For years, pain and bitterness festered deep inside Linda’s heart as she struggled to understand why her dad wasn’t around. “He would talk to me for a bit and then fall off the face of the earth,” she says.
Later, Linda discovered her dad had a drug addiction. Sadly, it wasn’t the only time drugs would cause heartbreak in her life.
Without a father, Linda’s grandfather became her rock. When she discovered she was pregnant at just 16, Linda’s grandpa was one of the few people who stood by her as she decided to keep her baby. So it was devastating when, a year later, her grandpa passed away. “When I lost my grandpa, I lost my best friend…”
The loss sent Linda spiraling. To cope, she began numbing her pain with drugs… and over the years, found herself facing time for drug charges, at risk of losing her children and pregnant again. “I said, ‘OK, God… if you’re real, show me. I don’t know what to do,’ and I felt his presence.”
Soon after, Linda’s probation officer helped her come to the Fresno Mission, where her life began to change.
“Since coming to the Mission, I’m a new creation.”
Linda and her baby entered our Rescue the Children program, and through parenting classes and Christ-centered counseling, she’s gained tools to feel confident as a mother and guidance to process grief from her own childhood.
She’s grateful for the structure of our program, like faith-based classes and work therapy, where she even leads devotions for other women! “It’s very good to feel trusted again… God is molding me into the Linda he made me to be.”
Today, Linda looks forward to having a home of her own with her children, and she plans to go back to school to become a drug counselor to help others like her.
Because you gave from your heart to help Linda, her life has been changed by your goodness and God’s love forever! “Now I am a worthy woman of God. I’m a good mother… Your past does not define you. There is hope.”
Linda’s story appeared in the Summer 2020 edition of Lighthouse News.