A Life in Progress – Hayley

Growing up without a mother, I knew right away that my life would be difficult. When she died, I had to live with my dad and grandparents. My dad and grandfather drank a lot, and my grandma had to take care of me. She was always present when my dad was not, and she was the only parent figure I had. It took a toll on my grandparents, who eventually moved out of the apartment.


When I turned 18, my dad went to rehab, and I became homeless. I was upset with God as to why He would put me through this. Shortly after, I met someone I thought would be the missing piece of my loneliness. I became pregnant at 19 after a few short months of dating. What was I going to do with a child and homeless?


I decided to get an abortion. I arrived at the clinic and waited in the room with my boyfriend next to me. When I got called in, I was alone. I swiped my card for the $300, and it was time. I was 19 with no family and upset with God. The doctor came into the room and gave me an ultrasound. She announced that there were two babies inside me. I felt a warmth rush over me, and I started to cry. She asked me if I’d like to see the ultrasound sound, and I said YES! I told her, “I don’t want to go through with this.” She told me I wouldn’t get a refund, and I told her again that I didn’t want an abortion.


Five months later, on January 20th, 2013, my beautiful identical twin girls, Madison and Miley, were born. As the girls grew up, their father and I grew apart. He started using drugs and was in and out of rehab. Then, my relationship with his family, my only support system at the time, began to fail.


I started to make bad choices, and his mom kicked me out with the babies. I began to drink socially. As a single mother at 21, I stayed at shelters and women’s and children’s homes, trying to take care of the girls. I felt alone and abandoned AGAIN.


Being homeless, I decided it would be best for the girls to stay with their grandma on their dad’s side of the family even though I wasn’t allowed in her home. Not being able to see the girls as often as I liked and feeling like a failure because I wasn’t able to provide, I was mad at God again. I blamed him. My drinking was out of control by now, and I got into car accidents, lost friends, and embarrassed myself numerous times.


I was able to push through the next year and get an apartment, and the girls came back to live with me. I felt like God was there, but then COVID-19 hit; I was laid off, and the world shut down, and my addiction worsened.


I drank while driving with the girls in the car. That’s when I knew it was enough; I hit rock bottom. I started attending Calvary Chapel Old Bridge and was introduced to the Bridge Woman’s Center and Ground Zero, an addictions recovery ministry. I felt like it was a family. I admitted how severe my addiction was getting. Someone recommended I go to Barbara’s Place, and I decided to go. I felt God was there again.


Barbara’s Place to me is not a rehab but a family, a recovery base, a resting ground, and a safe place. I felt God’s presence during the six months I was there. I learned so much through my trauma and struggles in my life. The staff is incredible, though far from perfect, but I saw God working in each of them. At Keswick, I have the community and support I was longing for. I met wonderful sisters at Barbara’s Place that I stay in touch with to this day. My addictions do not define me. I am not an addict but a child of God.


God gave me the gifts of my twin girls and spared me in so many different situations, even though I thought He wasn’t there. I now understand what I didn’t see and why He put me on my path. God’s timing is always right.  Jesus always wins. Thank you, God, for my testimony.