I wanted to take an opportunity to celebrate with you a great stride that was made by Doors of Hope when they offered the matching fund to go towards the outstanding balance that I had on my fines from my DUI conviction in 2011. This DUI was my fourth offense. I entered the DUI Court program, which dropped my conviction down to a third offense, but the graduation requirement of having all of my fines paid was something that could have taken years to complete on my own. I am beyond grateful to have received this gift.
I had accepted in my head many years ago that I was an alcoholic. I have been in and out of the criminal justice system since the early 1990s, as well as several different inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. All of the “YETs” that are talked about in the rooms of recovery had now come to pass, and I really felt like the gates of hell were closing in on me. I was bankrupt in every sense of the word. I was spiritually dead.
How dark it is before the dawn! The gates of hell didn’t close in on me. Instead, the gates of jail opened up to Doors of Hope. I do not believe in coincidences, but rather God-incidences. As God would have it, this new program was just taking hold at the Rutherford County Correctional Work Center at the very time in my life that I knew that I was ready to surrender. Nothing changes if nothing changes, and I needed to change EVERYTHING. Doors of Hope helped me to do that. It didn’t happen overnight, but mountains have been moved. Doors of Hope provided me and my daughter with emergency transitional housing so that we could escape a bed bug infestation and a dysfunctional marriage and home. They made the transition as seamless as possible by providing means for a blameless, faultless little girl to not have to change schools in the middle of the school year. They have helped with utility bills, medical bills, and dental care when I struggled to make ends meet. They have appeared in court with me. They have helped me walk through some heavy “No’s”. They have made a commitment to pray with us and walk through life with us in a way that astonishes and amazes me to this day.
So, this most recent contribution does not necessarily surprise me as much as it drives me to continue to do my part… to continue to grow and to change… to continue to receive and live in God’s truth. That truth is that His glory is my heart fully alive, victorious, and free. There is still a ways go, but I am so encouraged. Thank you, Doors of Hope, for the example of service and charitable love that you set for me and for my daughter. If you will forgive the metaphor… Thank you for teaching me how to fish!