Lisa grew up in Phoenix in a house where there was a lot of entertaining and drinking. “We put the FUN in dysfunctional!” She started drinking socially in high school and then became a functional alcoholic for 20 years. Lisa had a job where wining & dining the clients was part of her job description, so she could justify her drinking. Lisa hit dark years, as her drinking spiraled out of control; she lost her job, marriage & family. She went to prison in 2002 and still chose to go down a destructive path after her release. Lisa knew that her drinking was out of control and tried treatment programs, two of them twice. Completing the programs successfully, she would then return back into her vicious cycle of relapse.
Lisa attended Young Life (Christian Youth Program), in high school, and was introduced to Jesus, accepting him into her life, but she suffered from severe anxiety. Little things like getting lost with directions totally overwhelmed her and she coped with her anxiety by drinking.
After one more unsuccessful attempt at a treatment program, Lisa made the decision she would rather live on the streets. She was tired of people telling her not to drink and she wanted the freedom to do what she wanted to and she thought that life on the streets would be better. “Well, day one was fun, but the first night was not. I learned quickly that it was not the way I wanted to live my life.”
Even through her drinking, Lisa recognized God and loved listening to K-Love. While her case manager from Cope was driving her to an appointment, she asked Lisa “You are a Christian right and enjoy listening to K-Love?” Lisa replied back yes and as the case manager turned K-Love on, Pastor Roy’s voice came on talking about GRM. The case manager turned to Lisa and said “Oh! That reminds me I was going to give you their number to call. They might not have any open beds right now, but call this number to see.” Lisa called the number and they informed her to come in the following morning at 8 am for an intake appointment. Lisa felt cared for from the staff immediately. “This is God’s program. The staff is the best and the love and support the women (clients) have is very special. This is a place where God’s perfect timing shines. The program is structured so that things are going on at so many levels that it seemingly flows at just the right times.”
Lisa no longer suffers from anxiety. When she came to GRM, she prayed to God to heal her from the anxiety and it immediately went away. She has since spoken in front of very large groups and did not have anywhere near the anxiety she used to experience. “No medications, no drugs…just God!” said Lisa “My life is no longer a Lisa centered life, instead it is a life centered on God.” Having graduated from the program and currently living in the transitional house, Lisa is going to culinary school at Pima College. She will be graduating in May, 2014 and will be applying for a chef internship with one of the cruise lines, then plans to return back to Tucson to open up her own catering business. When asked what would be one thing she would like people to know about her story, she replied “Don’t give up before the miracle happens! God never forsakes us but when we are willing, he has a plan for us. God is good…ALL the time!”
All testimonies are either written by or are from interviews with men and women who's lives were transformed during their time at Gospel Rescue Mission.
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