TRACY GIVES HERSELF TIME TO HEAL AND TO GROW
Tracy knows what it’s like to truly be on her own. At age 13, she began cleaning houses to help the family. “I didn’t have a good childhood, and it was a lot for me to carry,” she said. “We grew up on welfare and my mom was not mentally stable.” Tracy remembers cigarettes and gambling taking priority over her, and she quickly learned that the adults in her life could not be relied on.
As an adult, Tracy learned she had siblings. “I always wanted brothers and sisters of my own,” she said. The sister she met in 2010 would become a great supporter of Tracy’s when she went through an abusive marriage.
Tracy met and married a man, but the relationship became dangerous. For nine months, Tracy’s husband abused her. She ultimately separated from him and lived in a hotel for two years. When she no longer could afford the hotel, Tracy rented a room, but the conditions were awful.
Tracy’s domestic violence social worker referred her to the Rescue Mission Alliance Victor Valley. “At first I didn’t want to go, because I had heard bad stories about shelters,” she said, even considering living in her car instead. She knew it wouldn’t be safe though, so decided to give the shelter a try. “I was kind of scared before going, but the people were nice and very helpful.”
Not only is Tracy safe and sheltered, she is working toward a better future. “The shelter (staff) helps me with a budget and with savings, so when I leave, I will have money,” she said. “I’m working on getting a place to live. I have asked God for patience, and He said, ‘Here you go, now you get to wait on housing.”’
Tracy is now recognizing God’s constant presence in her life. “There were times I shouldn’t have made it through, but God has gotten me through so much,” she said. “I see God is giving me courage. I can stand up for myself and make boundaries.
“I have a history of self-harm and child abuse, but God is healing me and getting me through it. I know others see my scars and judge me, but I know God does not judge me.”
The shelter has become a place of healing, waiting, and learning for Tracy. “The staff will help you and you will learn to like yourself again,” she said. “I think that if more people realize the help they can get by giving themselves to God and allowing the programs here to help, their lives could be changed like God is changing me.”