God’s grace is truly sufficient
My name is Janet and this is my story. I am 56 years old. I was born in Wisconsin and raised on a farm. My mother had nine children in which I am the third oldest. My parents abused me and since I’ve been in recovery I offer them my forgiveness. I was 14 years old when my oldest brother raped me.
I left home when I was 18 and started drinking at 19. At 21 I was raped by a stranger and had a child. I gave my child up because I couldn’t support it. At age 23 I got married and had two children. During the marriage I realized I was married to an alcoholic. In 1976 my kids were removed from my home and placed in foster care. In 1978 I came to Georgia and became homeless. I lived on the streets of Atlanta for seven or eight years. Again I was raped by many guys and ended up in the hospital. I finally left the streets in 1993 when my leg got broken and was placed in a personal care home. After that, I lived in two different independent living homes for the next decade plus until a friend told me about the House of Hope.
I want to thank my higher power that I now choose to call Jesus Christ for being sober for five years. I want to thank God and my best friend and Kelly for finding a clean and decent place for me to live, the House of Hope. I am learning more about God and the 12-Steps and I am learning everyday how to live a better life. I now know that it was God’s grace and the blood of Christ that took care of me while I was living in the streets; God’s grace is truly sufficient. I would like to find my children someday to make amends for giving them away. My youngest son is 32 today and my oldest son will be 34 on his birthday in November. The child that I gave up when I was raped was a girl, she is now 35. I pray continually for them and I hope one day that God would lead me to their whereabouts for the House of Hope has taught me there is always hope as long as I have breath in my body. I finally know what it is to have the Holy Spirit living in me and through me. I was in church a few weeks ago and I felt something tugging at me to go down front. I got out of my seat and walked down the aisle to give Christ my life. I was so nervous, but it felt so right. Again I am happy about my new life now in Christ. Thanks for letting me share.
I drank alcohol for over 20 years, just as my father had before me. He was what you call a “functional alcoholic” who worked for GM and my mother was a teacher. I knew the value of hard work and was successful in my career until I lost my job in 2008. This was the beginning of what could have been the end. Unable to secure employment, it became a constant struggle to control my drinking. I was either drinking or thinking about drinking at all times. I lived in darkness, apart from God. I was cynical and judgmental, full of resentment. I was dying a slow death, spiritually and physically. I checked myself into a detox facility, but really had nowhere to go and no idea what would come next. That is when I met Rosie – she was there to pick-up another woman. I shared a little of my story with Rosie and she gave me a brief overview of what the House of Hope was about. Although she was nice, she was firm. It was the beginning of a new life for me when I agreed to go with them. I have no doubt that the encounter at the detox center was arranged by God. Since that time, I have been introduced to the truth of God’s word and have been clean and sober for almost three years! I know that nothing is by chance and that the Lord sent me an angel that day whom I admire, respect and have grown to love. Although the recovery program at HOH is for six to 12 months, House of Hope has been my home since moving in on March 1, 2009. HOH continues to be a blessing to me and other women from all walks of life. It is a home where women can heal and, with God’s help, begin the upward climb toward a better life in Christ Jesus. I thank God and His angel, Rosie Hightower!