Pay It Forward - An Open Letter from A Lady of Grace

"My name is Amy. I am 35 years old, and I am from Cocoa Beach, Fl. I have been sober since August 22, 2014. My parents divorced when I was 4 years old, and my sister was 5 years old. We never heard from my father again.  I've been drinking and doing drugs since I was a 12 year old, and started getting arrested when I was 30 years old. I finally went to prison when I was 33 years old. My mom died two weeks after I got to prison. She died an alcoholic death, and my sister died of an overdose in 2007. I knew it was only a matter of time before drugs and alcohol would do the same to me. So I made a decision to change my life, and make sure that did not happen. 

I was released from prison in December 2015. I relocated to an area with more opportunity and resources to find a job because I was on my own.  I decided to move to Jacksonville when I got out of prison. I was homeless for the first month, but found an awesome sober living home that accepted me. It was at this sober living home that I met Ms. Kathleen, Ms. Jan, and the ladies of Grace Ministry. They were throwing a party for the ladies of the house for Valentine's Day. I thought that was so sweet. Holidays are very hard for me. Valentine's was always special with my mom and sister.

The women of Grace Ministry have been there for me when no other person could. They care about me just like my mom did when she was alive, but before her alcoholism took over. My mom is irreplaceable, but the women of Grace Ministry are a close runner-up. Grace Ministry has kept me in a safe place by paying my rent until I could get a job, connecting me with the right people through mentorship, and encouraging me to do the right thing through love and encouragement to be all that God has created me to be.

I am truly grateful for all the women and the people who donate their time and resources to Grace Ministry. I pray that I can contribute to the ministry in the future, and "pay-it-forward" to other women in need.

I truly know how it feels to be alone - no family, no money, no job, homeless, new to the area, fresh out of prison, no transportation, no friends, and no belongings. I was ready to give up. I had nothing to live for, or so I thought, but now I do not think that way anymore.  Today I have a wonderful job at a veterinarian’s office, and as of September 1st, I am getting ready to transition into my own place. Grace has even helped with getting furniture donations, gift cards, and other things I need to make the transition. 

Thank you Ms. Kathleen, Ms. Jan, Ms. Charliy, Ms. Vee, Ms. Mandi, Ms. Joy, Ms. Sylvia, Ms. Becky, and all who have given to Grace Ministry. I love you all!"


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