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Meet Jill

Bravely Breaking Free

By Deacon Deb Haynes

“Jill” was alienated from her kids, living in the woods with a violent boyfriend and self-medicating with drugs and alcohol when we first met her over a decade ago. She cycled in and out of detox and domestic violence shelters for years, never able to break free. These twin cycles are brutal and reinforce each other, spiraling an individual ever closer to death.

Jill has experienced a lot of traumas in her life, living with a serious mental illness and all the disruption that brings to family and work relationships. She was struggling to leave the violent relationship, which threatened her progress in recovery, until she bravely chose to enter a medication assisted treatment program for her substance use disorder.

By a miracle of timing which could only be the Spirit at work, just when Jill was finally ready to leave the violent relationship, she was eligible to enter the emergency motel program that helped many of our guests during the pandemic. I worked with her to start mental health care services with the Community Services Board and refer her for permanent supportive housing.

Jill, who moved into housing in January of 2021, has maintained her sobriety and her safety, and has reconnected with her kids. With great pride, she told me that she is almost completely weaned off the medication assisted treatment and will be completely free and clear in about two months!

Jill’s pride in her transformation is a joy to see. We could not have predicted this outcome for her when we first met her, but her story reminds us that even when we can’t envision a good outcome, God’s will for restoration is always at work.

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. ~ Psalm 94:18-19

The names and photos have been changed to protect the dignity of those involved.

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