“I woke to the smell of burning rubber and the sound of my daughter screaming, ‘Mommy, mommy!’ Everything was blurry, but I remember hearing my two and a half-year-old saying, ‘Mommy it’s okay.’ One look at her, and I broke down.”
“We were upside down. My car had flipped at least 12 times. With her head swollen on one side and her eye shut, I was sure she had a brain injury. They took her to Vanderbilt, and me to jail. I cried out to a God I had never known, to please let my baby be all right. By the grace of God, she was okay. At that point I knew something had to change, I had to change. My life was a wreck, and at the rate I was going, I would be dead, or worse, I would hurt someone else because of my irresponsible actions. That’s when I found Nashville Rescue Mission.”
The road to the Mission wasn’t an easy one for Barbara.
“I met Makayla’s dad in 2006,” shared Barbara. “Drinking, smoking, taking pills, and partying was the foundation for of our toxic relationship.” Two years later, Barbara was pregnant. That same year, she and her boyfriend were both indicted for selling drugs. “You would think being sober for nine months, having a baby, and being a convicted drug felon on probation would be a good time to turn your life around,” said Barbara. “But no. I celebrated the night I got home from the hospital with a quart of moonshine and a bottle of pain pills. I spent the next couple of years in and out of jail for fighting and public intoxication. I lost my friends, my job, and in 2011, my mom.”
The next six months she was lost in her addiction. On the day that would change everything— Barbara spent it drinking and getting high. The last thing she remembers was buckling her daughter into her car seat. Then the smell of burning rubber. And Makayla’s cries.
“The state trooper that arrested me said I would never see my daughter again,” said Barbara. “I spent the next few months awaiting trial, facing multiple felonies that could mean years behind bars. I started to believe what he said would come true. The odds were all stacked against me. But it is by God’s grace I received mercy—one year in prison and seven years probation.” Upon her release, Barbara entered the Mission’s Life Recovery Program.
“It was my first week at the Mission when I encountered the Holy Spirit in a way I can hardly explain,” shared Barbara. “I was sitting in the chapel when a song came on. The words, ‘I need you Jesus, to come to my rescue, where else can I go,’ filled the air. In that very moment, I completely surrendered my heart and found Jesus.”
Over the next seven months, she studied the Bible, received one-on-one and group counseling, participated in work therapy, and attended classes on anger, addiction, recovery, parenting, finances, and more. She learned how to live life free from addiction and in complete surrender to the Lord.
“After I graduated, I was offered a job at the Mission and was ecstatic! I started working and moved into the Mission’s transitional housing. God was working in my life in ways I never knew possible. It took time and a lot of hard work, but I regained custody of my daughter Makayla. The Mission was so helpful and prayerful in supporting me in this incredible effort. I am ever so grateful, but mostly to God.”
Barbara was able to get her driver’s license back, purchase a vehicle, and pay off thousands of dollars in restitution and court fines.
“God restored so much to me that was lost and blessed me with so much more than I could imagine. In 2014, I met a man who changed my life in a way that I knew could only be destined from God. We married, and I inherited two beautiful stepdaughters. Our family continued to grow, and we were blessed with another sweet baby girl. Yes, we have four girls now.”
Barbara’s faith rooted in Christ has provided her with the firm foundation she needed to make it through the ups and downs she’s encountered since graduating the program, getting married, changing jobs, having a baby, buying a home, and going back to school.
“I am thankful to God for my wonderful husband and our sweet girls who are my heart and greatest blessings. I am also extremely grateful to Nashville Rescue Mission for helping be the light that led me to Jesus. The Mission will forever hold a special place in my heart.”
If you would like to help support women like Barbara, you can give here.