I had just gotten my kids back through Children and Family Services (CFS) and was required to receive additional help. I felt overwhelmed, hopeless, used, unvalued, alone, and insignificant. I started coming to the Boundaries workshop at Manter. I learned to say “no” when I needed to. That really helped. Then I was invited to participate in Future Story.
DeAnna told us we didn’t have to participate in the God stuff if we didn’t want to, so I didn’t. Then about half way through the course, we had to map out our past positive and negative turns in our lives, and find the value in each one. And as I looked at my life, there was a lot of bad. I had to figure out a positive for each negative turn, and then I realized there had to be something protecting me. Because I wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t. So, I started participating in the God stuff, and I got to ask questions.
Since then, I’ve been saved; I’ve been baptized; I’ve become a better me and a better parent. I’ve led my mom to Christ. She’s been forgiving herself, and we’ve been going to church now for over a year. I currently attend the Journey workshop at Manter because I feel comfortable with the group and I like being accountable for reaching my goals. I have to stand up every week and state what I’ve done or haven’t done and I have to be truthful to myself. Now I’m bringing my sister and she’s growing up and breaking out of her shell. She’s becoming an active participant in life.
When I was growing up, I had terrible role models. They didn’t protect me; they were mostly either drunk or high. Not only have I been able to forgive them, but now I have role models in my life who will listen and then tell me what I need to hear. I can see what it is to be a good parent and how to have a stable life. I still feel broke, and we’re technically homeless. But, my husband is working again. We’re paying down our debts, and then we’ll start saving for a place and our future. Plus, I’ve lost 35 pounds and I’m influencing others to make healthier food choices! My mom calls me her incredible shrinking daughter!
The most important thing I’ve learned through my classes and something that I personally do now through my walk with the Lord is truth vs lies. When I start to feel negative emotions, or have negative thoughts about another person or a particularly difficult situation, I mentally step back. I ask myself and God, “what is the truth in this?” Thankfully, I have amazing mentors in my life now who have guided me to the point where I can recognize that these thoughts and emotions are lies. Just because something is difficult it doesn't have to be overwhelming. When I feel overwhelmed that is when I get angry or depressed and I just want to lash out or shut down. I don't like myself when I feel that way. So... realizing the truth helps me better understand my situation and not become overwhelmed. I thank God for that, and I thank my mentors from Manter House.
Now I’ve been helping to facilitate classes, and I’ve been asked to participate in the leadership class where I hope to learn how to be as good a mentor as the ones I have had. I hope to bring others to Jesus through my passion for life and art.