Searching For A Way Out
In honor of Women’s History Month, Ministry Village is devoting our blog throughout March to women from the Charis House. We will learn about 4 of our most recent Charis House graduates, read their stories, and discover how their lives have been transformed so they can pursue new paths and make contributions to our community. These ladies have learned from their own histories, and God has repurposed their lives. We pray that their stories inspire you to seek help if you need it yourself, or motivate you to help others who need a chance at redemption.
Barbara’s* journey with the Charis House began in 2017. Her life was dependent on chemicals – she was an addict. She had reached the point of wanting a life free from addiction, but she had no idea how to do it – especially on her own.
“I started drinking and smoking at age 14,” Barbara remembers. “Eventually, I became an IV drug user of heroin and methamphetamines for 2 ½ years. That was my way of coping with things. I chose to avoid problems instead of deal with them. I turned to drugs and alcohol. My life was full of confusion – depression. I didn’t know who I was. It was just full of hopelessness. Before I came to the Charis House, I had completely burned every bridge with everyone in my family. Any friends that I had that were actually true friends – I had burned those bridges. I lied. I stole from people that I cared about.”
“Finally, I was incarcerated for 2 months — put in jail for violating probation. My judge offered to let me out that same day and put me back on probation, but I told him I needed to stay in longer until I could find a rehab facility. I knew I wanted a life where I didn’t need chemicals to be content, but I didn’t know how to get there. It was really my grandma that was pushing for a faith-based place; that wasn’t really something I was worried about.”
“We found out about the Charis House, and I asked my judge if I could go there. He court-ordered me to the Charis House before I was even accepted. When I finally interviewed with Ms. Debbe, she told me, ‘It doesn’t work like that. You have to be accepted into the program first.’ But she ended up letting me come – it was totally a God thing. I was accepted into the Charis House in April 2017.”
Barbara credits what she learned at the Charis House with helping her deal with problems directly, so she could find healing through Jesus. “Being at the Charis House has taught me to actually face my problems instead of run from them. There have been so many times since I’ve been here that I’ve been extremely tempted to run, because that’s all I’ve ever done. I’ve always avoided things. But if I just avoid things, no healing is going to take place.”
Through the Bible study, counseling, and classes at the Charis House, Barbara has been able to begin restoring relationships with her family members as well. “My father and I didn’t really have a relationship when I was growing up, but since I’ve been at the Charis House, the Lord has restored our relationship. We talk all the time now. I have a relationship with my father that I never thought was possible and it’s all because of God. God has also restored the relationship with my 3-year-old daughter, and so many other relationships in my family have been mended by His grace. That’s just something that I thought would never be possible.”
Barbara is enrolled in college and earning her degree in early childhood education, with a focus on children with special needs. She is continually thankful to God for softening her hardened heart and filling it with deep gratitude.
“My life since receiving Jesus as Lord doesn’t mean I have a lack of trials. In fact, I face trials often. But the trials aren’t meaningless as they once were. They now have a purpose. The miracles that have been performed in my life unquestionably point to the all-powerful Creator – the Great I Am. The testing of our faith produces endurance. I need that endurance so that I can imitate Paul’s testimony and say, ‘I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith’.’’
To donate to the Charis House or any Ministry Village program, click here.
*Names have been changed to protect the identities of the women who are seeking a fresh start.