When Jill was 36, her 10-year-old son died of leukemia.
Four years later, her mom died of cancer.
The grief threatened to swallow Jill whole.
“I just didn’t know how to deal with it,” and so she sought to numb it. “Alcohol became my magic wand to make the pain disappear.”
Jill grew up in a stable, upper middle-class home. “I’d always been a Christian, never even started drinking until I lost my son.”
But the loss of two people so close to her shook her world to the core. God seemed to have disappeared, and Jill lost her way. She lost a sense of who she was and why she was here. Anger at God consumed her.
Three separate treatment programs had no long-term effect. Jill knew about the Union Gospel Mission and its recovery programs, but she resisted coming.
"What brought me to UGM was a broken heart"
“I thought I didn’t need to be at a place like that, but that is exactly the place I needed to be…and so, I humbled myself, and I walked through those doors.
“That was a scary day for me.”
UGM counselors say again and again, “If you do the real work of recovery, it is the hardest work you will ever do.” Jill wasn’t ready for that at first, and on two separate occasions, she was asked to leave the program. But she came back.
“I was challenged big time. I had an excellent counselor, and she challenged me to really trust God and deal with my pride issues. And that’s what happened. I do trust God again.
“I still miss my son, and I miss my mom, but I’m not numbing things. I’m dealing with issues, and I’m not so proud that I can’t ask for help.”
Jill is now working in the kitchen at the Center for Women and Children. She knows God has redeemed her journey, and her new purpose in life is helping women who are experiencing the same brokenness.
Jill, a writer and artist, described the end result of her recovery experience like this:
“Jill is the Jill that started out being Jill. The original Jill. I came back home to myself. I am who God made me to be. I’m painting again. I’m writing again. I’m back…fully back!”
Jill is one of 22 amazing men and women whose life-transformation we will be celebrating at our upcoming graduation. Please join us for the UGM LIFE Recovery Graduation Celebration at Valley Assembly Church, 15618 E Broadway Ave., Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 6:30 p.m.