Rachelle escapes past, becomes ‘new creation’ at Shepherd’s Door

Two years ago, Rachelle had no idea what sobriety meant. Drinking since she was eight years old, Rachelle had always found herself a slave to some sort of substance. It was an endless cycle of pain, drugs, hopelessness, and more. There was no escape.

No escape, that is, until she walked through the doors at Shepherd’s Door.

Today, Rachelle’s life has changed in amazing ways. And, more importantly, she’s learned an unshakable truth that has forever been solidified in her heart.

“God doesn’t lie. I haven’t caught him in one yet,” Rachelle told the crowd at Shepherd’s Door. “He’s thrown mountains in my life. He’s healed me from addiction. He’s healed me from abuse. He’s healed me from generational trauma. … God has given me my life back.”

He’s also given Rachelle her kids back as she has full custody of all three of her kids—something she never thought would be possible.

“He’s given my kids a life. He’s allowed me to break those generational curses, and now my kids will never have to walk a day in the same way I had to,” Rachelle exclaimed. “When I came here, my kids didn’t know the name of Jesus, and now they sing praises to the Lord.”

IMG_9459After graduating from the program last year, Rachelle has now completed a second year called Service, in which she helped out at the Mission and gained valuable work experience. In her role as Intake Assistant, Rachelle was often the first person a hurting woman talked to on the phone when seeking help. Looking at the five graduates at the ceremony, Rachelle expressed her joy at having been a key part of welcoming each of them to Shepherd’s Door, and awe at seeing God heal them over the last year.  “I’ve gotten to see the magical transformation that God can do in people’s lives. … He is good, all the time.”

Now, on the road of a brand new life with her three kids, and her time at Shepherd’s Door in the rearview mirror, the future is looking bright and hopeful. With a certified recovery mentor certificate in hand, a solid embrace on sobriety, and confidence in parenting her kids, Rachelle is not the same person she used to be.

“I love myself. And I didn’t love myself when I came here,” she said. “I didn’t feel I had any worth and value. But now I know where my worth and value comes from, and it comes from the Lord. It doesn’t come from anyone else.”

Rachelle continued, “I can step into the unknown now—with a little bit of fear, of course—but it’s not impossible anymore. I can do the unknown, and I know that God is right there with me. I don’t have to be afraid.

“He’s always there, and He provides you with everything you need.”

(SEE PHOTOS OF RACHELLE FROM SHEPHERD’S DOOR JUBILEE)

AMY BANGSUND ON RACHELLE’S RECOVERY JOURNEY OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS:

It has been my immense privilege to be in gospel community with you Rachelle. Over this past year, as we’ve done some of life together, watching you trust Jesus with big things and little things has encouraged me to do the same. You have faced a number of obstacles this year, and each time, you’ve brought your need to the Lord, as well as to your fellow followers of Jesus. You live transparently and authentically in gospel community while on mission for Jesus Christ. If I had to pick one passage in the Bible that reminds me of you, it would be Luke 21:1-4. Rachelle, you give everything. You give your time. You give your talents. You give your love. You give your listening ear. You give it all to Jesus, and I want to be like you.

FAVORITE SCRIPTURE OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS OF HER RECOVERY:

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT): “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

Rachelle’s reflection on this scripture: “I am so completely different than when I walked into the doors here at Shepherd’s Door. This scripture is a promise to me that has been fulfilled. And yet, He’s not done with me. He’s not finished.”

(WATCH RACHELLE’S STORY OF HOPE BELOW)