I was born in 1970 into a family of gang banging, drug, sex, loneliness and abandonment. At the age of 13 I became pregnant and was thrown out on my own. I continued that life style until the age of 45.
On October 15th, 2015 I was thrown into Randall County Jail not knowing what God had in store for me or for my life, all I felt at the time was that life was over for me and I didn't care if I lived or died. On October 17th, 2015 as I laid in my cell I heard a voice say, "Come back to me my child." I hit my knees and surrendered. I gave it all to God and begged for help. I cried like I have never cried before, and every tear I cried, God wiped it away. He told me to just sit and be with him, so I did.
A few days later I was sitting in the day room doing my 12 step book when I heard a voice say "look up" and there I saw my new life taped to the wall. Patsy's Place. (One of God's answered prayers) I wrote a letter to Patsy's Place but I did not mail it. It sat in my cell for three days and during that time i became a trustee and went to the kitchen to work. I woke up every morning sad and crying. I could not understand why. When I went to my cell that day I hit my knees and asked God what he wanted from me. "Mail the letter", is all I heard. I prayed if this is truly what you have for me then please show me what my room would look like. A few says later a woman that had been at Patsy's Place came into Randall county jail. She was able to tell me what every single room in Patsy's Place looked like. (God's answers prayers)
So, I mailed the letter. I was accepted to Patsy's Place on thanksgiving day and the life I had been praying for was about to begin. On January 15th, 2016 God opened the door and I was released from Randall County Jail. I was on my way to my new home. The past year at Patsy's Place I have had so many precious memories. Ones I will never forget, like the day we started the community garden. I was able to just sit outside, watch the roses bloom, and enjoy the freedom God had given me. Since my time at Patsy's Place I had the grace of God look upon me and bless me with so many wonderful and special women in my life. I owe my new life to my sponsor, my financial coach, and my sponsor. Let's not forget all the amazing teachers, volunteers, and staff that have always been there to lend a helping hand.
The one who I will always hold dear to my hear is Mama Bear, Ersela, the program director. She gave me a new life by accepting me for who I was and loving me before she even knew me. She showed me what unconditional love really was and she brought out the best in me, making me a better women today.
Thank you to Sharing Hope Ministry and Patsy's Place Transitional Home. Because of you, today I have a Father that loves me unconditionally and more family than I could ever imagine.
Psalm 142:1-5 says, "I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord's mercy. I pour out my complaints before him; and tell him all my trouble. When I am overwhelmed you alone know the way I should turn. I look for someone to come and help me but no one gives me a passing thought! Then I pray to you, O Lord: I say, "You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life." This Psalm is truly my testimony.
I can be honest with myself and everyone today that for 42 years I was a hopeless alcoholic/addict with an "I don't care" attitude because in my sick mind somebody was going to always take care of me. Whether it be my mother, my husband, my children, or crazy as it might sound, some jail or prison. I was co-dependent and doing time didn't bother me because I was institutionalized. My husband died in 2010 and my mother in 2014, so when I drove away from the residence I called home I was resigned to killing myself smoking crack and drinking, or I would go to jail. On June 26th, 2015, I was arrested. God delivered me.
In April 2001, I was diagnosed with carcinoma breast cancer stage 1. I had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery in the prison hospital located in Galveston. With no family or loved ones around I was told I could only receive a "medical parole" to a nursing home in the Galveston area. I cried out to the Lord, and He healed me!
Being in jail again this last time I had no one to call and I knew it would be this way because there was nobody for me to "depend on." My daughter wrote in the only letter that I received from her that I was like a CD on repeat. I was "singing the same old song." They all were tired of my destructive behavior. I realized when I turned 60 years old in jail that I needed help. I was frustrated because I didn't know how to live in society! I surrendered my will to God and laid all my cares and troubles at the foot of the cross. He favored me.
I applied to Patsy's Place and even though I was released from jail before getting an acceptance letter I called the director, Ms. Ersela, and was allowed to stay at Patsy's Place on an emergency basis. That was on January 14th, 2016. Soon after I was accepted the program and was allowed to stay. I can tell you that on that on that day I had my mind made up to do whatever I had to do to make a change. I had faith that God would see me through even after realizing I was the oldest participant to come through the doors. I have honestly and thoroughly participated in every class, session, and opportunity given to me here at Patsy's Place. Because of my obedience, faith, and willingness, God has restored my relationship with my family. I have a job at the Heal the City free clinic that I appreciate and joyfully go to everyday and do my very best. I have a car that I have earned and very soon I will have an apartment of my own. I now have people in my life who genuinely love me for who I am and not for anything I can give them. By the grace of God I have given back back all the negative comments from the enemy such as, "I want to die", "I can do time standing on my head", and all the "I CANT'S". On September 18th, 2016 I was baptized in the unity of Christ. He saved me!
I want to thank Patsy's Place, teachers, counselors, staff, volunteers, and my mentor for believing in me and giving me their very all. I want to thank my Heal the City family for giving me the opportunity to be a productive person in society. I want to thank my Pastor and my church family for their love, spiritual guidance, and support. Thank you to my daughters for not giving up on me. Last but not least, thank you Ms. Ersela for meeting me right where I was and helping me in every way imaginable on my journey. Thank you all for sharing in my miracle!
I always thought my childhood was normal. My mom yelled and hit a lot, but I thought everyone's mom did. I always worried about upsetting her, but upsetting her happened. I carried that worry around with me my entire life. I still have to stop myself and say, "Jessica, God's got your back". I started seeking other things to fulfill my God sized hole at the age of 13. Alcohol, drugs, men, money, the list was huge. Before I knew it I was addicted to drugs. I started getting arrested at age 13. I spent 9 months in an inpatient youth rehab at age 16. That was my first go around with AA. I graduated high school but was using after a few months. My life was out of control again and I became pregnant with Mason. I had to quit using but had no idea how. By checking into rehab and going to AA I managed to stay sober another year. When I relapsed this time though, I lost my family, home, car, and became extremely depressed. I got into trouble again, and this time I went to prison. Prison and jail became a way of life for me.
I was introduced to meth in 2008. My life was a downward spiral after that. Loosing possessions was a given, but soon I had lost my sanity too. It is a pit of despair that has no light at the end of the tunnel, just pure darkness. I ended up homeless and alone for about 2 years. I knew God was present but I truly believed God hated me, and that I deserved everything I was getting. I had a friend that brought it to my attention that I was the reason my life was a mess, and once I realized that, I could change it.
Doing something different than what you've always done is beyond difficult. It is almost impossible. I went to a battered women's shelter and stayed sober for another few months. I ended up in prison again, but this time it was a requirement for me to go to a half-way house. I applied to at least 10 different half way houses and Patsy's Place was the only one that accepted me. I knew the only way to do things right was God's way. I had tried everything else, why not give it a shot. While incarcerated I prayed and asked the Lord into my heart. I surrendered and it felt right. Feeling God's love in my life finally was amazing. There was finally light at the end of the tunnel. I began to seek God's word daily in prison and found strength in Him.
This program has taught me that, helping someone else gets me out of self and that's a good way to be. When I walked through these doors I was frightened, lonely, insecure, anxious, and typically hard to be around. I had no idea where to begin, little did I know how much was in front of me either. I was tired of not finishing what I started and I was determined to change that. I'd love to say that I am a strong determined person, but the truth is it is actually God who is all of those things. Through His strength, I have accomplished my goals. I have found so many things out about myself and about the woman God created me to be. I used to pray and ask God for help, but that was it. Today I pray and I do something different. That difference is what make my life amazing.