I had a pretty good childhood, but when I was 7 I started fighting with my parents. I didn’t know how good I had things until my mom died when I was 11. I thought it was my fault she died because of all the stress I put on her. I always kept my feelings to myself and would refuse to talk to any person or therapist about anything. When I was a freshman in high school, my feelings finally came out. Instead of talking about it, I’d cut myself. I felt worthless and became suicidal. I spent 9 months in and out of a psychiatric hospital. All they did was drug me up with a new medications every couple of days. Pastor Sharon came to visit me a few times at the hospital and told me about Rose Cottage. There were other programs available, but I made a decision to come to Rose Cottage. When I came to Rose Cottage I suffered from a mood disorder and anxiety. I rarely spoke to anyone. I felt safe at Rose Cottage and gradually I began to open up and tell my story. Little by little my life has changed in so many ways. I am a happier person and I can see all the good things in my life now. Now when I have a bad day instead of taking drugs or wanting to hurt myself, I read my bible and spend time listening to music that encourages me. I have God in my life and am learning to live by faith every day.
We moved around a lot as a child, my mom suffered from depression and my dad was the one we always depended on. When I was 12 my dad got sick with Parkinson’s disease. Eventually he couldn’t work anymore and there was very little money in the house. My mom couldn’t handle it and left. My siblings and I were on our own taking care of my dad. Money became very tight and I was embarrassed at school because of my families struggles. Eventually my dad had to be taken care of in a nursing home. My mom moved back in with us and things got worse. There was drinking and late night partying in the house. My neighbor introduced me to a church in Massapequa called The Praise Tabernacle where I met Pastor Sharon. My dad passed away and the Pastor’s at Praise Tabernacle became my support along with my neighbor. Soon after these events we would lose our electricity, we had no heat, my mom was unstable and she gave custody of me to Pastor Sharon. I moved in with my neighbor to remain in high school. Because of Rose Cottage and the support of The Praise Tabernacle I received guidance and counseling. I’m part of the Praise Dance Warriors team and sing in the choir. I love the youth group and am able to share my heart and life with people who love me. I am now an honor student at Massapequa High School and I plan on attending Nassau Community College in the Fall of 2011.
Growing up the oldest of three and with two alcoholic parents, there was always a lot of drama in my life. By the time I was nine my parents divorced and by my teenage years I found every excuse there was to spend as little time at home as possible. I stayed at friend’s houses, neighbors houses, joined after school activities, anything to be out of the house. What I had left of a family had become shattered and I found myself starting college a very broken girl. It wasn’t long before I followed in the footsteps of my parents. My bad decisions cost me my scholarship to college and landed me in debt. I became miserable, feeling like a failure without purpose. Shortly after these events, I met Pastor Sharon and my life was forever changed. She taught me about God, love and many life lessons that a college education couldn’t give me. I learned about family, right from wrong and how character is who we are when nobody is looking. She loved me, encouraged me and always pointed me toward God through every storm that came my way. I found hope and no longer was I miserable, but I was able to find joy despite circumstances. Relationships with my family have little by little been restored. Just a year later, my dad got sober and began to play an active role in my life. This year he will be celebrating his 4 year anniversary of being clean. Miracles really do happen. I don’t know where I would be today, had I not been introduced to Pastor Sharon & Rose Cottage.
Girls impacted by Rose Among Thorns
-A 14 year old girl who was in a very abusive situation, her mom was a drug addict and beat her with a vacuum hose. Today she is living safely, happily married and is a loving mother.
-A 16 year old high school dropout, living on the streets was transformed by God’s love. She now has her GED and is currently a health professional.
-A 14 year old runaway, angry with her alcoholic dad. She is now married and mother of two beautiful girls.