Betty Gets Time to Heal, Along With a Fresh Start
Even though 1988 is 25 years ago, Betty still remembers weeping the entire 11-hour car ride from Tennessee to Florida. She was driving herself and her two young children to Orlando to escape her abusive husband. She had desperately wanted to make the marriage work so her children would have the father she didn’t have growing up, but when the verbal abuse turned physical, she knew it was time to go.
She arrived at her sister’s house in Orlando, but quickly knew it would only be a temporary fix. Her sister had five children already, so Betty and her kids made it a cramped and overcrowded place. After researching different places for help, Betty found the Orlando Union Rescue Mission. The Mission had just finished a new residential wing that had private rooms with bathrooms and she was one of the first residents to move in.
“After all we went through, that privacy was perfect. We needed space to heal and I needed that time to help my kids understand what was happening,” Betty said.
Along with healing from her husband’s abusive behavior, Betty also faced the task of learning how to become the sole provider for herself and her children. Her days were filled with looking for jobs or working in the Mission’s kitchen. Soon she was hired by a construction company to work as an office manager. This job allowed her to start saving enough money to become financially stable.
“This is the place that I’ll always remember as the place where I found my second chance in life, to build up a life for me and my kids,” Betty said.
After six months of living at the Mission, Betty found a home in Orlando for her family. They were ecstatic to be in a home environment of their own, with no overcrowding and free from the fear of abuse. Betty continued working for various organizations over the years but something kept nagging at her.
“I wanted to help people. I prayed that God would help me do that,” she said. God answered that prayer by introducing Betty to home health care and personal wellness coaching.
Betty continues to help people live to their fullest potential through her personal wellness coaching business, Radiant Living Life Solutions. She plans on furthering her skill set in the industry by obtaining her nutrition degree from Seminole Community College. She’s also deeply proud of her children, who are now in their mid-20s and both living on their own in Orlando. Her son works full-time and is raising two daughters, ages 10 and 1. Her daughter is a title officer for an auto auction company.
Since leaving the Mission more than 20 years ago, all three family members have experienced other trials and victories that come with life. But their time at the Mission taught them how to remain grateful for what they have and how to overcome obstacles that come their way. Betty’s daughter even keeps a teddy bear that was given to her as a little girl at the Mission as a way to remember God’s faithfulness to her family.
“We are stronger after experiencing the struggle of homelessness,” Betty said. “We know that God can bring us through anything.
Betty was able to escape abuse and rebuild her life during her time at the Mission. Each day, O.U.R. Mission Home offers life-changing care to nearly 33 families, like Betty’s. Your gift of $26.82 provides a hot meal and a day of care for a homeless man, woman or child in Central Florida.