Impact StoriesLife-changing stories of hope, healing and wholeness
Ten years ago, I was married with two boys, living in suburban Texas. I was the breadwinner: an accountant by trade. We were an average family. But some things weren’t going right. I started drinking more, and drank alcoholically for 5 years. I wasn’t ready to stop. My husband at the time said I needed to go, because my boys didn’t need to see me that way. So I had to leave the house.
I went to stay with my mom, who hadn’t realized how bad things had become. A gift of desperation arrived: I found a 10-day detox, and then found Women’s Home, where I could go live after I detoxed. The moment I walked in, I felt the Holy Spirit. I couldn’t get enough. Once I was set still, God got ahold of me, and changed everything.
While living there, I was invited to an ISP retreat and thought: “I’m going to say yes because I’ve said no for so long.” When I went on my first retreat, that was confirmation that there was something bigger that I had been seeking and looking for. I remember thinking and praying about the question: “What does my name mean in god’s eyes?” My name, Dawn, which means “the light” – that’s how I see myself now, with God in my life.
In January 2022 I started a new job and reached out to Eileen, the ISP team coordinator here, who invited me into a deeper relationship with ISP. I helped to lead the retreat in March, and then I began facilitating weekly reflections at Women’s Home, the residential treatment facility which I graduated from in 2020.
Doing the reflections at Woman’s Home every week fills my heart up. The joy is indescribable. The fact that I can go in there to run an ISP program and share with the ladies the gift of the spirit is just full circle. I said no for half of my life and now its my chance to say yes to everything that god is putting in front of me, to pour into others and pour into myself. The support system keeps me seeking, keeps me grounded and centered. ISP is here to help me on the path of recovery, and if it wasn’t for my recovery, I wouldn’t have done all this heart work to heal.