I became a teen mom at the age of 17. The beauty that came from being a teen mom was my handsome son. I experienced all the struggles for being a teen mother. Trying to continue high school, hanging out with my friends and having a mother that made it clear that it was my responsibility to deal with the consequences of such actions. At the age of 18, I met and married who I thought was to be my husband for life. He was my dream husband. He was the one that would give me the perfect life. So I thought! We had the start of our family. It was the perfect start of the good life.
I had no idea what I was in for.
From that marriage, I had two beautiful daughters. Life was good. So I had everyone believing. All while becoming a survivor of domestic violence, physical, and mental abuse. I was that girl that thought that I had it all together and could keep it hidden from the world. We even tried to live a somewhat picture perfect life. I was that girl that not only survived the abuse but, I became that girl that decided to take a stand and get out of it.
As a result of that decision, I led a life of not being able to provide for my kids. We lived in one bedroom off of my grandparents' house that could only hold a bed. One bed that three kids and I slept in. During all of this, my grandfather who was a pastor and my grandmother continued to care for us, nurture and pray for and with us.
This was not the life that I had planned for my little family.
I turned to drinking, partying, another failed marriage, and a lot of other things that cause me to cringe as I think back on them. But God had other plans for my life. Plans of true love and the opportunity to become the women that He created me to be. 18 years ago, I met the man that I knew without a doubt, God had sent my way. He saw in me what every other man had stripped away. He saw the beauty in my ugliness. He saw love. He saw me in the way that Jesus sees me. He saw me as a beautiful child of The Most High. Praise be to God!
Neal's heart and passion had always been about serving and ministering to the homeless. My heart and passion had always been youth ministry. The thirteen years of serving as a youth pastor and street youth minister brought our two worlds colliding. God began to direct us to where we are today.
We now serve as founders of Transitions 4 You, Inc., empowering families in our community to achieve stability in the areas of housing, employment, finance, and spirituality.
I love to speak into the lives of women who have a story like mine. Transitioning into better circumstances is not always easy, but it is doable. I want others to know that they do not have to settle for their current state. God has a much bigger plan for their lives and I want to speak hope into their futures.~Jermiah 29:11~ tells us that God has good plans for each of us. Not a life of destruction and oppression to prostitution, drugs, alcohol or depression.
Together, Mine and Neals passion is to educate and equip people as they transition from their current situation, into the plan of God for their lives. Melding our separate passions and gifts in order to serve those in need, has been the realization of both our dreams. God has called us with a fearless love and compassion for those living in the motels.
We could reach them all if every one of us would dare to get involved in the life of just one person. It's not only a call, but it's also a mandate we all must heed!
Let’s go impact the lives of others for the Kingdom of God!
Neal and Lisa Harris