Marilyn grew up in a very strict religious home. “We weren’t exposed to alcohol...we weren’t supposed to drink or dance. I was the oldest and a preacher’s kid, so there was a lot of pressure on me to make sure everybody was happy, all the things were taken care of.”

Marilyn married young and became a nurse. A few years into her nursing career, her mom died, which had a huge impact on Marilyn.

“People loved my mom. She was a very good influence in my life. Her death influenced my alcoholism later. I went through a really unhealthy grieving process.” 

Later, when Marilyn was 44, she was introduced to drinking through friends at work. 

“When I started drinking, it was a gradual progression,” she remembers. “I started drinking more and more until I was drinking until I blacked out. I would say, ‘Just one bottle, and then I’ll stay sober.’ But one bottle would turn into bottles and bottles, and I would wind up in detox and rehab. And after rehab, I would pick up where I left off.” 

Marilyn tried to commit suicide twice. “I was in the hospital and they didn’t know if they could revive me,” she says. “I ended up in the ICU on a ventilator both times.” 

Praise God, her family found the Women’s Center program at Shelter KC! 

“I’d been in and out of other rehabs but they were not Christian. This place is long-term, and it’s helping me grow spiritually, mentally, even physically. I’m connecting and fellowshipping with other women, and there will be healing and reconciliation with family. It’s completely different from any place I’ve ever been.” 

“It’s helped me understand how to make better decisions. We would normally pay thousands of dollars for the curriculum and the courses we get here.” 

“I can trust God instead of me trying to fix everything. Being in God’s presence, I can listen to Him and hear His voice. Having Jesus in my heart is paramount in everything I do.” 

Today, Marilyn knows God has a purpose for her – to be a disciple. “I’m putting on the full armor of God so that I can deflect the devil’s arrows and attacks.” 

“I want to be in ministry, to be able to say to another woman, ‘I know what you’re going through, and here’s how we can do this together in Christ.’” 

Thank you for making a difference in Marilyn’s life through your prayers and support! 

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