Updated: Nov 21
We called ourselves a family, and we really were the closest thing to a family that any of us had ever known. We lived together, cried together – we did everything together. My time with Levi, Danny and the girls – those were the good times.
As I sat with my parole officer after the sting, all I could think about were the good times, and how I’d never have those again.
“Tasha," he said, concern in his voice. “It’s serious. You’ll probably do some real time unless we can prove that Levi and Danny threatened you and the girls.”
It wasn’t really a threat, I thought. They were just trying to support us. Support the family.
He said there was another option and told me about Her Song.
As he was telling me about the program, I started to think about the bad times with Levi, Danny and the girls. The men they brought home to us. The constant cycle of fear and love we were all living in. Maybe this was my chance to leave all of that behind.
“I’ll try it,” I said half-heartedly.
When I started Her Song’s program, I was nervous. I was used to living in a house full of girls and used to having rules, but I didn’t want to mess the opportunity up. As I began to work with Her Song’s case manager, she eased my mind. She helped me learn to both accept grace and give myself the grace to grow.
Through my doubts and fears, I began to discover new dreams – strengths and talents that I never knew I had. I discovered a new faith in God, and began to feel a calling to help others who have experienced similar hardships as my own.
Passionate about this newfound calling and purpose, I asked my case manager what it would look like for me to learn to do the same type of work.
Four years later, after graduating from Her Song and my local college, I embarked on my own career in social work. It finally felt like the Lord was creating something good out of the pain I had endured. Because of my personal experiences, I was able to empathize with others who had faced adversity and help them break free from their pasts.
Not only do I finally believe that new beginnings are possible for myself, I now believe that new beginnings are possible for anyone with the courage and determination to pursue them. I am finally free, and helping others to break free. And I can’t think of a better purpose than that.
*This story is inspired by true events.
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