Michelle's Story

Michelle - Picture.jpg

“Up until 12 years ago I was a good mom and had a stable marriage. In 2007 my mom passed away and it seemed my world crumbled. I began dealing with depression and anxiety and turned to alcohol to cope with my troubles. Alcohol took control of my life and I lost everything: my marriage, my family, my self-respect, my health and I found myself homeless and sleeping outside. I felt worthless and had no desire to live. I didn’t care about myself or anyone else. I just wanted to die.

I moved from one city to another, far away from California and Merced. I was trying to run away from my problems. But God brought me back and on October 31, of 2018 I came into the Hope for Women program at the Merced County Rescue Mission. At first, I didn’t want to talk, I didn’t like having to put up with the other women. But Hope for Women provided me with structure, helped me develop goals and a purpose for my life. I felt like I was dead and have come back to life.

God has given me back my life. I now care about the women in the house. God has restored my relationship with my kids. God has shown me how to love myself, my kids and grandchildren. God has given me the opportunity to pray with them and to laugh with them. Now, my kids, after years of not talking with me, are not only not ashamed of me but are proud of me. I am so thankful to God for this blessing.

Hope for Women is not a place to hide. Instead it has been a place of refuge where God has given me the tools to get back on my feet. The program has given me direction to help me move forward in my life. I have been given the opportunity to give back by being a Resident Assistant. Now I am working, getting a paycheck and I just found my own place to live.

God has turned my life around. I have experienced what “rescue” is all about and rescue is a strong word. I often look to Isaiah 40:29 which reminds me that ‘God gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.’ Hope for Women has been a blessing in my life!”