Tyra Escapes Abuse, Finds a New Passion
Tyra’s friends and family were telling her to stick it out in her abusive marriage, and that things would someday get better. But, in her heart, she knew she couldn’t stay.
“I knew I couldn’t live like this,” Tyra recalled. “My biggest fear was having my kids grow up in a situation like that, where they did the same thing.”
Almost as scary for Tyra was an unknown future with her three young children. She had arrived in the United States from her native London in 2007. She had training and experience in the travel industry but did not have a U.S. high school diploma, so that limited her job prospects.
But Tyra knew she had to escape, and she took a leap of faith. First, she spent four months in a domestic abuse shelter. Then, in March 2009, she and her children moved to O.U.R. Mission Home.
“That was when I knew things were going to be OK,” Tyra said. “I was glad to have a safe place to stay. We had a roof over our heads and we didn’t have to worry about eating. I was so glad to be free and could finally move on with my life.”
During her time here, Tyra received help in getting her high school diploma. Staff helped her get in contact with Legal Aid so she could get her divorce. She worked as a housekeeper on the discipleship team and attended the Victorious Life class, which she says jump-started her relationship with Christ.
“I was already going to church and had a spiritual walk, but the class helped me along and kept me focused,” Tyra said.
In the meantime, Tyra was still stressed at times so she started running.
“I made it a habit of running around the block a couple times a week,” she said. “It helped me relieve the tension. Then I saw an ad for a running club and got more involved. Running became what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. It helped me deal with everything else.”
Tyra took running seriously and ran two 5-kilometer races, one 15k and a pair of half-marathons.
In May 2011, she got a job at Panera Bread and was able to save enough money over the next several months to move into her own place. In October 2011, she met a wonderful, Godly man named Jeffery Hunter and they got married on Christmas.
Today, Tyra is a stay-at-home mother who remains passionate about running and fitness. She plans to attend school to become a personal trainer and wants to open her own gym.
“None of this would have been possible without the Mission,” Tyra said. “May Orlando Union Rescue Mission always be blessed because they help a lot of people.”
Tyra was able to escape her abusive marriage and become independent. Each day, O.U.R. Mission Home offers life-changing care to nearly 33 families, like Tyra’s. Help create more stories of life transformation through your support today. Your gift of $26.82 provides a hot meal and life-changing care for a homeless man, woman or child in Central Florida.