Christina hopes to find stability and freedom from addiction


Christina has struggled with alcohol and
homelessness during her life.

When asked if she grew up with both parents, Christina takes a pause.

She was raised with the man she believed was her father. However, she found out later that her mom had an affair, and she was a product of that. At 5 years old, her mom married her biological father. This was a secret she didn't uncover until high school.

"I don't understand why they kept it from me for so long," she said. "I always wondered why my 'dad' would never show up for me, when the whole time he wasn't my real dad. It would have saved me a lot of questions."

Christina started binge drinking in high school after a childhood of access to alcohol. "My mom has a picture of me in a diaper with a can of Budweiser," she said. "At the age of 10, my parents would buy 6-ounce cans of beers for my sister and me to drink. We would always drink with my parents as children. When I got to high school, I could drink anyone under the table."

Despite her habits, Christina was a professional ballet dancer, something she did in part to "keep her mother's love and approval." But after a car accident ended her dance career and resulted in her losing her scholarship, Christina's drinking escalated even further. "I was drinking to numb the pain. I was drinking because I lost my identity."

Christina became depressed and suicidal. "I didn't have God in my life and was just a shell of a person. My dad called me one day and asked what I was doing. I was honest: I told him I was researching ways to kill myself."

"I was sobering up, and every time I sober up, I fall into depression. I feel like nothing is inside of me. The one time I haven't felt that way is when I went to Teen Challenge about 15 years ago and met the Lord. I had joy without drinking. I read my Bible and could not wait to lay down at night to talk with him."

Even though Christina loved this new relationship with God, after she left Teen Challenge, she went back to drinking. It was a cycle Christina repeated for years, and she experienced homelessness many times.

Last year, Christina's husband died of cancer. "I was glad I was sober for 10 months, because I had to care for him," she said.

But the day after his death, she started drinking again. She lost the trailer they shared and became homeless. When she started considering hanging herself with an old sheet she had lying around, Christina called the police for help.

She came to the Lighthouse. "When I first arrived, I resisted God. I didn't think there was any chance for me to get better. I just wanted to be done with this life."

Every time the trains passed by, Christina would pray God would give her the courage to lay down on the tracks. But things turned around because of the staff. "They are so wonderful and kind here and they bless us so much," Christina said.

Christina plans to go into the Lighthouse's transitional housing after the program. As a certified arborist, she wants to open her own landscaping business, and is building her portfolio by doing work around the Lighthouse. She loves gardening and is teaching a few of the ladies and children.

Christina said the Lighthouse has made her feel hopeful again, as she's began to walk with God. "I don't want to get run over by that train anymore," she said. "I no longer want to give up my life to anything or anyone but Christ."