Believe In Yourself and Want it With All of Your Heart

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
Inspiration and encouragement to change.

Submitted: September 29, 2012

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Submitted: September 29, 2012

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I am now 56 years old and had lived approximately 20+ years of my life in drug and alcohol addiction, not forgetting the broken family relationships, lovers, marriages and all the other craziness.  My life went haywire at the age of 17 years old.  Being a pretty girl, everyone thought I should be a model.  I was 5'7", medium brown skin tone, gorgeous smile and very beautiful bedroom hazel eyes I fel a lot of confidence in myself.  One thing did bother me that I was slender; I wasn't as developed as my classmates.  School was not a problem there was the occassional cutting class, marijuana smoking and pill popping in my senior year, but my grades were good.  I was very quiet and shy as mom had always told me girls should be seen and not heard, so no wonder.  Until my senior year my parents both mom and dad were very strict, no boyfriends, no phone calls, no dating.  They worked a lot and sometimes attended college at night.  Mom was always busy doing something, she worried a lot too, and she wanted all four of us kids to have everything and be happy.  Mom was short 5'5", nice size for her height and had a gorgeous big smile, she was curvy and pretty fat legs.  I loved they way she smelled always so good.  She worked, went to school and took care of home.  As for my Dad, he was a big man, tall about 6'2", played football in high school.  He was stocky, hardly said a word, a deputy sheriff and loved to chase women.  He did some night classes also.

Once I was allowed to accepted phone calls at 17 years old I went crazy.  All I thought about was boys, the opposite sex, it must have been stored up in me because I declined the acceptance to a university and married instead.  That marriage produced two beautiful children, a girl first and then a boy.  I still remember that first time doing hard drugs, oh yes, it had always been the marijuana and drinking, but once my son was 3 months old in March of 1976 the man I married turned me on to heroin and from then on my life went down and so did the marriage which soon ended in divorce.  From then on it was one drug and relationship after the next.   WHAT IF I HADN'T GOT MY LIFE BACK?  I would be still making bad choices, homeless, hungry and maybe in prison, jail or dead.  That is why I am writing about my life changing experience at Hope Haven Transitional Shelter, Inc.  

HOW I ARRIVED AT HOPE HAVEN TRANSITIONAL SHELTER, INC... 

My name is Nevaeh, after making some very bad choices in my life I lost everything except my life, my job, my car and a few clothes.  How I held on I am not quite sure.  Sitting here thinking about it I would say I got tired of being tired, and I was tired of my lifestyle.  After 20 years of misery, it just gets old and I had two children and 3 grandchildren (to this very day I have 5 grandchildren).  What was I doing to myself?  What would they think of me?  

