Supporting initiatives. Impacting lives.

Jaylen’s Story

When I came for my interview with Connie at FRESH HOPE, I felt I was at the end of my rope, lost everything, God had abandoned me, and I was barely hanging on for dear life.  At one point in my life I had two beautiful children, an amazing career which involved 17 years teaching special education and multiple recognition awards for my accomplishments in my career field, and had been divorced for several years.  I had a supporting family and friends, and I just celebrated 3 years and gotten engaged to my first-time love after being reunited 27 years later.  Everything seemed perfect with the exception that I was falling and feeling a distance in my relationship with God, and yet taking more control over every aspect of my life and my happiness while quietly growing apart from God and not realizing it.  After my fiancé received some bad news which included a medical diagnosis with a short-term death sentence, he decided to start using drugs without my knowledge.  One night he became very violent; this turned my life into a living nightmare.  Over the next year-and-a-half, I tried to run from him, fought for custody of my children, and slowly started to lose everything I’d worked my whole life for, all due to falling in love with a man who did not truly love me but loved his addiction more. 

I had lost everything I worked my whole life for, as well as my mental and physical wellness as this man assaulted and tried to kill me multiple times, threatened my sons lives, and family’s lives for the next year.  I was literally at this point talking to Connie.  Connie told me I had two choices;: I could either continue down the path I was on which would ultimately leave my children without their mother, or I could open up my heart and let Christ lead and remember that I am a child of God and God had not forsaken me or abandoned me.  Something had touched my heart and was relating a message to me.  I signed up for FRESH HOPE, not knowing what to expect but in the end I found myself, my identity, reunited my relationship with Christ, and found the strength and boundaries and love and acceptance of my past and hope for my future.  I basically got up off the ground.  It showed me I am loved, I am worthy of God’s love, I am worthy of happiness, I am worthy of love, and I am worthy of so much more than what I was setting for.  I learned that through God’s strength and his word, and dedication and prayer, I can do all things through him.  Connie is literally a guardiam angel, and through her and her heart and passion, she changed my life and was able to witness to me and touch me.  With her help relating the message and inspiring me, and her dedication and love and support along with the Bible and God’s word and the Holy Spirit, I found myself and I am back on track now.  I am settled in a beautiful home with a new car, I am back to teaching, I am in the process of getting custody back of my sons, and I recently just celebrated one year of sobriety and being clean.  Living one of the most amazing, most important things to celebrate is the fact I rededicated my life to Christ.  I now know who I am and my life experiences are nothing to be ashamed of, but have taught me and brought me to where I am.   At this point in my life, I have support and drive to help others in similar situations as well as be the very best child of God, mother, friend, teacher, daughter, wife, and more.  I am also back into school as I have started to pursue my Marriage and Family and Addiction Counseling degree, as well as decided to start a non-profit organization shelter and outreach resources program for women and children of domestic abuse.  FRESH HOPE changed by and life brought me back to Christ, and brought my sons back their mother and brought me back to being a God-follower.  For that I am eternally grateful for everything they’ve done and cherish them as they are my family and love them with all my heart. 

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“I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being,
let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” ~William Penn