2016 December Newsletter – The Greatest Gift: Jessica’s Story
When Jessica tucks in her 4-year-old son Dallas, on Christmas Eve, it will mark the end of the most difficult yet triumphant year of her life. She’ll finally be reunited with her only child, and she’ll be clean, sober, and ready to start building a new life for the two of them.
Around this time last year, Jessica’s life was a mess. Living in Gainesville, she was drinking heavily to ears the pain of losing her sister to cancer. She’d lost her job and apartment, and was living, as she calls it, “from pillow to post” – couch surfing from one friend’s home to the next.
Worst of all, just two days before last Christmas, the Florida Department of Children and Families took away her soon because of her drinking.
“That was my lower point,” Jessica recalls. “It was a horrible Christmas. I was alone and drunk, feeling sorry for myself. At the time I didn’t think I deserved to have my son taken away form me. But it was the right thin for both of us. It woke me up”
“When I first got here, I thought maybe I wasn’t going to be accepted. It was such a nice place and I was at such a dark and low place in my life – I thought maybe this place was too good fro me. That’s kind of how I felt.” Less than a week later, Jessica got the call that she was accepted. She moved in on July 12 and hasn’t had a drink since.
“It really hasn’t been hard. I don’t look at it as giving up drinking. I see i as gaining my life back.”
Through the two week-week Victorious Life Class, Jessica renewed her relationship with Christ. She joined the Discipleship Work Program and works in housekeeping while she looks for a job as a Certified Nursing Assistant.
“My license had expired but an anonymous donor provided the money for me to get it renewed. It’s kind of awesome to think a complete stranger would help me. That’s something I’ll never forget.
Over the last several months, Jessica has been able to see her son and, later this month, she’ll go to court to regain custody. If all goes as planned, she’ll have Dallas back in her arms for Christmas.
Having him back will be the greatest gist I could ever receive, and it wouldn’t be possible without the Mission. If I hadn’t come her, I’d probably still be living in turmoil. I wouldn’t have had the strength to do this on my own.