Sophia’s life was spiraling out of control. Her rebellious spirit and addiction to drugs had led her down the wrong path. As a single mother of two small children, Sophia knew she was on the fast track to nowhere.
“I was stubborn and hard-headed,” says Sophia. “I struggled with authority.”
Originally from California, Sophia and her family moved to Nashville at the age of 13. Her stepfather, a musician, had accepted a position working on the General Jackson Showboat.
A life of rebellion
“I didn’t feel like I fit in,” says Sophia. “The other kids made fun of my accent. I started hanging around with the wrong crowd. And despite growing up in church and having a mom and stepdad who loved me, I rebelled. I ran away every week.”
Sophia went from running away, to smoking cigarettes, to smoking marijuana, to stealing and then on to cocaine. At the age of 18, she was involved in a serious car accident that left her in bed for 2 months. “I was told I would never walk again,” recalls Sophia. “You would think that would have been a wake up call.” However, even after recovering from this terrible accident, Sophia continued on a path of destruction.
“I got pregnant with my second daughter Janae, when Saniah was only 6 months old,” shares Sophia. “I was doing a poor job of taking care of Saniah. The last thing I needed was another baby. I had planned to get an abortion, but couldn’t get the money. I was using cocaine then and tried everything I could to trigger a miscarriage. Thankfully, God saw fit not to let that happen.”
Sophia gets jail time
Shortly after Janae was born, Sophia had to serve 45 days in jail. It was the wake up call she needed to get her life back on track. “I wanted a better life for me and my girls,” shares Sophia. “I wasn’t going to get out of jail and keep doing the same things I’d been doing. I’d heard good things about the Hope Center at the Nashville Rescue Mission. I got out of jail on a Wednesday and came to the Mission that Friday.”
“I was very anxious,” recalls Sophia. “I wasn’t sure I could complete the program. I wasn’t used to other people telling me what to do. I cried for the first three days. But I so wanted my mom to be proud of me. It took a little while, but I knew it was finally time to grow up and do the right thing.”
A place of hope
“I know some people may find this hard to believe, but even in the midst of my mess, I was still attending church off an on,” shares Sophia. “I sort of saw it as a sign that I was at the right place (Hope Center) when my home church changed their name to The Hope Center. I was definitely in need of hope.”
“Hearing my mom say she was proud of me when I graduated from the life-recovery program was one of the greatest moments of my life.”
“Going through the life-recovery program at the Nashville Rescue Mission changed my life,” Sophia adds. “I learned to let go of my anger and draw my strength from the Lord. I learned how to be a responsible adult and a better mother to my children. I’m proud of myself for sticking with it and not giving up. I did find hope—hope for a better life.”
After graduating, Sophia moved into a place of her own and found a full-time job. Shortly thereafter she met her husband Jeremy and he proposed a year later. Today, they are happily married and have added to their family: Imani will be 2 in January and baby Arianna arrived in July (Saniah is now 5 and Janae will soon turn 4).
“My life is completely different now,” shares Sophia. “I am so grateful for this new opportunity. I love my husband. I love my kids. I love my church. God is so good and I am so thankful.”
This is one story, one life and one woman out of thousands coming to the Mission each year. Sophia gives great thanks not only to God and the Nashville Rescue Mission for their part in her new path, but also to our Mission family. Sophia says, “Whether it is a can of food, a donation, or an article of clothing, YOU as a donor make a difference. Without your support, I would not have regained responsibility or respect for myself. Thank you for your help in changing lives.”