-free environment in which they can find healing and share their stories. “Just because your story is different than mine, doesn’t make it any less important,” Jessica told Camille and me. After all, aren’t the endings to all of our stories still unwritten anyway?