Stories - Joyce

“As a little girl, I remember wanting to be loved by my father.” Joyce describes her father as handsome and funny, but her stifled smile reveals the burden of a painful memory–“My father was an alcoholic.”

As the years progressed, so did his drinking. He became less lovable and emotionally abusive towards her. Many years later, his words still sting powerfully, impacting her as she struggles to voice them; “If you don’t lose weight when you grow up you’re going to be the fat lady in the circus”. Haunted by his words, she began to doubt her own lovability. In fact, she’s still hurt by those words, even to this day.

Broken, chasing after love and self-worth, she made poor decisions; gravitating towards people she could “fix”. A few marriages and bad relationships later she was exhausted and still searching. In 2005, she received an invitation to attend Mountain. “I fell in love with Mountain and I started to get in the Word”. Little by little she began to break away from her old behaviors and bad habits.

Happily re-married today, she and her husband both attend Celebrate Recovery. It’s something they look forward to every Friday night. “I’m able to take all of the mess of my life and share it with these women in an honest and real way–they are able to see they’re not alone, that God takes this mess and turns it into something beautiful”.

Today, she knows God loves her, no matter what she's been told, how she looks or what she's done.