Early morning on October 7, 2016, I found myself yet again at another cross road in my life. I had just been released from Potter County Detention Center, my time there pending my only arrest record, a day I will never forget August 1, 2016. I will never forget this day for many reasons, not only the humiliation of being arrested, but the ironic relief it brought me. Being incarcerated for the first time, of course I was terrified, worried, ashamed, uncertain, lost, sad, and utterly empty inside. I found solace in reading books and attending bible study once a week, I didn’t know it at first but attending those bible studies would soon impact my future in the greatest way possible, see those amazing Godly women that taught those bible studies were from a Christian organization called Sharing Hope Ministry. I requested my own Life Recovery Bible and workbook which is the first bible I have ever read from that incorporated the 12 steps of AA. I found the bible easy to understand and the way the footnotes entailed how to translate the verbiage into working through the recovery steps deeply beneficial. Forming a small group of three in my pod, we met two times a day and worked through our workbook and 12 Steps together. It is during this time period I found myself at my lowest point in my life and crying out to God in complete surrender for help.
Unbeknown to me, not only did God hear my cries for help but He had already set in motion His plans for my future. After one of our bible studies, I approached one of the Godly women and expressed my fear of being released from the detention center and going back to the vicious cycle of addiction I was in before, I explained that I had no family whom resided in Amarillo, TX and I would have no choice but to turn to the only people I knew in Amarillo, and unfortunately they were all living in their addiction. I wanted to do better with my life, I wanted to be the person I was before I moved to Amarillo, TX before meth was ever introduced to me. A person my children could be proud of again. She then started to tell me about a Christian Transitional Home called Patsy’s Place that she herself taught a class there called Become a Better Me, and even more amazing Patsy’s Place was a part of Sharing Hope Ministry, they were one in the same organization. I received an application along with detailed requirements of Patsy’s Place and within a month received an acceptance letter.
Forward to early morning on October 7, 2016, walking into Sharing Hope Ministry/Patsy’s Place, feeling absolutely sick to my stomach with so many mixed thoughts and feelings of anxiety, pain, rejection, embarrassment, and fear. I was greeted by Ms. Ersela Demerson the Director of Patsy’s Place whom had a very calming effect on me, her tone of voice very compassionate and understanding. We gathered in her office, and as she welcomed me, I felt safe but on guard. I anticipated dreaded questions of my past, my addiction, why I was selfish and stupid enough to lose my children, did I learn my lesson, and many more questions such as this. Instead in my amazement Ms. Ersela, as I call her now, did not ask me one question of my past, although she did ask me “Is there anything you would like me to know about you?” My candid response even surprised me, considering I was always on guard with my walls up, as I replied, “I don’t believe I have ever been happy my entire life, I had a hard childhood followed by an abusive marriage that lasted seventeen years, my only happiness comes from my children.” Ms. Ersela’s response was “Well we will have to work on that.” Then she explained the program to me and asked if I needed anything, took inventory of my belongings I brought in with me (which sadly was the clothes on my back and a purse full of nothing important), then introduced me to the other women who would be my new roommates. We took a tour of the home, my first thought was it was beautiful and homey. I then got a choice of a bedroom in which would become my sanctuary for the next twelve months.
As I am entering my ninth month of being blessed to be here at Patsy’s Place, I find myself with a renewed mind in Christ, a sense of peace within I have never known, full of love and joy that only comes from experiencing Jesus Christ in my own life. I have never been accepted nor fully embraced the way I have here at Patsy’s Place/Sharing Hope Ministry, not only by the staff who I am so grateful for they encompass so much love, understanding, acceptance, and much needed encouragement and prayer, but also the amazing Godly women who volunteer their time and teach us life-changing skills in their prepared classes, the volunteers who sacrificially put so much of their time and hearts into each of us girls, and of course the Pearls the amazing Godly women who not only do the same but also make us feel like a “diamond in the ruff” as they prepare us special events catered to every women who calls Patsy’s Place home. I have been transformed not only by the Patsy’s Place Program in itself but also I have had the privilege of having Freedom Sessions with Mrs. Dixie Fulton which have been life-altering for me it is in these sessions that Jesus speaks to me and heals me by showing me He has always been with me even in incidences that caused me the most pain and resentments. I also have been blessed with an amazing women of God for a Mentor, Ms. Tammie that Ms. Ersela matched me to perfectly who motivates and keeps me accountable for my actions and all of my future goals through prayer. I also have a much needed financial coach Ms. DeLynn who keeps me accountable with my finances and future financial goals, which include purchasing a vehicle and home for me in my children before graduating from Patsy’s Place. I am now immensely blessed for God has restored my children and I, along with other friendships that mean so much to me, I truly love myself (the first time in my life) and the women I have become in Christ. In retrospect to my first day here at Patsy’s Place and my response to Ms. Ersela about me never being truly happy, I can honestly say wholeheartedly and gratefully, through Patsty’s Place/Sharing Hope Ministry I have found myself again, I am restored, I found the peace, love, and joy I have been searching for my whole life.