When Christina first came to Shepherd’s Door, she was paranoid. From the day she stepped into the facility, she was afraid of everyone, and she found every day to be absolutely terrifying as a result.
“Before I came here, I was caught up in a life of addiction and alcoholism,” she said. “There were so many times when I would always make bad choices and get myself in unhealthy relationships. I was out of my mind because of my use of meth.”
Since then, Christina has not only been 16 months clean and sober, but her life looks nothing like it did when she started in New Life Ministries.
“It’s only by the grace of God that I’m still alive and here with my family,” she emphasized in her speech to the crowd at Jubilee. “I don’t react to my children the way I used to, I can actually talk without cussing, I can look my mom and Brian [stepdad] in the eyes today, and it’s all because of God. My life has changed tremendously.”
These dramatic changes in Christina’s life were illuminated when she decided she needed to give back, and go serve downtown on a monthly basis with a group of ladies from Shepherd’s Door at the Burnside Shelter. It was there she got a chance to really press in to her recovery, and tap even deeper into Jesus Christ – which she says has been an anchor for her soul since she was 13 years old.
“Never did I think that getting so far after being so low would bring me to the place where I could serve other people,” Christina said. “I was able to go there, give my testimony in front of a bunch of people I didn’t know, and it has made me so happy.
“I am now not only really comfortable in front of people, but I’m so thankful for these opportunities to serve.”
And to the great benefit of Shepherd’s Door, it has helped solidify her decision to stay on for a second year in our vocational training program we call Service in our New Life Ministries at Portland Rescue Mission.
(SEE PHOTOS OF CHRISTINA FROM SHEPHERD’S DOOR JUBILEE)
TRAVIS AND TERESA VICE ON CHRISTINA’S RECOVERY JOURNEY OVER THE LAST YEAR (Travis is a pastor at Roots Community; Teresa is his mom):
I’ve been so encouraged about what I see in your life Christina. You changed before our very eyes. Not overnight like a wildflower popping out of nowhere, but over months like a tree slowly reaching to the sky, while seeking roots deep into the soil. Your identity has been transformed from a woman fearful and distant to one confident and vulnerable. Confident that Jesus has, and is, reshaping your story to be about His redemption and His mercy, not about your mistakes and brokenness. We’re so proud of you Christina, and are with you in your journey, step by step with Christ.
FAVORITE SCRIPTURE OVER THE LAST YEAR:
Isaiah 40:31 (NLT) – “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”