A Life Changed: Madeline
December 28, 2018
When Madeline thinks back on her childhood, she remembers violence, abuse and drinking. At 6 years of age, she saw her father hit her mother with an iron. After her parents divorced, her mother’s drinking increased and promiscuity began. Her mom brought men home from the bar that made sexual advances towards Madeline and her siblings. As 1 of 11 children, she felt lost in the chaos of her home. At the age of 12, Madeline attempted suicide.
At 14 she left home, and was pregnant the next year. Her mother officially signed over Madeline’s guardianship to the state, and Madeline was officially abandoned. Within 6 weeks of giving birth to her baby, Madeline was raped and pregnant a second time.
In hopes of starting over, Madeline left her hometown of Witchita, Kansas, and moved to California. She had 2 marriages fail with abusive and dominating men. As a single mom of 2 children, she got into exotic dancing to support her family while she completed nursing school. Stressed and alone, Madeline started drinking heavily.
2001 was the year she received her first DUI, and saw two of her siblings die of substance abuse. Married once again, Madeline was stuck in a destructive cycle. “My kids saw my husband abuse me; they also saw me arrested. I thought God hated me. I was just no good.”
In 2016, God got ahold of Madeline’s life. As a functioning alcoholic, she would get up in the morning and start drinking before work. One day, she headed home thinking she was going north – but it was south. Madeline collided head-on with another car; her vehicle was totaled and both parties were injured. Madeline’s blood alcohol content was 0.22.
Madeline knew she needed help, and enrolled at Tarzana Treatment Center. There, she met some women who talked about a weekly worship service at "The Little Brown Church". They were a part of NorthEast of the Well in Long Beach, and invited her to come along.
“The first time I went to NorthEast I was welcomed by a volunteer who made me feel right at home. I didn’t want to only do AA – I wanted my recovery to be completely founded on Jesus Christ. I’ve been attending for 2 years now, and I tell everyone: NorthEast IS my recovery!”
Now sober and living for Christ, Madeline has new challenges to face. “Unfortunately, one of my daughters has taken the same path I did, with drugs, alcohol, and abuse – I can see the cycle repeat itself. The good news is, I have been awarded guardianship of my 2 grandkids and bring them to NorthEast every Wednesday night. I feel like the Lord has given me a second chance to raise kids and pour the love of Jesus on them.”
Madeline is not only part of our community, but actively gives BACK to our community: she sings on our worship team, shares her story openly, has provided dinner for the group, and even constructed large wooden crosses to be a focal point for our gatherings.
Madeline shares where she’s at today: “God has really, truly changed me. A few years ago, I would snap out of anger at the blink of an eye. Now, I’m on the Potter’s wheel and He is molding me. I am that new creature in Christ. I have decided that for me and my house we will serve the Lord: God is the forefront, and He is the center. Because of that I can praise Him through the storms … I used to turn to alcohol or just run away – but not today; today I stand.”