Eventually the day arrived that I finally had no where to turn. I was miserable, my self-esteem was low, and I was depressed and really did not want this to be happening to me.  I talked to an agency that I thought could possibly help me or tell me where to get help.  They gave me the name and telephone number of Roosha Bolds, the Owner/Founder of Hope Haven Transitional Shelter, Inc.  I called her and guess what?  She had no bed available for me.  Can you imagine how I felt? I was thinking I am going to end up eventually with nothing, no car, no job, nothing.  I could see myself walking the streets homeless, possibly out of my mind, this really frightened me.  Someone had to help, I prayed and prayed.  I continued speaking to Roosha at length and was advised by her to try another local shelter.  So, I did that, I waited and waited and still did not hear from them that day.  The sun was going down, it was beginning to get dark and cold.  I felt so alone and that night with no where else to turn I slept in my car.  I didn't sleep alone though, I had a boyfriend, as always.  He offered to sleep in the car along with me, we parked down the street from his mother's home and talked, eventually falling asleep sitting up and cold.  I was so worried about what would happen after tonight.  My boyfriend who had many problems with the law and drugs was comforting for the moment, or so my mind told me.  He would tell me don't worry something will turn up tomorrow and then he said you can stay at the shelter and I will go to my mom's.  Wow, I thought to myself, you should be offering me a place to stay as many times as I provided for you.  He had lived off me and what I could get for a while and I ended up once again in a bad situation.  At that moment I knew it was over and I had to concentrate on me and no one else.  Luckily for me and my employer the next day I was off at work.  I was glad because I wouldn't have made it.  Before driving away from the street his mom lived on my boyfriend ran into her house and snuck a sandwich out to me.  I was hungry and glad for just this little amount of food, at least it stopped the hunger pains for a while.  After driving around and parking at the waterfront, then on to a park, sitting, talking with nothing to do, no home to go to, I felt real despair, my boyfriend just sat there.  Finally that afternoon I received a call from the other shelter.  I was so happy because I would have somewhere to live.  I was angry because it took them so long to call.  My thinking was don't they realize someone needs help.  The news they had for me was not good.  The man on the other end told me all beds may be taken for the day and I would have to wait for another call.  They did not sound promising.  I did not want to have to sleep in the car again that night.  Feeling very down and not knowing what to do I again called Roosha and advised her of what the other shelter told me.  The tears began to flow from my eyes and I know Roosha could feel my pain.  My boyfriend looked at me like I was crazy. That is when Roosha told me she was a Pastor, from then on I called her Pastor Roosha.  She told me to come on over and we would talk.  Wow, I felt relieved even though she had no beds either.  I was so elated to have the chance to talk to someone and have them listen and hopefully they would guide me.  I needed help.  I had a burning desire to change my life.  Becoming homeless seemed like a  nightmare to me.

I hurriedly dropped my boyfriend at his mom's and drove my car to Hope Haven.  The house was a beautiful soft, pale green and the lawn so green.  The exterior was clean and seemed to say "Welcome."  I felt peace immediately as I entered the house and it is still the same peace even today and each time I communicate with Pastor Roosha.  There is no other way to explain it than simply awesome.  As I looked at Pastor Roosha I remember thinking how does this chocolate creamy colored black woman around my own age have it so together?  She was about my mom's height and reminded me of her in a way.  Her smile and her gentle, easy spirit.  How did she do it?  What does she have that I don't?  She was so caring, understanding and extraordinarily generous by taking time from her life to help people like me.  I told her about my life, how I ended up homeless and really didn't have to say much, she understood.

While I was talking Pastor Roosha would ask questions, very softly, listening to my every word, no one had done this in a long time, except my grandmother, no one had been so concerned and really listened to me.  My grandmother put up with my craziness because she believed in God, prayed for me and knew He would change me.  I lived with her off and on a lot of my adult life.  I remember she always required church attendance even when I was a child, I really didn't want to go, but had no choice.  And oh my, once I heard the word of God and eventually started going to church regularly I began to succumb to the word, it fulfilled me.  Quickly I got involved, first as an Usher on the Usher Board, and additionally joined the Choir, went to YPWW and Sunday School, Bible Study along with worship services.  I knew this is where I was supposed to be at, I loved the Lord so much.  Grandmama NeNee was a white haired, tall, brown skinned, caring woman, who had eyes that could see right through you, when she spoke everybody listened.  She once told me before she passed on in 1998 that she put blessed oil in my shoes when I wasn't looking to protect me and my travels.  She loved to tell me stories about the family and she wasn't afraid to set anyone straight.  I remember grandmama told my Dad, her son, I don't care what anyone says 'Nevaeh has changed.'  These words stick in my soul to this very day and have deep meaning to me.  I had changed for awhile, but through bad choices I was off again.

