LisaIt seemed to Lisa like she would never find peace. She quit school, got married, and had a child. But her marriage quickly fell apart. Her husband became abusive. It didn’t take long for Lisa to fall deep into addiction. She ended up using and selling drugs for the next 25 years.
RENEWED IN CHRIST
All Lisa wanted to do was sleep. But people kept knocking at the door of her uncle’s apartment in downtown Seattle. At all hours of the night. “They kept knocking and knocking at the door,” she recalls. “That’s usually how it is in a crack house. I was just so tired.”
It seemed to Lisa like she would never find peace.
Her life was one turbulent episode after another. Growing up, she had little supervision. “I just did whatever I wanted,” she says. “I pretty much rebelled and partied. I skipped school. I was selling weed.”
Eventually, she quit school, got married, and had a child. But her marriage quickly fell apart. Her husband became abusive and once tried to choke her with a telephone cord.
One day, her neighbor, who had seen Lisa with a black eye and knew the couple was always fighting, invited Lisa over to his house. “He was like, ‘I got something that’ll make you feel better,’” she remembers. “And he gave me crack.”
AN EHAUSTING WAY TO LIVE
It didn’t take long for Lisa to fall deep into addiction. She ended up using and selling drugs for the next 25 years.
“I spent most of my time selling drugs in downtown Seattle,” she says. “I hung out with gang members and ran the streets for most of that time.”
It was an exhausting way to live.
“There was always up and down times selling drugs,” she says. “Having to hustle out in the street when it’s raining and cold. My feet were tired from walking and walking and walking. My feet still hurt to this day because of all the walking that I did daily out there.”
Lisa got to know every inch of downtown and can’t think of one street, corner, or alley that she “did not use drugs on or in.”
"I DIDN'T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE"
Then came the night in her uncle’s apartment. Lisa was near the end of her rope, exhausted. She just wanted people to stop knocking on the door. That’s when she heard a voice — God’s voice speaking into her heart. She realized, “I didn’t want to do this anymore. I wanted to have a better life.”
The next morning she called Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission and came in that very day. “I never turned back from that day forward,” Lisa says.
"THEY BELIEVED IN ME"
Lisa was one of the first ladies to move into Hope Place when it opened in 2009. “I had a third grade level education,” she says. But being at the Mission was different. “I was encouraged,” she shares. “They believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.
When I started believing in myself and that it was possible for me to live this kind of life, I excelled. And I learned about Christ and how to lean on His understanding.”
But that’s not all. Lisa went on to earn her GED as an honor student and became a college graduate as well. “When I got straight A’s, I was just shocked,” she says. “I wasted so much time believing a lie. I graduated college with my AA in chemical dependency and social and human services.”
After graduating in 2010, Lisa got remarried, moved to Las Vegas, and became the lead case manager at Las Vegas Rescue Mission. Today, she’s back in Seattle, working as the recovery lead at the Mission and extremely happy to be helping others experience the same healing she did.
Now 12 years sober, Lisa reflects back to when she first started in the program. She says, “I just thought I was never going to feel good about myself. That I was always going to feel tired and not capable. I started to push myself, and that’s when I started to see a change. I started to get up, get dressed, get myself together.
“I started to push myself and show up on time and be ready for life. I started to get a closer relationship with Christ, and I started to be able to hear Him tell me that I was better and that I could do better. I just needed to renew my mind and keep doing the next right thing. That’s when I started to see a difference in my ability to believe in myself.”
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