After surviving an abusive childhood, Carol was determined that her five children would never suffer the trauma she experienced. However, she was unable to deal with her past and turned to alcohol to “put the pain away.” By the time her children were grown, Carol’s drinking had gotten out of control. Her marriage was over and she had lost her job of 13 years. She had no car and no place to stay. Even worse, she says, “My kids told me I couldn’t see my grandkids unless I stopped drinking.”
Carol’s daughter tempered the ultimatum with a solution: go to Hope Gospel Mission for help. “When I walked in the door, I started crying,” Carol recalls. “I saw my daughter trying not to cry, and knew it was just as hard on her as it was on me.”
Soon, Carol found that Hope Gospel Mission was exactly what she needed. “No one was here to judge me. They treated me like a real person with a heart and soul, not just an alcoholic. They were very caring.” Nine months into the program, Carol says, “I’ve never felt so good in all my life! Before here, I didn’t know who I was anymore. Now I feel totally brand-new.”
Working with all the Hope Gospel Mission staff and volunteers, including her Renewal Counselor, Becky Carol came to terms with her past and discovered the healing power of forgiveness. “I look back at my mom and I think her parents probably weren’t good to her. She didn’t know any better, and I don’t blame her anymore.”
Forgiveness opened the door to faith. “I believed in God, but I had never turned to Him in prayer before. Now if I’m having difficulties, I can go to Him, and He gets me through them.” Carol attends a local church every Sunday and recently connected with a mentor there.
Carol’s children have been very supportive through her recovery. “They call me all the time. They’re very proud of me. I told one of my sons how guilty I felt for what I’d put them all through, and he said to me, ‘No matter what you think, you’ve always been a good mom.’” She also tells us her 12 grandchildren love her “with all their hearts.”
Carol is confident she will complete the program with Becky’s help and her family’s love. She keeps busy making blankets, headbands and wrist warmers, which she plans to sell at craft fairs when she leaves the Mission.
"When I came to Hope Gospel Mission, I was broken," Carol says. "Now I have confidence. I can't emphasize enough how good I feel."