One Miracle After Another
By Brooklyn Learned
I think it is important that I begin telling you my story by referencing a Bible story. In the New Testament, we read about Jesus healing a woman with the issue of blood. The Bible says for years, “She suffered a great deal,” and many tried to help her, but instead of getting better she only ended up getting worse. When all hope seemed lost, Jesus helped her. This story of transformation is a lot like my own story.
When I first came to Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC), I was like the woman with the issue of blood. To say I had suffered a great deal because of my own issue is an understatement. For years, I had tried to get help from a variety of places, and none of them could truly help me. None of them could heal me like Jesus could heal me through OBHC’s Children’s Hope program.
Breaking Generational Curses
I almost died the day I was born because the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck several times. Many times throughout my life, I wished I had died. Now I thank God many times a day because I have been born again, and I have a new life in which my greatest desire is to love and honor God. Who I am today is miraculous.
Between ages six and 17, I lived in 27 different homes in Oklahoma City. I never had the structure or stability that I so desperately needed until coming to OBHC. I started drinking and doing drugs when I was 11. Because of my substance abuse issues, I gave away what I thought was any chance of having a good life. For years, my addictions and destructive behavior held me captive in a vicious cycle. I became homeless for the first time when I was 19. Before coming to OBHC, I had been chronically homeless on the streets of Norman for five years. I had lost hope of a better way of life.
The moment I knew I had to make a lasting change is one I will never forget. It was 2018, and I found myself staring at my reflection in the hazy fake glass of a mental hospital mirror during my ninth visit to that ward in four years. In the midst of a horrifying, substance-induced psychosis, I saw something that both terrified and empowered me. I was seven months pregnant with my third child, who would be my first daughter, and I feared I was not worthy of being her mother.
I had lost custody of my first two children, and the thought of losing another was so horrific that I knew I had to change. I cried out to God, and after I completed substance abuse treatment, God answered my prayers by leading me to OBHC. Thanks to OBHC, I have all the tools needed to be successful. For me to be so alive and well today is a testimony that I am breaking generational curses. Because of God and OBHC, I am beating the odds!
One Miracle After Another
I came to OBHC four years ago, and since then I have experienced one miracle after another. I got my driver’s license reinstated, bought a car free and clear and paid off all my legal debt. The payment of my legal debt alone is a huge milestone because I had gone to jail numerous times for my inability to pay. Now that it is paid in full, I will never again go to jail for failure to pay. I have also paid my debt to society for my past crimes, which is profoundly freeing. Furthermore, I am in the process of getting a full pardon for my criminal history which will restore all my civil rights.
My daughter was three months old when we first came to Children’s Hope, and we just celebrated her fourth birthday. She is so loved, healthy and happy. Her smile is everything. In the past, I have not been a very good mom. Thanks to OBHC, my daughter will never have to know the old me.
I am so grateful that this program puts so much emphasis on getting an education and that I was able to take classes at Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC). Growing up, I never imagined going to college. I stopped engaging in school in the fifth grade. I dropped out at 16, and I got my GED while I was in prison at 26. I graduated OCCC with honors in 2020, and despite my criminal history, I was accepted into the University of Oklahoma. Walking down the street with a backpack on my back today feels a lot different than it did when I was homeless in Norman.
I am 38 now, and I am so grateful to say I graduated December 17, 2022 from the University of Oklahoma with my bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication. I am a first-generation college student, and I have paid my entire way through college with grants and scholarships. I have not had to take out any student loans. I will forever be indebted to OBHC for an education which has given me so much.
I thank God that the program has provided me with a place where I can feel safe and brave enough to reach out and touch Jesus, just like the woman with the issue of blood. I know he heals me, because I know my faith and the faith of those who are dedicated to the ministry of OBHC has healed me. I am excited because I believe when I complete the Children’s Hope program, I will be able to, “Go in peace,” just as Jesus told the woman to do. I, too, have been freed!
These words are only able to express a small fraction of the impact OBHC and the Children’s Hope program have had on my daughter’s and my life. Without the love and support I have been given, my success story would not be possible. Thank you.