“I HAVE A NEW START”
My name is Teresa Simmons, I was born in Quitman, Georgia in 1981. The pain and struggles in my life started very early because by the time I was six years old I had been molested twice. To dull the pain I started experimenting with drugs in my teens which led me to be on a roller coaster ride of negative experiences and emotions for years.
After high school I joined the Navy hoping it would lead to a better life. But things didn’t work out in the military and after I got out I wound up on the streets where my life consisted of drugs, alcohol, and several trips to jail. I wound up in a women’s probation center more than once. It was there I finally got tired of living in the streets and the downward spiral my life was taking.
I had a son, Malachi, and I know for both our sakes I couldn’t continue to live like that. A woman at one of the Center’s told me about the Rescue Mission and helped me get in touch with them to see if they would accept me in their program for women with children. They did and that was when everything started to change for me, and for Malachi.
When I first got to the Rescue Mission I felt relieved. I felt like I didn’t have to run anymore. I felt like this was going to be the new start in life I’d been looking and hoping for.
Since I’ve been at the Rescue Mission I’ve found God and dedicated my life to Him. I was baptized by Pat Chastain, the President of the Mission, and I plan on dedicating Malachi to Rock Springs Church where we both attend before I graduate from the life-recovery program in January.
The best part about being at the Rescue Mission in the women’s program is I found out I was never really alone like I thought I was all those years. I found out God was always with me even when I didn’t know Him…He knew me and was with me. It’s great to know I am not alone, and He will always be with me and Malachi no matter what we’re going through. For someone that has felt alone all my life this is everything.
I’ve met so many really good people here at the Rescue Mission that support me, and I have some mentors here also. Best of all I’m saved now, I’ve found Jesus Christ. This is helping me learn to love myself, to find out who Teresa is. I’m learning to love others, to put God first and have faith in Him that everything is going to work out and be okay.
It means so much for me and Malachi to be here at the Rescue Mission. It saved us from me possibly being in prison and Malachi being placed in foster care. The Mission has given me a new family. I’ve even been able to start thinking about a career when I leave. I’ve received my forklift certification and I work in our processing center at the thrift store. But I’m most excited about possibly being able to attend the dental hygiene program through the Rescue Mission after I graduate.
Malachi and I plan on staying in the Macon area after I graduate from the life-recovery program. First, we’ll stay in the transitional program here while I go to school and get a job. Then we’ll be able to get a place of our own. I feel good about the future for us since coming to the Rescue Mission. I don’t struggle with the things that happened to me in my past the way I did before. I don’t need to run and hide. I feel more ready to live life in a way that God would have me live. I have hope for what the future holds for us now.