Next Pastor Roosha took me on a tour of the house, I couldn't wait to see it.  I still remember it was so clean and big, even with a fireplace, cable TV and two refrigerators.  The rooms slept two women to each, the beds were all made, the rooms were clean with beautiful quilts on each bed in the house.  I could tell someone had made these, they were designed with such care.  Beautiful curtains hung from the windows in each room.  I could not believe I was there and seeing all this beauty.  I felt very privileged because this home was not the idea I had of a shelter.  No, a shelter could not look like this I was thinking.  As Pastor Roosha and I talked the telephone rang.  Please believe it was one of the ladies who lived at Hope Haven calling to say she was moving out that very day.  WHAT?  When Pastor Roosha told me I couldn't believe it, it was as though something or someone knew I needed to be there.  I thought God is working very fast here, now I have to do my part.  How excellent I thought how each piece was playing out to assist me.  Pastor Roosha made me feel welcome and gave me a chance, the chance I needed.  I had no funds to pay the bed fee of $400 until payday, Pastor Roosha said that's okay she would wait for the funds until my next payday.  She trusted me and this was my new beginning.  I couldn't let her or myself down.  I moved in that very evening.  I was so tired and hungry, it was time to eat, take a hot bath, get my clothes together for work tomorrow and relax.  I felt what an opportunity to get myself together.

WHAT HOPE HAVEN TRANSITIONAL SHELTER, INC. MEANS TO ME....

 

Of course the adjustment wasn't easy, but I was determined.  Life could not be how I had been living it, I knew there must be more.  This I had to do, I have my mom and dad, grandmama's memory, my children and grandchildren, my job and I am somebody who knows she can do better.  I was tired of letting no good people bring me down with them and use me for all they could.

 

Hope Haven was a place I felt safe at, a place where I could sleep, a place where I had peace, a place I could take care of my personal needs, a place I could eat and cook at, a place I could read a book, watch TV and/or meditate on music, a place I met many new and dear friends I consider my sisters (some of them I am still to this day in contact with) and a place I went to after a long day of work and relaxed, a place I called HOME.  All of these things I took for granted daily before coming to Hope Haven. None of these things would have been possible without Hope Haven.

 

Becoming homeless is not what I expected, prepared for, planned, adjusted to or wanted to happen in my life. Pastor Roosha loves and sincerely cares about each woman at Hope Haven. Most importantly, It is not her though that is the deciding factor if we are to gain self-sufficiency. Each woman must want it with all of her heart.

 

Sure I sometimes rented apartments for several months here and there, never appreciating having a roof over my head, running off spending money I did not have to spend on drugs and alcohol, trying to take care of a man.  Why did I always have to be in a relationship?  Why couldn't I live alone?  Becoming homeless is not what I expected, prepared for, adjusted to or wanted to happen in my life.

 

WHAT I ACCOMPLISHED FROM MY STAY AT HOPE HAVEN TRANSITIONAL SHELTER, INC......

 

My stay at Hope Haven was from October 2003 through May 2004.  Yes, I raised my hands and gave up because my way had not worked and after all these years I realized it.  I was mad and determined, my ex had a place to go; his mothers, I had no where but a shelter.  Calling my family or children was not an option I considered.  Staying at my boyfriend's mom house was not an option I considered either.  If I was going to do this I was going to do it on my own that way I knew it would be meaningful and make a difference for me.  I felt life was unfair and I felt cheated.  All the time I had thought of satisfying others and not of taking care of me, letting other peoiple make decisions for me.  It finally got deep inside me that as long as I let someone else bring me down and I let someone else use me they would, until I was all used up, and then they were off on their merry way.  Geez, it just didn't seem fair.  I realized though that right now someone else was not important, I was what mattered and only me.  

 

The rules at Hope Haven were not a problem for me and what was expected of me was easy for me to accomplishment, i.e., chores, laundry, etc.  I kept my job and went to work each day and for a first was never tardy.  Wow!

 

For the first couple of months at Hope Haven that was my plan, follow the rules and go to work.  Thinking back I only thought about drinking once and followed through on that.  One evening after work and driving around bored, letting my mind roam.  But, after doing this I was afraid to come home fearing someone would know.  I didn't dare do drugs because I knew there was drug testing.  I was not going to allow myself to become homeless again.  After finishing off the can of beer I went directly to my room got my toothbrush and brushed my teeth.  I got something to eat and laid down.  I did not want anyone to confront me.  Laying on my bed and listening to the quiet of the house I began thinking, what did you do that for?  You got absolutely nothing out of it.  What did it do for you?  And the anser was NOTHING.  Not one thing.  From then on I changed by thinking and attitude of having a drink and of doing any drugs.  I got nothing out of it, I was tired of it.

