Natasha’s Story


As a child, members of my extended family abused me physically, emotionally, verbally, and sexually. So when I was nineteen I ran away from my family and moved in with my best friend (who is now the father of my son.) I graduated high school and gave birth to my son who is now five.

After my son was a few months old, things with his father and myself were not going well, so I moved to Florida to live with my father. We did not know each other very well so pretty soon I came back home to North Carolina. All of this moving was very unstable.

The friend that took me in eventually became physically abusive to me and verbally abusive to my son, so I left everything and moved into a domestic violence shelter. One day when he was not home I used my key to get my things, and he spitefully had me arrested for breaking and entering.

The judge found me guilty in court, but maybe my tears touched his heart, so rather than giving me 40 days in prison and a year of probation, he suspended my sentence and gave me supervised probation. Before this, I never knew how hard it was going to be to have a record.

After my probation was over I began smoking [marijuana] and drinking heavily. The more I used the more I began to fight with friends and because they were not making healthy decisions, I was not either.

At that point I dropped to my knees and prayed that the Lord would guide me because I had no idea what the future held. After that, I called my son's father and asked him for help. I knew I had to get my son to a safer place, but I also knew I needed to get myself together and my son didn't need to see that take place. I knew it would crush me. I had lost everything, even my own pride and joy - my son. My son's father immediately accepted him even though he was also about to have a newborn himself.

The night I left my son with his father I went out on my own (in Lumberton, NC). I figured sleeping outside wouldn't be so bad, but it was the beginning of winter. That first night I stayed outside, the temperature dropped to twelve degrees - not much sleep happened that night.

I found a soup kitchen that let me stay three nights, but after that a contractor offered to let me travel with him. At first it was great, but he soon introduced me to cocaine. I quickly became addicted and he left me on my own out on the road. Then another man entered the picture, and as the partying continued I soon found myself pregnant. Again I dropped to my knees. I was so scared and didn't know where to turn. God showed Himself to me and let me know he would show me the way. It wasn't too long after that I found myself at the Mission.

This place and these people have changed my life. I am so close to God. Being here has given me the opportunity to be a Core Volunteer, which will help me build my work skills. I was quickly invited to become a part of the Abba's Love Program, which is making a big impact on my life, and being in Success Academy is helping me build my confidence. I am an overcomer in the things I never thought I could achieve.

I thank all the pastors and staff for this awesome opportunity. The support they give me is so important, and want to thank everyone for all they've done for me.

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