Chapter 1

Learning to dream again


Before Michelle met her husband at the age of 19, her dream was to become a doctor and a model. But the verbal, physical and mental abuse took those dreams away from her. They had seven children, and she became trapped in a toxic environment.

It took her many years to realize her unconditional love wasn't going to change her husband. "I thought it was right. I thought it was what I was supposed to be doing," Michelle says.

Despite the abuse, Michelle maintained a job and payed the bills for her family. But underneath the facade she was suffering. Michelle became suicidal and lost all self-esteem. "I didn't feel pretty. I didn't feel intelligent. He made my sons feel like anything they tried to do wasn't good enough."

At 43 years old she prayed to God to give her a way out and promised she would never go back to her husband. She called Laura's Home for days before they called her back to offer her a bed. She looks back on that day remembering, "I had my own home, fully furnished, that I had just bought. But I told my kids, 'Pack your things. We're leaving.'"

"When I walked into Laura's Home, it was like walking into Heaven." The programs at Laura's Home helped Michelle regain her strength and self-worth. Now she says she is the woman she always wanted to be - whole and self-sufficient.

Today, Michelle is employed - by The City Mission! She leads the Laura's Home security team, and ensures that every woman and child that enters our doors feel safe and welcome.  Michelle is also in our New Horizons program, where she's working on obtaining the deed to her own home and modeling stability for her children.

We're grateful that the Lord brought Michelle and her children to The City Mission, and we're grateful for donors like you who keep our doors open for women and children looking for a way out of domestic violence. Will you help more women like Michelle today with a special gift?


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