Your giving brings hope and healing
A life of drugs and domestic violence led Tracee to board a bus with her two daughters in tow, bound for Nashville on Christmas Eve in 2006. In search of a new beginning, but unsure where to go, Tracee found herself at the Mission on Christmas Day.
Determined to rise above living at a homeless shelter, she moved into public housing. Still, life was a struggle. After 4 or 5 months, she found herself resorting to some of her old behaviors, but this time it was worse than before.
A Difficult Childhood
Tracee’s grandmother took the reins in raising her, but she was also exposed to a drug-dealing uncle who introduced her to marijuana at the age of 15. She continued on a downward spiral until she arrived in Nashville that Christmas morning.
“I left the Mission shortly after getting to Nashville. I really thought I had my act together,” Tracee shares. “I had stopped using, but little did I know the projects would introduce me to a drug that would take me to the darkest places I’d ever been—crack. ”
Before long, Tracee found herself pregnant, underweight, hooked on crack, on the verge of losing her kids and soon to be homeless.
Tracee’s Turning Point
“I’ve never been so low,” says Tracee. “It was a miracle that drew me to a church in my neighborhood in November 2007. I remember taking off my shoes at the altar, thinking I’m not fit to be here. But I still kneeled to pray, begging God to hear me.”
The Lord heard her prayer and a loving family that worshiped at the church offered to help. But after tons of calls, no one would lend this woman a hand—no one that is but the Nashville Rescue Mission.
“The last place I wanted to go was the Mission,” Tracee shares. “But it was the only place that would take me in.”
At first, her daughters Breanne and Ciara stayed with the same loving family who reached out to help that day in the church, giving Tracee time to get back on her feet. As the weeks passed, Tracee grew a little stronger each day finding the nourishment both her body and soul needed.
Christmas at the Mission
“Christmas was a milestone for me,” Tracee recalls. “I had arrived in Nashville a year ago, determined to break the cycle I was in—and finally I was on my way. I was so happy to see my girls’ faces that Christmas morning. We received gifts and ate a wonderful dinner together.”
Soon thereafter, Tracee moved into a mother’s room where her daughters were able to join her.
Blessings of a Baby Boy
“When I learned I was having a boy, I knew God put him in my life so I could see Him (Jesus). It stopped me dead in my tracks. I’d continued to grieve over a son I’d given up years earlier. I didn’t deserve this and yet God was blessing me anyway,” Tracee says with tears in her eyes.
Two weeks before graduation, Tracee gave birth to her son Elijah. In the days following his birth, Elijah faced many challenges. But with each situation, Tracee gave it to God and He performed miracles. Today, Elijah is a healthy little boy. “He is a blessing,” Tracee proclaims. “I thank God for him!”
It’s been a year and God is still doing great things in Tracee’s life. “I have a full-time job and am getting a place for me and my kids. I am also extremely blessed to have two amazing daughters. They are very smart, make good grades in school and I am very proud of them. And Elijah is the light of our lives. And the biggest blessing is I have the Spirit of Christ in me. How could I ask for more?”
Thank you for making Christmas a special time for families like Tracee’s. Not only can they find food, clothing and shelter at the Nashville Rescue Mission—but they can also find hope and healing in Jesus Christ.