“In August 2018 a dear friend finally found the freedom she had been seeking in the bottle, dying from alcoholism. Jill loved God and was one of the most spirit-filled people I have ever been around, when she was sober. I would wake up to messages of hope and encouragement, scriptures and praise on my phone.
“But over a two-year period, I knew that there would be many weeks where Jill would disappear back into her addiction. Jill always felt she had another drunk left in her, convinced it would be followed by another successful recovery.
“2017 was my year of an actual spiritual awakening – just really making the decision for a different and better life. And since I made that decision, every moment after that has been surreal – how God has been working in my life, feeling completely convinced that God is there with me and for me.
I put myself in a position that broke my dependency on all these things of the world – putting people on a pedestal, putting living situations on a pedestal, food. I just broke my relationship with all this stuff so that all that was left was God. And there were ways that He revealed himself to me through nature and a few other times that felt probably the most personal than I’ve ever felt anything in my life. And I never want to lose that. You know what I mean?” – Adam, Spokane
“Graduation, it’s a weird thing for me because I never graduated high school, so it’s kind of a big thing to actually be part of a graduation. I remember, I finished high school, so I was actually sitting in the audience, and I watched my girlfriend graduate. It really sucked sitting out in the audience when all my friends were graduating, so this to me is a really big deal. I’m looking forward to it.” – Keith, graduating from UGM LIFE Recovery in June
Photo by Jessica Morgan
“God rescued me from the pit of hell and he formed himself into a human person and he died for me. If I could return the favor, I would. So now, I sacrifice all of myself for Him.” – Ephraim, UGM Men’s Shelter
“I’m amazed every day by what God’s doing. He’s healing me, and because I’m getting better, my son is getting better.” – Starla, graduate of Union Gospel Mission’s LIFE Recovery in Coeur d’Alene
“I was always tough and angry, just real rough around the edges, and the enemy still tries to lie to me and tell me that I’ll never be elegant because of my tattoos, but that’s not true. People tell me all the time, ‘You’re softening right before our eyes.’…I’m unique and special just the way I am. I’m a good mother. I’m a faithful friend. I’m a daughter of the King.” – Starla, graduate of Union Gospel Mission’s LIFE Recovery in Coeur d’Alene
“When people come in and bring a car for donation, I didn’t realize when I was over at Anna Ogden Hall just what that donation really means. When I was going through recovery, I had no idea who was paying my way…so I’m able to show them gratitude and just what their donation means by sharing a little bit of my story.
“…I know that I’m capable of a lot of things now, and I am built up here. I’m told what a good job I’m doing…it’s really uplifting. I have more confidence. I’m really being invested in and that makes me feel worth something.” – Sonja, UGM Motors employee and Women’s Recovery graduate
“While I was pregnant, we were living in Spokane, and during that time, I was flying a sign (panhandling). I was sleeping under bridges, and my boyfriend would stay up while I was sleeping to make sure nothing happened to me.
“We have three meals a day here, and I know I have a warm place for me and my son, a safe place, and I think that’s what the important thing is.
“When I came here to UGM, I learned that God is a loving God. He is a forgiving God, and He is full of grace. He has given us a second chance.” – Michelle, UGM Center for Women & Children, Coeur d’Alene
“It was hard for me to stay here because I didn’t really like staying indoors … What made me really stay here was the fellowship with the people and how everybody cares for everybody.
“…The most important thing to staying in recovery is the people you hang out with. If you don’t want change, you’re going to go back to the old people. But if you want change, you’re going to find healthy people that believe in the same thing you believe in.” – Charlie, UGM Men’s Recovery You can find his full story on the UGM blog.
“I used to be one of those teenagers who just didn’t care about anything. I went out and did bad things and I hated everyone. On top of that, I used to think that no one loved me and that no one ever would. I was in a deep dark place and had no idea how to get out.
“It’s funny, ’cause the first time I remember meeting Katie (my dad’s wife) and kind of re-meeting my dad, I came down to be in their wedding. At first I wanted nothing to do with either of them. I mean, my dad had basically abandoned me, and I was still trying to get over it.
“It took me less than a day to see that my dad had changed, and Katie just had something about her that drew me in. They both had this kind of light to them, and I didn’t know how to take it.” – Ashley, Spokane