Sarah is graduating this Saturday. There was a time when that day didn’t seem possible. But Sarah’s story is one that demonstrates that our God gives second chances, that He has already won the battle. One of her favorite verses, 1 John 4:4, says, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Although God knew the ending, Sarah still had to go through the battle.
Childhood wasn’t easy for Sarah. Her parents divorced when she was eight. Sarah’s mother fell into a drug addiction and they lost their home. Life was never stable. Sarah lived with her grandpa, her aunt, even with a friend whose parents she paid rent to.
Essentially on her own, Sarah skipped high school and got her GED instead. At age 19, she fell in love and started a family, but depression began to cling to Sarah. She took pills to numb the pain, and eventually turned to methamphetamine.
Knowing she wanted more from life, Sarah took her two children to Colorado for a new start. Her boyfriend got clean and came back to help her get clean as well. They tried to stay sober together, to make changes in their lives, but everything kept spiraling out of control.
The couple lost custody of their three children and were selling drugs and stealing to make ends meet. One day the police kicked in their door, taking Sarah to jail and her boyfriend to prison.
“Thank God!” said Sarah. “I remember wanting to go to jail so I could have a chance at being sober. And it was in jail that I found God. I was reading Isaiah 61 and was so comforted. I prayed, ‘God, give me more of this!’”
In April 2016, Sarah came to Open Door Mission. “It was the first time I’d had structure in my life. But you get out of the program what you put into it, and at first I wasn’t ready to surrender. I wanted to do my own thing.”
Soon, Sarah found herself on the streets and back in jail. In December, though, she received a second chance.
“The second time when I returned to the Lydia House was different. I felt the old me die, like in 2 Corinthians 5:17. ‘The new creation is here!’ My heart has been changed – I feel things again. And I pray that people see glimpses of God in me.”
Sarah just started a telemarketing job and is focusing on reconciliation with her children. She’s not sure about the future, but hopes to be able to give back in some way. Perhaps, someday, even working at Open Door Mission.
“My case managers and the Open Door Mission staff were so supportive. There was always someone to talk to when I started having scary thoughts. Open Door Mission really saved my life.”
Thank you for your part in inspiring lasting change in lives like Sarah’s!