 

I began to seriously notice some of the other women at Hope Haven going to Pastor Roosha's church, just a few.  They seemed so at peace and happy, I mean all the time, nothing got them down.  I never saw them in quarrels or in the drama of the other women.  

 

At times the house could be crazy, some of the women liked to have oh poor me attitudes and some of them still were into their addictions.  Some of them felt they were not being treated fairly, feeling like they had too much they were required to do, mad at the world, mad at their parents, mad at their children, just mad at and about everything and anything, with some of them it was just one excuse after another, anything except their fault.  Some of the women left, they really had no desire to change in the first place because they gave up too easily.

 

Now, these women who were going to the church, I watched them closely, it didn't faze them, nothing the other women did touched them.  I thought this was great and wanted to be like this.  These were the women who were in this for real, they wanted to change and had the same burning desire as I had.  I started going to church also, slowly at first because some Sundays I worked.  First I went on Sundays I didn't work, then I added Monday nights for prayer and can you believe Wednesday nights also for bible study?  And, lo and behold, I had added getting there on Sundays I did work, my shift ended early enough that I had plenty of time to get there after work to hear the word.  Yes, I rededicated my life back to Christ.  I knew God all my life thanks to my mom and grandmama, but drifted away through my bad choices.  I finally got my life together during my stay at Hope Haven.

 

I have been living on my own at the time of this writing for 4 years (but presently it has been 8 years total), since leaving Hope Haven.  I pay my own bills and am not making anymore bad choices.  No longer homeless, not hungry and not in prision, jail or dead. I will never forget where I came from and I won't make the bad choice of putting myself in that position again.  I am no longer employed, I retired in 2010.

 

I have regained my self-sufficiency through God, patience and consistency.  I depend on God and now God is controlling my life,  I love myself, I am responsible and stable, I know myself, I am so very creative, thoughtful and I spend quality time with my family.  I thank God, Pastor Roosha and her husband Elder Earl for the Hope Haven Transitional Shelter, Inc.

 

I am thankful for the church Pastor Roosha has because it drew me back to Christ and I am still walking with the Lord.  Without Hope Haven I do not even want to think about where I would be at today.  Hope Haven Transitional Shelter, Inc. saved my life!

 

I wrote this true story laying it all out there and keeping it real in hopes of helping someone who may feel there is no hope.  I remember how I made bad choices, I will never forget.  A bad choice is not the choice I choose now or ever again.  I thought about playing it safe and not writing about me personally, but said NO, how can I play it safe giving all Glory to God?

 

It is never easy.  We will always have challenges and sometimes it gets really hard.  You must be determined, strong and stay focused.  There will be people, even family members and/or acquaintances that will never forgive you and/or will always throw up your past in your face.  Don't let them do that to you, that's their problem.  To this date some people in my family don't even communicate with me, but most do and they see the change in me.  Or sometimes people walk around saying things as though I have stupid on my forehead.  That is okay.  I know who I am and I love me for who I am.  KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

 

What helps me most is reading the bible and trusting and believing in God and His word along with always remembering my grandmama's words 'Nevaeh Has Changed' and I truly have.  Quoting scriptures to yourself also helps, because God's word is always right, He cannot lie.  Now I really know the meaning of (Philippians 4:13) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  

 

And when any person tries to throw my past back up in my face I solemnly remember that God forgives and it never comes up again with Him, He is really the only one who matters.  I know that with Him I am in GOOD HANDS.

 

We are not here for nothing; everyone has a reason and purpose to their existence.  You can change your life if you really want to.  You don't have to go back into or stay in drug and alcohol addiction, you don't have to stay in bad relationships; you don't have to let broken family relationships break you, anything and everything that happened in the past does not have to rule your future, you don't have to be homeless forever, you don't have to give in.  It doesn't have to be that way.

 

If you seek help and want change with all your heart you will find it and you can make it happen like I did.

 

 

 

 

 


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