TYS: Alicia’s Story

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Here is Alicia’s story:

“I stood there in the bathroom of my apartment staring into the mirror and began to cry. What now? I was 18 years old and had just graduated high school a few hours earlier. I wasn’t getting ready to leave for some awesome vacation. There was no big graduation party planned for me. There were no plans at all in fact-not even for college. What was I doing? Feeling completely overwhelmed and lost, my sobbing grew more intense expressing a deep inner pain I knew all too well. Crying out to heaven I pleaded, “Jesus-save me!” Though nothing significant happened that evening or even the next day, something had changed. That heartfelt prayer had set my life on a different course. One that I would not discover until much later.

My childhood was not an easy one. Though all of my physical needs were met, emotionally I suffered. I lost my dad in a hit and run accident at the age of four and my mother passed away of cancer at age 11. I was very fortunate to have been adopted by grandparents but I did not appreciate them very much at the time. I ran with the wrong crowd in high school and made terrible choices that led to the discouraged and disillusioned mess that stood before the mirror that fateful evening.

A few short months later, I fell in love for the first time with the man that would eventually become my son’s father. In November of 2000, a little more than a year after graduation, I gave birth to my one and only son, Brendon Lee Jordan. Motherhood suited me well. Life was no longer about me. It was about providing and caring for my son and failure was not an option. That sentiment was put to the test when Brendon was 15 months old. His father left us in a less than desirable living situation to run off with another woman he had been seeing.

Although I was heartbroken at the time, looking back it was a blessing. Our relationship was far from healthy and not one that would’ve set a good example for our son. I landed on two feet and within a year, purchased a modular home for Brendon and I. It was modest but it was ours. I spent the next decade working two jobs and eventually going back to school. In 2008 I graduated from Harford Community College with an AA in Interior Design. I had also began working at Distinctive Décor, a high-end residential design studio in Havre de Grace, Maryland. It was my first professional job.

I was accepted into Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia and a year later attended my first semester as an Interior Architecture major. All was falling into place for our little family-or so it seemed. The financial reality of attending a private art school hit after my first semester at Moore. That burden, coupled with a loss of passion for the work I was doing drove me to my knees one afternoon in the design studio.

Lost and disheartened once again I cried out,

“Jesus-save me!!”

That would be the first of many times since then, that I would hear the holy spirit whisper so clearly to my heart. I had not stepped into a church since I was 18 years old. Sensing the need to return, I started attending services at the Catholic church I grew up in. Feeling more obligation then inspiration during mass, I broadened my horizons and began attending other denominational gatherings.

Eventually I found myself in a more contemporary nondenominational setting at Mountain Christian Church. I knew from the first day there that I had found my spiritual home. As I sought God’s heart, things began to change professionally for me as well. I awoke from a dream one night with a conviction to work with kids. I fully abandoned my design career and re-enrolled at HCC as a psychology major. In 2012, I transferred to Towson University studying Family and Human Services.

I began working as a Residential Counselor at Arrow Child and Family Ministries in June 2014. I loved the work I was doing, counseling teenage foster care girls in Arrow’s transitional living program. God it seemed, had other plans for me though. One evening, while helping a friend organize his closet’s, I came across some sheets he no longer wanted. I thought, “Arrow could use these sheets.” In that moment, it’s as if the world stood still. My heart ignited with light. “Arrow could use these sheets-and I could help others get organized and pass along their unwanted things to awesome local programs that, like Arrow, no one knows exist!

God had announced a new vision for my life. My passion was on fire. Not long after I had to put my plans on hold to finish my last semester at Towson. I graduated in December of 2014 with a B.S. in Family and Human Services. When I went to pick my destiny back up however, I wasn’t quite sure what I was holding. Was this going to be a for-profit business with a social mission or a nonprofit organization that offered professional services? Discouraged but determined to be found in faith, I followed my conviction that this mission, whatever it was, was from God and I would not let it go.

I’ve spent the last two years discovering just what that mission is. I often say that God showed me the mountain but I’ve had to take each next step. Those steps have led me to create Found in Faith Ministries. The ministries mission is to advance people on their path to self-sufficiency.

Our current focus is on our Fresh Start Furniture Ministry which provides furniture and home goods to those transitioning out of homelessness. Our future plans include life management coaching, financial literacy training, and creating opportunities for earned income for our clients. We have partnered with two local churches to grow this ministry which will soon be located at our new location in Edgewood.

This path has also brought me to a new career with The Success Project as the Program Coordinator of their life-coaching program. Needless to say, 2017 is shaping up to be an unforgettable year. Looking back, it is easy to see that God has always been in my life, even though I did not always recognize him. He saved me the first time through the life of my son Brendon.

He saved me the second time through a gentle whisper I had never heard before. And today, his ever-present spirit calls me to share the hope and peace and love it has brought me to all of those still searching for truth. This is not just my story. This is our story and it is God’s story.

I know what it’s like to feel alone. I know what it’s like to live in poverty. And I know what it is to be saved.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to share this part of my story with you. I am even more grateful for the freedom that has allowed me to share it without shame, despite plenty of bad decisions I’ve made along the way.

Thank you so much for reading.

If you are in need of resources, support, or have any questions, please feel free to contact me

Alicia 443.307.9942 or alicia@foundinfaithMD.org.

The story is not over yet!