My life before coming to the House of Ruth was very disturbing. I’m not your typical pregnant teenage girl. By age 24 I’d been married, had children and tried to make the best out of an abusive relationship. At one point my husband threatened my life with a knife. That’s when I knew I had to separate from him. I raised the children alone for 3 months. One day I returned home, after leaving my children in the care of a relative, to find out that my husband had taken them away. At that moment my world completely shattered. Feeling hopeless and abandoned by God my life spiraled downward. I didn’t even want to live.
As you can imagine, good choices did not follow. When I became pregnant I was already homeless and in trouble. The pregnancy woke me up and made me realize I needed to make a change. I went from shelter to shelter, growing more and more anxious about my lack of stability. My 30 days was almost up at the Clackamas Women’s Shelter when someone at the shelter found the House of Ruth on the internet. After visiting the House, a ray of hope began to peek through the stormy clouds of my life.
Yet, coming to the House of Ruth wasn’t easy for me to do. See, I’d been a smoker for the past 15 years, and the challenge of quitting was very hard. But, with the help and encouragement of my family and everyone here it started getting easier each day. I DID IT! I haven’t had a cigarette since Oct. 4th. I’m so happy that my baby doesn’t have to grow up in a smoker’s home.
After moving into the House I began to go to Church and have Bible studies each week with the House of Ruth family. I really never read the Bible before; so, when I saw a scripture that related to me I was very surprised. I had been depressed for a long time, and Psalm 13 helped me realize that I wasn’t the only one that felt God had abandoned them. The Book of Job also helped me to see that God is here with me, but I may have to face a few obstacles along the way.
Now I find myself talking about my new life to old friends who knew me only as “a person stuck in hell”. They’re asking me questions about this new me and are telling me how proud they are – that I’m different.
I think the House of Ruth is different from any Home I’ve been at. Everything is so positive here. I’m not afraid to walk through the door. I know God is watching over me with Angels. Aaliyah Destiny Marie and the House of Ruth are my Angels. Having Aaliyah quite literally saved my life. And, if the House of Ruth were not there when I needed it I might have lost her. With tears in my eyes I say, “Thank you, God, for blessing me with these wonderful people”.
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