When she was thirteen years old, Crystal’s parents got a divorce and her mother became very absent from her life. A family member moved in to help care for the children. Unfortunately, he sexually assaulted Crystal and four of her friends. Although he was prosecuted and went to jail, the damage had been done.
Pressured by her friends and unable to cope with all that she had been through, Crystal began using drugs at age fourteen. Soon she was addicted to meth and various other drugs. As a young adult, she spent all of her money on drugs and was unable to keep her car and home. She stayed with friends, never in one spot too long, but her relationships kept falling apart.
After 15 years in this cycle of addiction, Crystal was turned into the police by her former foster mom. She was on the run from having missed court. The police came to get her while she was asleep.
“It hurt, having her turn me in,” said Crystal. “But I’m glad she did because if she hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here. I’d still be doing drugs and on the run. It was the push I needed.”
Crystal was sentenced to prison for 11 months and soon realized she was pregnant. Despite her condition, she was treated like the rest of the inmates, and her time in prison was hard. It did, however, allow her to get sober.
“I started a drug treatment program in prison, and it was amazing,” said Crystal. “It helped me realize what I wanted to do, and that was to stay sober.”
Two months before Crystal’s release, her baby girl Emily was born. Those two months were the most difficult, as Crystal wasn’t able to take care of Emily until she was released.
Once her sentence was over, Crystal was able to transfer straight to the Lydia House. That first day when she stepped into the Mission was when her and her daughter were reunited. The little family stayed on mats on the floor in the Lydia House’s Overflow Area for two and a half months before a room opened up.
Crystal joined the New Life Recovery Program and looks to graduate this month. It hasn’t been easy, but the Bible-based program and the loving staff helped her through it.
“The staff treat you like family members, not just another client,” said Emily. “They love you like Christ does. That’s why Open Door Mission feels like our home.”
At first, Crystal was very resistant to Christ, but being exposed to God’s Word daily, she found herself one day thirsting to know God more. She accepted Christ as her Savior and was baptized this past October.
Crystal is determined to stay sober, and is currently taking college classes to begin a career in medical coding. Her and her little angel, Emily, have HOPE for new life thanks to Open Door Mission and your support. Please pray for Crystal and Emily.