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From Hopeless to Hopeful: A Testimony from Family Care

Maddie, a precious young woman in our Family Care program, shared with us her story of redemption and healing through the salvation she received in Jesus Christ. Maddie, along with her handsome son Joe, have been in our care for only a few months, but have done extremely well.

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Family Care House Manager Cami Jones says, “It has been such an honor and joy to have a front row view of watching the Lord move and work in Maddie’s life during her time in Family Care. I have seen this courageous and brave mom go from being scared and afraid to a mom who is not only surviving, but thriving. Madilyn’s confidence not only in herself, but in herself as a mom is night and day from when she came to us in October. She is such a great mom to Joe and it has been a joy to watch her learn and grow . . .

“One of my favorite memories of Madilyn’s time in Family Care was the day she and Joe moved in to our home. Prior to coming to us, Madilyn and Joe were living in a home with hoarders. Because of this, they were confined to their small bedroom. Joe had no room to run around and play. Playing outside was not even an option because of the unsafe environment. When Joe and Madilyn arrived in Alabaster, Joe was overwhelmed with the amount of space. He literally ran circles around the house and yard for several hours that first day. Prior to coming to Family Care, the only living environment Joe had known in his three short years of life was one of hoarding. It has been so fun to watch him thrive in a safe and spacious living environment.”

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We want to share with you, in her own words, Maddie’s incredible story that God has written. She titles her testimony, “The Day Jesus Captured My Heart.”

 

August 3, 2014 started out like any other day.

During that time I was trapped in a pit of never-ending darkness, pain, and suffering — or so it would seem. I decided to go to church that evening, and here's why: prior to this day, I was living a sin-filled life, and I was completely dead to my sins; Walking and roaming this earth with a black veil over my eyes, unable to see what was lying before me, and what had been waiting for me all along.

That Sunday was the start of my church's yearly 21 Days of Prayer. I remember getting to church early and feeling this pull to go into the auditorium and get a seat, so I did. As I was sitting and waiting, I saw a man walking toward me down the side of the auditorium. I heard this still, small voice say, “Get up, get his attention.” But I said to myself that I wouldn’t. The man stopped a few rows ahead of me to talk with another gentleman that had gotten there early. I heard the still, small voice again, only this time it was a little louder, saying “Get up.” It wasn't until the man turned around to walk the other way that I felt something within me push me to my feet, and I started waving my hands to get his attention. The man saw me and came up to me. He introduced himself as Pastor Rob. I began to cry and tell him what I was struggling with and asked for his help. He took down my information and told me he would have someone contact me.

Prior to this day, I was struggling with whether or not to go back to self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. See, I had met a man on an online dating site. I ended up meeting with him, and quickly found myself in a situation to where I was talked into doing things I wouldn't normally do. I felt forced to do things that in my right mind I normally wouldn't do. At the same time, I didn't know where to go or who to turn to about the situation because I felt equally responsible for what had happened to me since I had put myself in that situation to begin with.

After I spoke with Pastor Rob, soon began the church service. As the band began to play, the worship songs they were singing kept tugging on my heart. The more I listened, and the more I sang, the more I felt like falling to my knees. After listening to our pastor’s message, he then asked all of the campus pastors across the state to come on stage to lead their campus's in prayer.

Pastor Blake came up (at our campus), and he began to ask if there was anyone who was ready and willing to ask Jesus into their heart. As he was saying this, I began crying and thinking to myself, “What do I have to lose?” Little did I realize then that once I made that decision, I'd lose everything. I began to say the sinner’s prayer and repent of my sins, asking Jesus into my heart. Once I did that, I went home, not sure what to expect or even realizing just how much my life was going to change.

The following week, I was contacted by a lady on the church's ministry team and was connected to another lady who is now a very dear friend of mine named Sherri. I ended up meeting Sherri at a local coffee shop to talk about Jesus and the things I was dealing with. I remember Sherri talking to me about the love of Jesus and just how much He loved me, and thinking as she spoke that I knew nothing of this love. That is when she said, "I can tell that you don't know about the love I am talking about.” To be honest, the love Sherri was talking about was not like any love I had ever experienced or had even seen in real life; at that time, I couldn't even begin to believe that such love existed.

After we spoke, Sherri told me of a small group she was going to be leading. In the following weeks, I read a book called Four Cups and was deciding whether or not to do the small group. As I was reading the book, I came across confirmation from God. It was in chapter four, called “The Cup of Sanctification.” In this chapter, I came across a paragraph that rocked me to my core, “How do we take that first sip from the cup of sanctification? In a word: Surrender. Give up control of your life and turn it over to God. He knows everything that holds you back, he knows the path that lies ahead, and he has sent one greater than Moses to lead you out. All you have to do is follow.”

It was in that moment when God took me back to when I was at King's Ranch and reminded me of a poem I wrote. I was sixteen then and even though I believed in God, I had hate for Him. The poem was titled “Surrender.”

Surrender your dreams and memories,

Surrender the things I see.

Surrender the thoughts of the enemy,

Surrender everything but me

Surrender!

It was then that God showed me that He had always been there by my side, waiting for me to come home to Him. However, even though I had accepted Christ, in some ways I still felt trapped to one particular sin. I did attend Sherri's small group but I was still living in sin. It wasn't until I was driving home one day and out of nowhere, I heard a still, small voice say to me, "You can't keep walking my path with me while still having a foot in your past. You have to make a choice." It was that day (that) I chose God.

I have been saved now for two years! Glory be to God! After completely surrendering all of me over to God, my life has been forever changed and for the better! Right before I recited the sinner’s prayer that evening on August 3, I remember thinking, “What do I have to lose?” Well guess what? I lost everything — all the pain I held in for many years, all the horrible memories of a childhood stolen by sexual abuse, the depression that for so long felt never-ending, along with the chains of guilt and shame that kept me trapped in bondage all my life was finally all gone once I opened my hands and gave it to Christ!

Now I still face trials and tribulations, but I find joy in the storms I face because I know God will use them for my spiritual growth in Him. 

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If you would like to contribute to the Family Care program, please see our specific needs for our Alabaster and Gardendale locations here.

For more information on monthly giving, please visit our Hero Fund information page here.

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