God is patient. He works out His purpose in His own time. Because sometimes — oftentimes — we don't get it “right” the first go-around.
That's the case for Tami. She first came to Joy House, our family shelter, in 2006. And now she's back. This time she's getting it right.
At age 27, this mother of four has experienced more than her share of chaos, loss, violence, and fear. Part of her story reads like a movie — abduction, beatings, hostage, escape. The heart of her story reveals a soul yearning for a place, purpose, and love.
Prior to coming to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, Tami lived house-to-house, finding shelter with friends or family or anyone who had a space for her to lay her head. She sometimes lived on the street. Finally it got to be too much. “I was tired of never having my own home, of depending on others who didn't care.”
Tami arrived mid-2010 with her two-year-old son, Jerry, and with some deep anger issues. “I wasn't talking to anyone,” she reflects. “And I had never been any place where you talk so much about God. I liked it!”
The love and support she felt motivated Tami to get to work on her anger and on other areas which needed attention. She attended parenting classes, and what she calls “Jesus” classes. “I learned stuff I didn't understand before. Jesus loves me no matter what. Even when I'm depressed, He'll be right there.”
With their physical needs met, Tami has been able to start saving money for a home for her family. Now living with her son in our Fresh Start program, she's on track to graduate from college in February 2011. (“I can't wait to finish college!”)
With the holidays approaching, Tami anticipates a new way of celebrating. “I can't wait to spend Thanksgiving with people who care for me and love me.”
What gift does she appreciate most this holiday season? The opportunity to stay at Joy House. Speaking for others like her — mothers with children without a place to call home — Tami says, “If it wasn't for the people who give, [we'd] still be on the streets…our kids wouldn't have clothes. All of us are thankful for those who send money.”