top of page
  • Dare to Hope, Inc.

Her Hope: In Her Own Words



On this Giving Tuesday, we are honored to share with you the incredible story of one of our survivors and how you giving to our ministry makes a difference.

Your kindness and generosity enabled us to serve her and walk alongside her as the Lord restored her life, and it enables us daily to love and serve every woman and girl who walks through our doors.


We are incredibly thankful to be running this race alongside you. Thank you for all you do to help set them free.

 

At Dare to Hope, we have the great privilege of walking out life with the women and teen girls we serve. It is an incredible honor to hear their stories, to share the burden of their sorrow and the blessing of their joy. In the following lines, you will read one of their stories in her own words. She wanted to share for two reasons: to see the Lord glorified and to see others find freedom. This is her story.


*The following story is being shared with permission.

 


My bad life started out at eleven when my granddaddy sexually abused me. I lived through that for a couple of years. My mom’s family told me it was my fault. They told me I was lying. They told me I had asked for it because I wore pretty dresses. They told me I was demon-possessed and that I would be better off dead. They called me a ‘no-good child’ who would be better off forgotten, and they said I should die and burn in hell. It was torture, and everything was downhill from there.


By sixteen, I met up with people that my daddy worked with. I got with a man who would be my daughter’s father. He was an abuser. He beat me seven days a week. Despite that, when I got pregnant, we had to get married. That’s what you did back then.


I got into drugs, first using then selling because I could make money that way. I turned into a wild child.

Years passed. Things happened, and I carried the words that had been spoken over me all those years prior. It would seem that life was saying much of the same. Marriages came and went. I struggled to hold my family together, and I fought against addiction. I attempted suicide twice before in my life, believing I truly would be better off dead just like my family told me when I was young.


In 2004, my baby had a baby. My daughter became a mom, and I became a grandma. By then, I had stopped doing drugs. My new job drug tested me every thirty days, so I stayed clean.


Around that time, I got a call from my mom. She said, “If you don’t hear from me by Sunday morning, then I’m dead.” She would regularly threaten to kill herself, but Saturday morning, it all weighed heavy on my heart. So, I called the police to go and check on her.


‘You need to come back to Alabama,” the officer told me. “She’s gone.” My mom had done what she said.


So, I got in my truck, and I headed back to Alabama. I called my daughter, and I let her know she needed to come home. On her drive there, my beloved daughter and granddaughter were killed in a car accident.

 

After that, I went back to drugs and drinking. I had buried three family members two days apart. My mom, my daughter, and my granddaughter.


At this point, I lost everything. Family. Friends. I had no money. My possessions were stolen. I had nothing.

I ended up back in Alabama years later, and after working a few jobs here and there, a friend offered me a job.


What I didn’t know at the time was that I would come to call that job my prison without bars. I lived and worked there for four and a half years. In the beginning, I was told I could take a day each week to go to the store and do my running around town. That one day each week quickly turned into just a single hour each week, just long enough for me to run in the store to get my necessities. Even that hour was closely monitored with phone calls and text messages coming in that asked for me to hurry back. I worked 24/7. It was a prison without bars. Never allowed to leave. No friends. No vacation time.


I was thinking again about suicide. I would stand next to the busy road at night and debate whether or not to step into traffic. It was hard. I actually did not want to live anymore. I couldn’t stand another day.


It took me a long time to be ready to leave. I felt like I didn’t know how to get out. I was so grateful, though, that over the course of those years the Lord had put people in my life that would help save me. They helped SAVE me. When I felt like I didn’t know how to get out, Gia and the women at Dare to Hope helped me.


Eventually, she was able to show me my new home, and I squalled. I gave it a hug. You just don’t know what this means to me, I told her.


I was finally free.


The first time I went to church after getting out, I looked over to my friend, and I told her that the roof might fall in when I walked through the door. I told her what my family had said about me. I should be dead. I was worthless. I had asked for all the bad that had happened to me.

My friend told me, “No. You’re special.”


I told her, “Well, we’ll see.”


I sat down in the chair at church, and I looked around. Wow. The roof didn’t fall in. Alright, God. You’re trying to tell me something.


A few Sundays later, I asked my friend how I could join that church. I rocked back and forth in my chair a bit, still a little skiddish. Then, I got up and walked down the aisle to my pastor.


My pastor welcomed me in. They accepted me and said not only could I join the church but they would be lucky to have me.


It felt like a cool breeze. I instantly felt different. It was awesome. It was the total opposite of all that had been spoken over me all those years before.


I am loved. I am accepted. I am free. I am treasured by God.

I love my life so much right now.


If I could tell another woman who is being trafficked something, I would say: Find the Lord. Find someone like Gia. If someone offers to help change your life, let them.


I love the women at Dare to Hope so much, and I love God even more.


If He can change this old woman, He can change anyone. Just give Him a chance. It might be hard, and I have had a few times when I felt like I couldn’t do it. I read my Bible daily. I talk to the Lord A LOT. Even when I ain’t in prayer, I talk to Him. I ask Him to fix it. He helps me. I know He will. I got faith. It took me a long time to get that faith. I’m happy. I’m great. I love my life. I wouldn’t change one step to get me here, to get this life.


 

Please pray alongside us for every woman in our city who has not yet found her freedom in Him.


74 views
bottom of page