by Macy – a Foundry Program Participant

My name is Macy. I was born in ’91 in Jacksonville, Florida. I grew up in the church, and I knew of God, but I never knew him. Had I known of His great love for me, I never would’ve gone looking and settling for unhealthy love. Settling in my relationships caused me to give up on going to college for music, to give up goals and dreams. Settling caused me to stay and take the physical and emotional abuse from men who said they loved me. Eventually, settling led me to the man who introduced me to heroin. Within 2 years, I lost my house, both of my kids, any relationship I had with family and the self-worth I once possessed. I found myself living in a tent in the woods and eating out of dumpsters or anywhere else I could find food.

No amount of words I tell you will ever explain the hopelessness and pain I felt. But I consider myself blessed to have a picture of the worst moment of my life, to look at what I never want to be again.

On April 1st, I had been severely beaten by someone and had to walk many miles to get back to my tent where my boyfriend was sleeping. I woke him up to get help, but he beat me unconscious. I woke up hours later in the woods, alone. I remember feeling 100% without hope. I didn’t have family anymore. The man who introduced me to heroine 3 years prior had abused me and abandoned me. I hadn’t eaten or slept in a week.

Up until this point I had always been tired of living, but afraid to die. Now I was afraid to live and tired of dying a little more every day. So I decided to kill myself; but God had other plans. Everything I was going to use to overdose spilled into the sand.

That is the moment my life changed.

I heard someone screaming, and then I realized that someone was me. I don’t know what I was saying, but I do remember screaming for God to help me. And He did. I heard a voice telling me to get up and keep going. I remember thinking I’d gone completely insane and was hearing things. But upon hearing what I now know was the voice of God; I got up and walked 2 miles to an outreach similar to The Foundry. I collapsed in their parking lot during their Easter Service. After driving me to two different hospitals and finally to detox, they called my family and convinced them I was ready to get help. The family I hadn’t spoken to in a very long time; the family I thought had long since given up on me, showed up 5 days later and drove me 7 hours to The Foundry.

When I got here, I had a felony warrant in Florida. I couldn’t see my kids. My custody to my son was taken and my rights to my daughter were terminated. I was broken, lonely, depressed, heartbroken, and afraid of everyone. But I found a Bible verse that I clung to. God didn’t just say that He loved me, but He demonstrates His love for me in this:

While I was still a sinner, while I was still a junkie, a crack head, prostitute, thief, bad mom, daughter, sister, or any of the other things I thought I was, He still died for me; and if I was the only person on this planet, He still would have gone to the cross just for me.

Realizing who was or wasn’t there for me didn’t matter because God was, is, and always will be in my corner. He loves me unconditionally, helping me to love myself again. I know I’m worth so much more than what I’ve settled for over the years.

Today, I’m thankful for the small things that I take for granted – like sleeping under a ceiling of tiles instead of tree limbs; for a cozy bed instead of cardboard boxes on the ground; for a hot meal prepared for me instead of leftovers thrown into the dumpster; and for being warmed by a heater instead of newspaper stuffed in my sleeves. I’m thankful my dad and his wife adopted my daughter and I get to watch her grow up. When I graduate in April 2019, the state of Florida will give custody of my son back to me. I’m thankful that after 3 years I’m finally going to be welcome in my family’s home for the holidays. I am thankful for The Foundry for helping me find my way back to God, back to my family, and back to myself.

Most importantly though, I’m thankful to God for constantly pursuing me, for never giving up on me, and for loving me just the way I am. Because of Him, I don’t wake up and wish I didn’t anymore. I’m thankful that part of my life is over.

I am never going back – and I will never, ever settle for anything less than God’s best for me.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
~Romans 5:8 NIV