It took until a second year after graduating from the women and children’s New Life Ministry at Shepherd’s Door, but Tiffany finally discovered something she always wanted to find: the desires of her heart. After spending a year in recovery, and working tirelessly to overcome a dreadful time in her life, where “pretty much every horrible thing that could happen to me did,” Tiffany’s second year in New Life Ministries uncovered something deep and wide in her heart. She discovered a love for helping women in recovery.
“I want to come alongside women who need help, or are using, and bring them a message of hope,” Tiffany exclaimed.
Tiffany spent this last year gaining valuable work experience at the Mission serving as a mentor for the women in our Connect Ministry. Connect is our three month ministry that houses up to 36 men and 16 women looking for stability as they transition off a lifestyle of living on the streets and into permanent housing and employment.
Little did she know, her time spent gaining additional work experience at Connect would illuminate something else entirely.
“I wasn’t sure about it at first, but then, over time, I realized I was falling in love with each and everyone of these women,” she explained. “I was so excited to wake up each day, and go and help them in different ways.
“It didn’t matter whether I would need to just listen to them. Or, laugh with them. Or, just sit and cry with them. … God gives us the desires of our heart, and my time spent at Connect helped me discover one of mine was working with women like myself.”
For Tiffany, it became more than just a job, or building up work experience, it became about meaningful relationships. And one of those, in particular, was very close to her heart.
“One woman I worked alongside with has been 11 months sober, and I’ve got to work with her this whole time,” she said. “She’s a really good friend now, and that’s been amazing for me to witness. … It’s so inspiring.
“These women give me hope.”
They have also solidified Tiffany’s own recovery journey, and confirmed to her what was lacking for so long in her own life before coming to Shepherd’s Door.
“I still have a road to travel, but as someone that tried recovery before, I can say that it was never real before because I didn’t have Jesus,” she stated confidently. “Now, I have been clean and sober for 26 months … and I’ve realized God has much bigger plans for me –ones in which I can’t even imagine.
“I am so amazed just how good God really is.”
Tiffany now leaves Shepherd’s Door with a peer recovery certificate in hand, a brand new passion, and a full heart with an eye to a prosperous future.
“I’m confident God has something good in store for me,” she said. “I showed myself I can work, I can take care of myself, and I know that God is the one that takes care of me. … I can be self-sufficient.”
(SEE PHOTOS OF TIFFANY FROM SHEPHERD’S DOOR JUBILEE)
ROBIN LLOYD ON TIFFANY’S RECOVERY JOURNEY OVER THE LAST YEAR:
From the first day I met you, I have seen you grow so much. Tiffany was a teen mother who got caught up in young love and addiction. Now, I see a grown woman, and a wonderful mother—a woman who is such an important part of my own recovery. Tiffany, you have always been there for me in my good times, and my rough times. She’ll tell you she’s not great with words, but she always knows what to say. Tiffany saved my life. Every woman in the Connect Ministry has felt the love and compassion you show toward others. Together, the two of us built a bond—a bond of strength, mutual admiration and growing faith. In you Tiffany, I have found a lifelong friend. Now you’re moving on as a volunteer at Central City Concern, and I no longer live right up the street, but Portland Rescue Mission will always be home.
FAVORITE SCRIPTURES OVER THE LAST YEAR:
Matthew 11:28 (NLT): Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
Tiffany’s reflection on this scripture: “There were so many times when I wanted to say ‘forget this,’ honestly, as much as I love it. I missed my kids. I missed my home. It was just really hard, but God gave me rest when I needed it. There were times certain things would happen, and I’d get a vacation to go see them, or I’d get a weekend off. Every time I desperately needed rest, God knew, and He would give me rest every single time.
(WATCH TIFFANY’S “STORY OF HOPE” BELOW)