When I first came to First Fruit Ministries with my community support worker my life was turned upside down. I had nowhere to turn; nowhere to go. They found Wilmington Dream Center, my workers from my community support group, because my situation was really bad. This funny guy was walking around and my worker stopped him to chat; she knew him. I was oblivious to their conversation other than a few of his nods to acknowledge the story she was telling about me. As we left he shook my hand and looked into my eyes and said, "Have courage." Have courage? How did he know? Little did I know that was Pastor Rick and it was the beginning of my journey here at Wilmington Dream Center.
Wilmington Dream Center, like most places, has a process to get in. This process, to spare most of the details, ended with an essay and plan. Let me tell you my experience. Here I am in the forefront of my life, no place to really go except into this transitional housing program, and I get confronted with a sheet of paper that wants to know my utmost dream if I had no limitations and my two year plan to accomplish this dream. Two year plan, shucks, I can’t even imagine what I am going to do if they don’t accept me into their program and they want my two year plan! So, I went to work and this is what I wrote:
"My dream is to become a nurse or counselor; to own or rent my own place and to have my kids. I want to own a vehicle, lose 150 pounds, to be independent, to be me again. I want to be closer to my children and strengthen that relationship as well as with my mother. I want to strengthen my walk with God."
Well, to some people this might seem easy. This is not easy stuff for me. I find it hard and three months ago nearly impossible to even fathom. I wrote it because it was my dream with out any boundaries.
Well, with a lot of hard work from myself, the Dream Team, the girls here and prayer I have made some miraculous, life-saving changes. I came here one woman and now I am another and I am only in my third month. I have lost 20 more pounds and am still losing. I go to the YMCA on a regular basis. I had to give away my favorite jeans! My self esteem has been boosted through the roof. I feel better, eat better, dress better, live better than I have in 15 -20 years. I came here dieing from the soul out. My children and I have a better relationship. My independence is not lacking but growing. I started college in the fall for my LPN license. Plus, I have kept a part time job that I have had since December. Finally, my walk with God is grounded and stronger than ever. If it wasn’t for where He put me at First Fruit Ministries, I don’t believe that any of this would have been possible. Now I look at that funny little guy and remember his word, "Courage," got me here. I hold it close in my heart for those hard times.