Every February, Valentine’s Day helps us slow down and remind ourselves of the precious love we have for those dear to us. It’s important, because love is such an essential aspect of our lives. When it’s missing – life quickly loses its luster, hope becomes hard to find, and our search to replace it can lead us down all sorts of dark paths. Tiffany knows those byways all too well. She was very young when her father’s abandonment started her down a dim path. “When I was 6 years old, my dad walked out of our lives,” says Tiffany, her eyes downcast. “We eventually found out where he lived, and me and my brothers rode our bikes over there. But he slammed the door in our faces.” Her father called the police shortly after to inform her and her siblings that they were not to see him anymore. The experience broke Tiffany’s heart. What’s more, it cast a shadow over the next three decades of her life, eliciting a litany of bad choices that landed her in prison. And that’s where she would be today, alone, behind bars without hope — but for your love.
Trying to mend the hole left by her father, Tiffany began looking for love in all the wrong places. By the time she was 16, she was involved with an emotionally and physically abusive boyfriend. She started using drugs with her social circle to cope. By 21, things had spiraled so far out of her control that Tiffany gave up. “I went off the deep end. I just walked away from everything pretty much… from my friends, from my family. I just felt not loved by anybody,” Tiffany says. To get by, Tiffany started selling drugs. After a series of encounters with the police, a judge presented her with a significant, life-changing choice – 3 years in prison or find help at the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Changing Lives Center.
Thanks to your love, Tiffany chose the opportunity to change. Instead of rotting away in prison, you provided her with the rare chance to discover why she had become who she was and, even better, to find the tools necessary to become someone new. The transition wasn’t immediate; Tiffany was resistant to the idea of a Father who wanted the very best for her. But hearing about Jesus and learning about His love for her inspired a love for life she’d never had before. She made the decision to give her all to God and accept Christ. “I didn’t want to continue to be who I was,” says Tiffany. “I felt like, ‘You just do Your work in me, because You know what’s best for me.’” Thanks to friends like you, she’s found hope, healing, sobriety and so much more.
Today she’s found new life and a bright new path to walk. She applies what she learned as the Program Coordinator for Upon This Rock Christian Church in Mesa, and just recently has been hired full-time with the Mission to serve as our After Care Coordinator! Thank you for helping us connect men and women like Tiffany to the only love that has the power to transform! Together, we are building a brighter Phoenix one life at a time. On behalf of all of us at the Phoenix Rescue Mission, we wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!