Lisa is back at Mel Trotter Ministries, a changed person eager to stay sober and follow God’s plan for her life.
“The Lord is guiding me and showing me his path. I can’t say enough about what he’s already done for me,” said Lisa, who has been at Mel Trotter Ministries since May 2020.
This isn’t her first visit, however. That first visit occurred in December 2017 when she arrived on a Greyhound bus from Coldwater, Michigan. After thirty years addicted to drugs and alcohol, she was ready to surrender. After a 14-day stay at a treatment center near the Michigan/Indiana border and a recommendation by her recovery coach who had been through MTM’s programs, she hopped on the bus and headed north.
Lisa participated in the 90-day Step Up program, then stayed in MTM’s transitional housing for a year. In 2019 she moved out on her own, renting a room and trying to stay sober.
“I thought I understood; I walked away from recovery,” Lisa said. “I got away from myself and recovery, battled depression, and isolated. I hit bottom pretty bad this time around with alcohol and crack. I got in trouble with the law.”
Her downhill roll continued into 2020. She hurt someone she cared deeply where she lived and moved out.
“I had a pint in my pocket, two packs of cigarettes, and a bag of clothes. My goal was to get into Mel Trotter Ministries and get treatment, but I wasn’t ready to stop drinking,” said Lisa.
She describes wandering the streets, having her clothes stolen, drinking more and more, and spending two nights in MTM’s emergency shelter. She’d leave in the morning and starting drinking and doing drugs again. Eight days of living on the streets and in and out of shelter brought her to a new low. She was sick, it was raining, and she was out on the streets.
“I left Mel Trotter at 7:30 a.m. and found a cubby to lay down in. I had a fever and needed to go to the emergency room. But all I thought about was how I wanted to drink more,” she remembers. “I didn’t care if I lived or died.”
Yet Lisa got herself to the emergency room where she was tested for strep throat and Covid-19. She was moved to a safe house run by the Grand Rapids Health Department until her Covid test came back.
“Finally, I admitted I was done. I knew deep down that I didn’t want to go back out on the streets. I knew if I did, I wouldn’t make it back in because it was bad out there. I contacted an advocate at Mel Trotter and asked if I could come back,” she said. “I said that I wanted help and treatment and if I didn’t come in right then and there I wouldn’t make it.”
Her Covid and strep tests were negative and Mel Trotter sent a van to pick her up. She arrived on May 20, 2020.
“I was welcomed back. I had so much shame and guilt, but the staff welcomed me and encouraged me to stay. It took those long eight days to get myself back through these doors again,” Lisa said.
Now she’s in the six-month Step Up Recovery Program, plans to live in transitional housing, and has plans for the future. And she has Jesus. “I listened to Pastor Leonard talk about the Lord and I was open to it. I know there is something different this time and it is spiritual.”
Lisa has been at Mel Trotter for three months, reads her story Bible every day, watches Joyce Meyer on YouTube, and talks with her spiritual mentor. She attends a Celebrate Recovery program weekly and will get into AA and NA soon.
“God has placed some powerful people in my life. I believe in AA and NA and am slowing getting back into them. But God is what I was missing all along,” Lisa said. “The Lord is talking to me through people and I’m hungry for it. I needed this relapse to come back and get what I missed the first time.”
Lisa has dreams for her future. Her immediate plans involve a sober holiday season and seeing her children, ages 26 and 22, and spending time with them this Christmas. Her long-term goals are finishing the recovery program, taking care of her legal issues, and attending Cornerstone University’s PGS program (Professional & Graduate Studies).
“I would like to take all this addiction and turn it around and use it in a really positive way. I think I could really help people out there,” she said. “I have God in my life and I can’t say enough about what he’s already done for me. I can’t imagine what he’s got planned for me. I’m trying to be obedient, humble, and listen.”