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A Christmas She'll Never Forget


JoyBecause of you Joy has a new life
“I lived the first 35 years of my life without ever touching drugs. I then spent the next 7 years battling addiction,” says Joy.
Addiction Knows No Boundaries
If it can happen to her, it can happen to anyone. No one is immune.
“I’ve always felt like the black sheep of my family,” says Joy. “I never felt like I fit in there or anywhere for that matter. Therefore I distanced myself from others.” This distance led Joy to make some poor choices when it came to the friends she chose to spend time with; especially following her divorce.
“I fell into the trap of trying to fit in by using drugs,” she says. “At first I didn’t like it. I didn’t understand the attraction. But curiosity got the better of me and I kept trying and trying until I was hooked.”
Vicious Cycle
At first, Joy was a “functioning addict,” but eventually her addiction overwhelmed her. She lost her job and was unable to pay her bills. Things went downhill from there. Over the next couple of years, with the support of her family, Joy would try treatment center after treatment center; only to remain clean for a short period of time and then slip right back into her old ways. It was a vicious cycle.
“I finally decided to move and ended up at a halfway house in Nashville,” says Joy. “In the beginning things were going great, and I was doing well. I became house manager. Life was good. But I wasn’t dealing with my issues and I became very overwhelmed. This led me to another relapse.” Joy
Joy was so depressed; she contemplated suicide. “Here I was waiting tables and making lots of money, but I couldn’t afford my own place, I couldn’t pay my bills or buy a car or anything. My addiction was consuming me.”
10 Weeks Pregnant and Homeless
With nowhere else to go and no one to turn to, she moved in with her brother and sister-in-law who lived in the area. “I was clean for 3 weeks, when I slipped up again,” shares Joy. “My brother told me I would have to leave. I had no idea where to go or what to do. They ended up taking me to the Nashville Rescue Mission and dropping me off. It was a frightening experience. I had just found out I was 10 weeks pregnant and now I was homeless.”
“When I arrived at the Mission in July of 2007, I had no idea there was a life-recovery program,” says Joy. “It has to be one of the best kept secrets in Nashville.”
There is Hope
Once Joy learned about the opportunities available to her through the Mission’s Hope Center, she decided to join the program. “At first, I was doing it for my unborn child, but the longer I stayed in the program, the more it changed me, and I stayed for me. The Hope Center didn’t just give me back my life, it gave me the chance for a new life.”
JoyJoy gave birth to her beautiful daughter Mackenzie while she was a guest at the Hope Center. “I will never forget the Christmas of 2007,” says Joy. “It was tough being away from my family, but I was overwhelmed by how generous people were to us. I was blessed with so many things for Mackenzie. I received clothes, toys and diapers for her. It really felt like a dream. We had a wonderful feast, went to a concert and celebrated Christmas just like family. The ladies in the program with me became my sisters.”
A New Life
Joy graduated from the Hope Center in February 2008. Today, Joy says, “All temptation to use is gone.” She works full-time at a local day care. Her daughter Mackenzie is now 2 years old. Joy is active at her church and praises God for all the blessings He’s bestowed upon her.
“God gave me new eyes to see,” says Joy. “Once I surrendered to God, He changed everything for me. I have a new life. I am so thankful, so grateful…God is so good!”
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