Felessia Ayala found a place to belong when she stopped using drugs to fill the emptiness in her heart. Every attempt to escape her emptiness hurt everyone she cared about. Her road to recovery began when she recognized her life consisted of only pain. STCH Ministries Homes for Families (HFF) supplied the resources she needed to restore her family.
During an attempted suicide, Felessia experienced a dream she believes came from God. Surrounded by absolute blackness, two roads appeared. She also saw God’s hands pointing, indicating the choice was hers to make. Despite the drug-induced stupor, she recognized her destructive path was because of her own decisions. She was not at rock bottom, but she returned to what she calls the “insanity” of addiction and homelessness. When she had exhausted all her options; she realized she wanted to do better, to be better.
Felessia’s mom helped her move into Restoration House Ministries (RHM) in Victoria. RHM’s residential program is dedicated to the service of women who desire freedom from addiction and bondage. One day, during group prayer time, Felessia felt God’s love surround her for the first time in her life. The love and acceptance she had received transformed her, she felt accepted and precious. She responded to God’s grace with surrender – she no longer hid from life nor traveled the road of destruction. Felessia accepted God’s gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sin, which was bought through Jesus’ sacrifice and sealed with His resurrection from the dead. She came to new life that day.
Felessia wanted to move to HFF but the fathers of her children did not trust her with their care. She took the matter to God in prayer and He moved in the hearts of the men. Circumstances changed for one of the fathers and he agreed to return the two oldest boys, James and Cameron, to Felessia on the same day she moved to HFF. Her boys held on to the anger and hurt they felt towards their mom. Felessia knew she had been healed from the past and now it was her sons’ turn. The support of staff, other moms and the parenting curriculum at HFF gave Felessia the strength and skills she needed to listen and allow her boys to express their feelings. The three sat in her walk-in closet, cried and prayed together. The presence of God encircled them and it was in that prayer closet their hearts knitted together as a family.
Three months later, her dream for a restored family came true. Zachary and Mackenzie’s father reached out to Felessia, as he noticed positive changes she had made and wanted to discuss reunification with her and the children. For the first time, Felessia had all four children with her, under her protection.
Felessia is now in the “launching” phase of the HFF program. She works part-time at a local hotel, recently purchased a car and has begun classes at Victoria Beauty College. The decision to become a hairstylist came from a forgotten dream she had as a young girl. Through this process, God has restored her hope and dream for a successful future.
“God is my provider. I’ve learned this through my time here,” she said. As a part of the HFF program, Felessia’s finances, physical needs and spiritual needs were met so she could focus on being a mom. Rebuilding relationships and creating new habits took courage and commitment from everyone involved. Today, Felessia and her family give God the glory for His work in their lives.