Gradine, a reshaped life
Gradine grew up in a dysfunctional home, often witnessing her father abuse her mother. She began using alcohol at age 16 to numb her feelings of fear and despair. “There was no one to discuss the pain with,” she says.
Her drinking escalated when she graduated from high school and moved out on her own. She also began a string of destructive relationships that mirrored that of her parents. Finally, when a man she hoped to marry became abusive as well, it led to a tragic altercation that sent Gradine to prison… for 18 years.
Gradine had always wanted a relationship with God, and during her incarceration, she began to grow spiritually through the guidance of visiting chaplains, including representatives from The Foundry. “They really made God alive to me and explained who He was,” she shares. When she was released, she came to our ministry to build a new life in the Lord.
“I Learned God would accept me just like I was. I didn’t have to do anything but ask Him to come into my life.”
In our Women’s Recovery Program, Gradine received healing from the wounds of her past. “I’ve learned how to express myself if I’m hurting,” she says. Through employment readiness at our Thrift Store, she’s gained self-confidence interacting with people. She has since graduated from the program and is currently on staff at The Foundry Dental Center. There she has learned computers and scheduling, but most importantly, she is able to reassure patients they will be OK and encourages them. “Each step I take has made me stronger where I was weak,” she explains.
Today, she loves on patients and staff and brings sunshine with her every day. She puts others before herself and is a servant leader, even taking home the Bill and Michele Heintz Servant Leadership Award at her recent graduation.
Gradine is grateful to friends like you for your continuing support of this ministry: “Before coming to The Foundry I was just surviving.” Now, she says, “I’m thriving.”
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