Carol’s Story of Despair Turned to Hope
One of the things that people want to hear about is the stories about our residents. I have always sought to protect the privacy of our folks for their security and dignity but I’ve decided to tell their stories and just change the names and places to maintain anonymity.
This will be the first in a series to let you know how your support is being used to change lives. So, hang on. I have over 1500 tales to tell.
For our first story, I’m going to tell you about Carol and her family. Carol is 27 years old and has 2 children, a 14 year old son and a 7 year old daughter. While she has made a series of bad decisions, including becoming involved in drugs, Carol made a conscious decision to turn her life around. She knew that in order for her to succeed she would have to leave the small central Texas town she has always known as home all her life. She knew she needed to leave her old life behind and find a new place to start over. With only $200 dollars in their pocket she and her husband packed up their children and everything they could fit into their old minivan and left town with no particular destination in mind. She only knew that she had to escape her current lifestyle. They traveled about 150 miles and checked into a cheap motel. Knowing their money wouldn’t last long at the motel they decided to “go camping” and moved to a nearby park, unaware that camping was not allowed there. In the middle of the night a police officer approached them and asked for ID. Carol’s husband was on probation for a misdemeanor back home and leaving his county was a violation of that probation and so he had a warrant out for his arrest, which the police officer did immediately. Now Carol was stranded with two children and absolutely no plans or options. She spent the remainder of the night crying in a rest area along the highway. She had no family, no friends and no place to go. She stopped at a gas station, told the clerk about her situation, and found out about Johnson County Christian Lodge. She got directions and drove to our facility where our manager welcomed her. She and her children were admitted to our Family Campus and given a room, bed linens and towels and something to eat. She was very frightened but greatly relieved that she and her children didn’t have to worry about where they were going to sleep or eat.
Her children were immediately enrolled in the Cleburne School District and she began to look for a job. During her intake interview and goal-setting session, it was determined that she had dropped out of high school and needed to complete her GED. She enrolled in GED classes at Cleburne Adult Education where she is excelling. She has begun the enrollment process and financial aid applications for Hill College where she plans on attending once she passes her GED tests. Her aspirations to be drug-free have been fulfilled so far as she has attended “Celebrate Recovery” at a local church.
Her whole attitude has changed and she once again has hope. She is doing quite well. Last night I asked her how she was doing and she emphatically stated, “I’m SUPPOSED to be here.”