Michelle's Story


programs-stories-25-michelle.jpgA Family Blessed Through Your Compassion

Whenever Michelle talks about her kids, her eyes light up. A married, dedicated mother of three, she's trying her hardest to keep her family together. About a year ago, she came to Joy House after her husband started using drugs. She knew that she couldn't raise her children in that kind of environ­ment, not after the childhood she had experienced.

Michelle's father was in jail for her entire upbring­ing and her mother lost custody of her when she was just five years old. She was raised by her sister's grandmother in Chicago in a house with drug users. After she graduated high school, she moved in with a cousin, but the living conditions were terrible. She met her husband soon after that.

Although he had been a good husband and a good father, when he started using drugs, Michelle no­ticed a change in him. She felt like she was watch­ing history repeat itself, and she knew her children deserved better than that. She didn't want them to be exposed to drug use. She wanted them to have stability. She didn't want to have them taken away from her. She wanted them to have a family that wasn't broken. To keep her family together, she told her husband that he needed to get help and made the difficult decision to move out.

With no family or friends to turn to, she came to Joy House. At first, she was nervous. She started second-guessing her decision to leave and was worried that her husband wasn't getting the help he needed. She prayed about it, and God gave her peace that she was doing what was best for her family. Through her participation in the New Life Program, she grew in her faith and started to see God's plan for her life. “I always thought that God had more trouble than to deal with my problems,” she explains, “but He says to lay all your burdens on Him, because He cares for us.”

Michelle is optimistic. “I'm getting stronger. I'm growing spiritually; I'm getting stronger in the Lord. God is still working with me in my life and in my marriage,” she says. She is hopeful to break the cycle of broken families and drug use. She prays for her husband constantly and sends him Bible studies so that they are able to learn and grow in their faith together. She's also seen a huge change in her children. They are now in a stable environment and are thriving in school.

Michelle is currently participating in Fresh Start, Joy House's transitional living program for mothers and children and has plans to attend school to become a nurse. To donors she'd like to say, “Thank you for the compassion you have. I am blessed to have the food, clothing, and essentials that are donated. Once I leave here, I want to open up my heart and give back to someone who needs it. We're not the only people that are going to need someone's help. There are other people that will follow in our footsteps.” Thank you for helping give Michelle the chance to pursue a better life for herself and her family!

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV