“I feel like God brought me here.”
It had been decades since Wanda celebrated Christmas with her family, mostly because she had pushed everyone away. “I was hurting,” Wanda says.
For 18 years, Wanda had been dealing with unfathomable pain — the overwhelming grief of losing a child. When her daughter died of cancer, Wanda spiraled into a depression so deep and dark, she didn’t think she’d ever see light again.
She shut herself off from the world, and often didn’t even get out of bed. “Sleep became my addiction,” Wanda says. “If I slept, I didn’t have to deal with it. I lived in denial. I became a hermit. I turned my home into a dungeon.” She also shunned family members who wanted to help. But one niece wouldn’t give up. When Wanda lost her job, ran out of money, and had no place to go, that niece brought Wanda to City Rescue Mission.
Wanda was reluctant at first, but in time, she realized she was exactly where she needed to be. “I feel like God brought me here,” she says. Wanda started to see glimmers of light for the first time in ages. The kindness and compassion of the Mission staff helped her begin the process of healing. “When I first got to the Mission, I wouldn’t talk about my daughter,” she says. “I can talk about her now.” Wanda says it feels like a weight was lifted from her shoulders.
The best part is that Wanda has opened the door to her family again, restoring relationships that had been shattered. After 18 Christmases spent alone, Wanda celebrated the holiday with six family members last year, including her mother, whom she hadn’t seen in 20 years.
This year, Wanda’s expecting an even bigger family gathering, all thanks to the hope and joy she found at City Rescue Mission.