Changing the Course of Generations
As a child, Suzy always dreamed of a perfect marriage, beautiful children, and a white picket fence. “I grew up in a family that was really dysfunctional. I remember lying in bed one night thinking, I’m going to break this cycle. It’s going to be different for me,” she says. “But I didn’t have anyone to help guide my decisions and, sadly, I ended up making a lot of mistakes myself.”
More than anything, Suzy desired to have a family – to be a loving wife and mother who raised kind, respectful kids. Suzy fell in love and got married early in life and began her pursuit of those dreams … which unfortunately didn’t include finishing high school or going to college. “I really thought that if you have a family, you don’t need those things. I was just so happy to be a wife and mom.”
What began as a marriage full of hope and happiness became a place of fear and despair. Within a few years, her husband developed a drug addiction and became abusive toward her and their kids, Erick, Joey, and Ana. “I found myself in a desperate place. I was reading my Bible, looking for answers. I prayed, telling God, I don’t know what to do, but I trust You. Show me what to do.”
Things at home continued to get worse and Suzy knew that she and the kids had to leave. Her husband was a danger to them all and they had to escape, to find a place that was safe. With this in mind, Suzy started saving the leftover grocery money each week so that they’d have money for gas and food when they left.
Suzy considered going to a shelter, but learned that her boys were too old to stay with her there. She began searching for help online, which is how she found First Baptist Church Round Rock’s website. A few days later, she and the kids loaded everything they could fit into the trunk and started driving.
When Suzy pulled into First Baptist Round Rock (FBCRR) on a warm August day, she didn’t know what to expect. In faith, she walked into the building, praying and hoping that their 3.5 hour drive had been worth it. They had escaped … but now what? Thankfully, Suzy was met with a hug and warm smile. In that moment, she knew they would be okay.
“Suzy’s story is just a God-thing all the way around,” says Jared Allen, Lead Pastor of FBCRR. “Suzy found our church on an Internet search and drove to our church on a Saturday to find help. Normally our pastors aren’t at the church on a Saturday afternoon, but God had timed this and on that day there was. When our Student Pastor heard about Suzy’s situation, he knew exactly who to call … TBCH. The ministry and resources of TBCH combined with the love of our church has been a dynamic combination for this family.”
After moving into a Family Care cottage at TBCH, Suzy and her kids were able to rest easy for the first time in years. Under the loving guidance of their Family Life Coordinator, they established a new routine and began to recover from the trauma of their past. Erick, Joey, and Ana made friends quickly at their new schools and Suzy started a new job as well as meeting with a professional counselor on a regular basis. Their relationships bloomed and their family bond grew deeper than ever before.
“Luke 1:37 really came alive for me when I came to TBCH. For so long, I felt like I was trapped in this terrible situation and it felt impossible to change. But the Lord reminded me that with Him, nothing is impossible. He used TBCH to show me that and it’s forever changed my family.”
During their time at TBCH, Suzy and her kids became deeply involved at FBCRR. Her kids loved the youth programs and had great leaders to model what Christian life looked like. The first time Suzy went to a Bible study at the church, an older lady introduced herself and linked arms with Suzy, laughing and talking with her on the way to class. “It just felt like I belonged,” she says.
Because of the partnership of TBCH and FBCRR, Suzy has been able to dream again. She now has her GED and is enrolled in college courses, working toward becoming a CPA. Her kids are thriving in school and have dreams of their own. She recently overheard Erick, Joey, and Ana talking about their college plans and wanting to get good jobs – not just so that they could provide for themselves, but so that they could give back and make a difference in the lives of others, like TBCH had done for them. “That was such a proud moment for me, knowing that my kids see what an impact TBCH has had on our family,” she says. Since successfully completing the program, Suzy and her kids have moved into their own home and are looking forward to a promising future.
“I’ve learned that the Lord allows us to walk through difficult circumstances but, in the end, He always provides for our needs,” says Suzy. “At TBCH, He didn’t just give us what we needed … He provided abundantly!”