Susan was born in Maryland and was the middle sister out of three. Her childhood was bleak and lonesome. She grew up in a family that went to church, though her upbringing was rule-driven, far from a traditional setting. Her mom was dying of cancer; and dad was out of the picture, leaving them to fend for themselves. Susan never had friends and always felt dirty since there was no one to take care of her. An independent spirit was formed in her and the only friend she remembers talking to was Jesus.
As she became a young adult, Jesus was pushed to the side because her independence took over and she felt like she had the world by her fingertips. Life was looking up, she went to college, got married, and had two kids. After 19 years, her first marriage ended. She then married a second time to a man who knew God but struggled severely with alcoholism. This led to a life of destruction and brokenness while she watched everything in her life be taken away.
In August 2018, Susan was lying in a park after 6 weeks of being homeless and said
“God you can take me”.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert”. Isa 43:19
God had other plans! One phone call, with Susan and the Program Manager could tell she had a heart that was eager for a different path. She ended up in our program 2 days later with a heart feeling lost, hopeless and desperate for help. She didn’t understand why she ended up in the situation she was in but she was ready for the hope ahead. Susan knew God had scooped her up and placed her here with us!
“I went from sinking painfully into the quicksand of homelessness and desperation with only the clothes on my back and no one to turn to when HRS accepted me into their loving arms. Now, hope has flooded my life and I am living with purpose and confidence.” Susan
Today, House of Refuge Sunnyslope has given her a place to call home. The tenderness of God is molding her into a new woman that has confidence, ease, and a rush of gratitude that’s changing her.
While at HRS, she has held a full-time job and received a promotion. She had major restorative work through our dental program and has taken on the role and responsibilities of the Night Manager. Most importantly, her relationship with God is thriving. Her heart is being changed through Bible studies, church functions and her relationship with her mentor. She loves the community and smiles with courage in her heart, knowing the trajectory of her life is forever changed.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE.” Jeremiah 29:11