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

Women's LIFE Recovery participant Linda shared this speech at the recent Phase Promotion at UGM's Center for Women and Children. 

“I sat in a courtroom eight years ago and was told I was considered not 'rehabilitate-able.' I had lost hope and faith in myself to ever change or be a functioning part of society.2L7A3623“When I looked at my future, I saw my father who had spent his life in and out of prison until the day he was sentenced to life. I was so afraid I was turning into my father. I went to prison my first time in 2014 after a long time on the run. I thought I had found God, but I didn't have a relationship or true repentance for the things I had done. I saw God as a way of not feeling guilty for the things I wanted to do. Over the last few years, I have gone to another faith-based program, prison a couple times, and lived on the streets, running from the law and myself.

“In December 2018, I was on the streets of Spokane. I had been kidnapped, beaten up, and had a gun pulled on me in the middle of nowhere, knowing if I died no one would find me. All I could do was pray that God would somehow save me because I didn't want to die like this. I wanted to see my babies again, and I promised myself that I would do anything and everything to change.

“So, on January 11, 2019, I turned myself in to Kootenai County Jail. I had never turned myself in before. I always waited until I was caught, so I could just continue to do what I wanted and stay high. I had looked at UGM before, but I didn't want to commit to a two-year program. I knew when I turned myself in that I needed a long-term, faith-based program. I prayed about it and wrote a letter to Teria at UGM.

“Through God's will only, I was accepted from prison and released to UGM. I came in with a tough exterior and more closed-off than I would admit.

“I had a hard time looking at myself in the mirror and really forgiving the person I was.

“I had clung onto this identity of who I needed to be to protect myself. I hid behind humor and anger, only to find myself having to evaluate those things every time. I told myself that this was the change I prayed for and that there was grace given by God and by the women here. Therefore, I did the hard things, like opening up and telling the truths about the things that were dark and ugly in me. I found out that, no matter what, there were people who still loved me after knowing what I had done.

“All of a sudden, one day I look at myself again in the mirror—but I really looked, not just glanced—and there stood someone I had grown to love.

“I was changed. I was not that prisoner in the courtroom being told I would never be able to change. I am a child of God, I am saved by the blood of the Lamb. I have recently been put into ministry at one of the rehabs that I went to years ago. I have also been asked to take the MRT training (a class taught in prison) so I can teach it to the women I work with. Every day, God shows up—sometimes in just little ways and other times so mighty I am in awe. Even though it has taken me many years to admit my felonies and forgive those who considered me a lost cause, now I have the power to walk in my identity in Christ and die to my old self. I am free.”

 

Men and women are finding freedom every day at UGM. Learn more about our faith-based philosophy of change in this free video series from Phil Altmeyer. 

New call-to-action

 

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
“He directs my steps”: Glenda’s path to restoration

“He directs my steps”: Glenda’s path to restoration

Glenda is currently staying at the Crisis Shelter for Women and Children as a Resident Volunteer.Last winter, her life went quickly from bad to...

Read More
Beyond Sobriety to Life Transformation

Beyond Sobriety to Life Transformation

By Kirste Richards, LIFE Recovery Intake Counselor, UGM Center for Women and Children - One of the first things a woman hears when she comes to a...

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