I have always been a go-getter and an independent, hard working person. But in 2013, I had to learn to fully depend on God. You see, my sons and I were living in a room that I had rented, but I knew that I wanted more for my family. I decided that going into a shelter would be the best thing for me so I could save money to move into my own place.
Why the shelter and not with a family member? Well, unfortunately, I don’t have a support system like others, because my parents divorced when I was a kid. That experience taught me how to survive on my own. It was hard, but I’m ok with it because God has placed amazing grandparents and friends in my life to help me along the way. In October 2013, my kids and I moved to Wayne Hall, the family and children shelter with Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission. This was our second time staying at the facility.
I had lived at Wayne Hall a few years earlier after being homeless for weeks. I was a mother-of-one at that time. I stayed there for several months before I was asked to leave due to my attitude. However, the staff showed me grace and allowed me to come back after I had my second child. Trust me, being at Wayne Hall with two small kids was not easy, but I had to do what was needed for my kids.
During my second stay at Wayne Hall, I grew a lot in my walk with the Lord. Weekday mornings we had daily devotions. What I had liked about this time was that we always read from the book of Proverbs. What the staff explained to the residents was that, even though we read through the book each month, we could always learn something new each time we read it. That was so true!
Throughout the week we would also have parenting, financial, life skills, and Bible classes. Bible class was conducted by Wayne Hall Director Sister Rita. She made the class so interesting, engaged us, and taught in a way that was easy to understand. The classes at Wayne Hall gave me the knowledge I needed to be successful in life and help me in my spiritual walk.
By June 2014, I had saved enough money to move out on my own. Even though I hadn’t found a place, I knew God had my back. After searching for housing, on June 30, 2014, I attended an open house for a two-bedroom row home in Philadelphia. I immediately fell in love with it. I called the landlord back the next day and told him I had the money right now. He said he’ll call me back by the end of the day. Of course, I got discouraged when he said that. However, he kept his word. He called me back and said, “Congratulations Jazmin, you have the house.” That was one of the happiest moments of my life!
We moved in July 4, 2014, but the blessings didn’t stop there. God blessed us with a 2015 Chrysler 200 in March 2015, and my oldest son received a four-year scholarship from the Children’s Scholarship Fund of Philadelphia.
Two years have now passed, and we still have our house, our car, and my boys are doing excellent! I work as a nursing assistant and I’m attending the University of Phoenix online to earn a bachelor’s degree in Human Services.
So, the moral of my story is that my setbacks were my setup for my comeback! You have to put all your trust and faith in God. Things may seem hard at times, and you think you can’t do it, but with Him all things are possible. And you have to also remember God must come first in your life. I appreciate all the good and bad times I have experienced because it made me who I am today.