Skip to the main content.
Donate Need help?
Donate Need help?

3 min read

A Journey of the Heart: The love and power of the Gospel

Those who enter our Life Recovery program walk the path toward life change, receiving trauma-informed counseling, parenting support, life skills classes, and career guidance. This journey of the heart helps men and women find freedom from addiction, impacting future generations. Racheal shares her family’s story of transformation and healing.

 

Racheal's Path to Recovery

For more than two decades, Racheal struggled with addiction. Navigating in and out of various recovery programs, she felt that “there was always something missing.”

Racheal-2

In 2021, she reached a milestone of five years of sobriety. Unfortunately, her mother was tragically diagnosed with cancer later that year. Racheal explains, “I went downhill after she died.” While sitting in jail, Racheal was afraid that she would relapse and get high after being released. UGM Women’s Recovery was suggested to her, but she was disinterested. It wasn’t until after Racheal’s sister mentioned the program after her release that Racheal began to consider the idea.

 

“It’s perfect, except that God thing. Not sure about that.”

 

She was hesitant about the program being faith-based, saying, “It’s perfect, except that God thing. Not sure about that.” Her concerns were met with reassurance when people told her, “You don’t have to [become a Christian]” to be in the program.

Racheal attended the UGM Women’s Recovery overview to learn about the program. “It completely spoke to me. It was everything I needed to get my kids, to get my life, to just become normal again.” She moved into the UGM Women and Children’s Shelter a week later.

 

 

Healthy Parenting Habits

Prior to starting recovery, Racheal’s focus was on regaining custody of her children. “It wasn’t about my recovery yet,” she explained. Yet, the structure of UGM and culture of open communication among residents and staff proved to be transformative and valuable for her.  “There’s always been someone to talk to,” says Racheal. In over a month, she moved into UGM Women’s Recovery at Anna Ogden Hall. Racheal began to put time into herself and had help establishing a plan and healthy habits so she could adequately care for her kids in the future.

Boys-w-Bunny

After months of supervised visits, her two youngest children, Ryker and Cason, were allowed to move into the safe, healing UGM environment. Racheal was then able to implement valuable parenting skills with on-site guidance from staff. “[I’ve learned that] you should connect with the child before trying to correct. You need to get to their level because kids are just trying to get a basic need met; love, belonging, freedom, security, safety.” She strives to give her children the power of choice and approaches them with compassion. They are on this journey of the heart together.

 

 

Freedom in Christ

With her two sons in her care, Racheal was able to focus on deeper aspects of her recovery and began to sense the freedom found in Christ. She experienced a profound change in Phase Three of the program, describing it this way: “All of a sudden there was just a click. There’s a complete change in me. We have a class [called] Freedom and Set Free and that one has completely changed my life. It’s made me want to even go further in my other classes.”

Racheal-with-boys

As Racheal worked through each phase of recovery, her heart began to open and she saw a new way of life unfold. “I have not only seen myself grow, but my children are thriving. They're doing amazing.” However, Racheal held an ache in her heart knowing her teenage daughter, Makayla, was still living with her father, not attending school, and suffering from domestic violence. As Racheal moved out of the program into UGM Aftercare Housing, news came that CPS intervened and her daughter was able to come live with her. Now under her mom’s care, Makayla is making her own progress, working toward earning her GED and associate degree.

 

“I have not only seen myself grow, but my children are thriving. They're doing amazing.”

 

The Hope of New Beginnings

Racheal-and-boys-2As Racheal grows in her newfound freedom and precious role as a parent, she continues to take steps on her new path. She was able to get her driver’s license and then buy a car. She is in her second quarter at Spokane Falls Community College to earn an associate degree in Addiction Studies. This career path will give her the opportunity to help others heal from similar struggles with chemical dependency. And while working toward a college degree, she found employment at UGM Thrift Stores, working with a team that knows and understands her story.  

Racheal is filled with a faith and confidence unlike anything she has ever experienced before. “This place changed my life. I knew that I was gonna get my kids. I knew that I was gonna get sober…but this place gave me something else I didn’t have, and they gave it to my kids. My kids pray every night. They didn’t know God before. Neither did I.” Racheal and her children are beloved children in the Kingdom of God, and their awareness of that is rewriting their story, day by day.

 

“I found God at UGM. I’ve grown my relationship with God here and that has been my biggest thing. It’s completely transformed me as a person.”

 

The world that Racheal once knew, has changed. What was broken, has been restored. What was lost, has been found. What was bound, has been set free. “I’m still learning and it’s a beautiful thing.”

Looking back at how she ended up at UGM, she can see God’s hand on her life. “I honestly think it was God’s little way of going, ‘This is your idea,’ but it was really [God’s],” she shared. “I found God at UGM. I’ve grown my relationship with God here and that has been my biggest thing. It’s completely transformed me as a person.”

 


 

We are grateful for how you have supported UGM by praying, serving, and giving. Your love and compassion paves a pathway out of homelessness and addiction, bringing families together and offering them hope in Jesus. Thank you.

 

View the print version of the Spring 2024 Mission News.

Physical Therapy Partnership: Caring for the whole person

5 min read

Physical Therapy Partnership: Caring for the whole person

Providing Essential Resources UGM relies on the support of the community to offer comprehensive care to individuals in need. One of the lesser-known...

Read More
UGM Shelters: Havens of truth and honor

3 min read

UGM Shelters: Havens of truth and honor

Once basic needs are met through UGM shelter services, individuals can face the issues that have perpetuated their unwanted situation. Through case...

Read More
In His Likeness: A heart-to-heart message from Phil Altmeyer

3 min read

In His Likeness: A heart-to-heart message from Phil Altmeyer

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.” Ephesians 2:10 Friends, I don’t know if your garage or shop looks like mine,...

Read More
Young Fatherhood, Pain and Recovery: Eric’s Story

Young Fatherhood, Pain and Recovery: Eric’s Story

Eric Blackman was trying to live the party life. Alcohol, drugs and carefree days shaped his mid-twenties through early-thirties.

Read More
The Gospel: The Heart of Trauma Recovery

The Gospel: The Heart of Trauma Recovery

We talked about trauma recovery and why it’s important for people like Jocelyne in July’s Mission News. On one hand, it’s complicated: family...

Read More
Home for Good: Restoring family bonds after addiction

Home for Good: Restoring family bonds after addiction

Is there anything more cherished during the Christmas season than our families? The gifts, the candles, the carols, and the festive meals wouldn’t...

Read More