The Truth... What is it?





Another Special Life in Christ

These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the role model!
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!

 

Ivy Goforth:

She is the daughter of a minister, and I don't yet have details of when & how she came to belief in Jesus. Assuming that it was at a young age, below is the miraculous story of a life undergoing restoration as only God can do.

Somewhere along the way, he life took one of the tragic downward turns that so many believers get tempted into by Satan.

The Columbia, S. C. Women’s Shelter will celebrate its 25th annual Thanksgiving “Souper” on Thursday 18 Novemeber 2004. The fund-raiser supports the emergency shelter. Ivy Goforth learned how to build a life there; she tells her story as a way of giving thanks.

Ivy Goforth was praying. It was 2:30 a.m. And God spoke to her: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3: 5,6)

Goforth was lying awake in a bed at Morris Village, an addiction-treatment facility run by the S.C. Department of Mental Health. She was a 42-year-old crack addict; she had been using drugs on and off for 25 years, cocaine on and off since she was 24.

Each time she stopped using, she would go back. “It’s like you never left off; you pick up where you’ve been using. And each time, it’s worse.” She had tried a 12-step program.

“I did what I had to do, but I didn’t work the steps. I didn’t get a sponsor. Everybody would say, ‘Oh, she’s better,’ and I would think, ‘I’m better.’”

She had tried a geographical change. A graduate of Keenan High School and USC, a schoolteacher, she quit her job and moved to Texas. She left on a plane, her worldly goods following. Seven years later, she returned on a bus, carrying a barely filled suitcase.

She had tried church and the congregation’s prayers for her. After all, her father was a minister, so she knew a close relationship with God was possible.

“People would say I had been delivered, but if you don’t walk in your delivery, it doesn’t have an effect.” She had made amends, riding around town with a relative, trying to clear bad checks. Now, she was really tired. “I got sick and tired of the lifestyle, of trying to find ways to get more, of the lying and cheating, the people, the environment.”

At Morris Village, she opened her mind. She decided, “I have to do whatever it takes to stay alive.” Her 12-step program had taught her the likely progression: jail, institution, death. And she had a child, then 3. She wanted to raise John-Michael; she wanted to be a good mother, not a bad example.

“When I had my spiritual awakening, I was, ‘Wow, thank you, God,’” she says of that night. “I thought, ‘Oh, girl, you remember those Bible verses,’ and I recited some, and I thought, ‘Oh, you’re good.’ “But every time I’d remember another verse, it would go back to Proverbs. God kept saying, ‘No,’ and would go back to Proverbs:

“‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.’

“Maybe I got to the 20th time. It was about 4:30 a.m. God said, ‘OK, do you get it? You’re not hearing what I’m saying. I’m speaking to you. You’re not listening to me.’” So, she listened.

Her counselor was a recovering addict, too. She told Goforth to seek out wisdom. She told her to keep a journal. She told her to grow up. And Goforth, who had decided she wanted to live, followed directions.

She stayed at Morris Village for 52 days, missing Thanksgiving and Christmas with family. When she did leave, she didn’t go home to her mother and the comfort of a five-bedroom house. Still trying to grow up, still following her counselor’s advice, she moved to the Women’s Shelter on Main Street.

At the shelter, Goforth shared a bedroom for three months. She was required to find a job, but also required to be on the shelter’s porch by 5. every evening. “I learned a lot,” she says. “One big lesson was humility, sharing with others.”

When she was hired by Adams Mark Hotel, she was required to save all but $10 a week, her allowance. She was required to pay $3 a day in rent. She learned to budget, how to take care of her body, how to keep a regular schedule, after the “vampire” life of a user. She had to help cook and clean. She met with counselors, took a meditation class, took parenting classes.

“It’s zero tolerance,” she says of the shelter staff. “They’re compassionate, but they teach you how to be responsible.” Goforth graduated to transitional housing, still attending classes and counseling, her allowance up to $40 a week, her rent $160 a month. Then she was encouraged to move to St. Lawrence Place, which provides homeless families with transitional housing through Trinity Housing Corp.

She was afraid; this was a neighborhood where she had bought drugs. But Kathy Riley, executive director of the Women’s Shelter, told her, “We’re like Easter ladies; we’re ladies resurrected from the dead.” So for two years, Goforth and her son lived at St. Lawrence Place.

Last fall, Riley called to offer Goforth a house, the same house Goforth had rented from the shelter. The house came with furniture, a washer and dryer and microwave and, for Goforth — through a city home-ownership program — a loan with a 4 percent interest rate. “Thank you, Lord,” she says.

John-Michael likes having his own computer, but adds, “What I really like in this house is I have my mom. We’ll stay in this house for years, and we’ll go on and on and on.”

Goforth is accounts-receivable administrator at Adams Mark now. She says, “They have a compassionate heart. They give people a second chance.” She tells her story as a way of paying back the Women’s Shelter. “It’s a safe haven,” she says. “I still call it my home. I go back to see people because people came back to give me what they had learned.”

She will celebrate her fourth year of abstinence a few days after the “Souper.” It was life or death back then, she says.

“That’s how I look at things today: Will this help me live? Or will this help me die?” From The State newspaper 16 Nov. 2004, Claudia Smith Brinson.

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(posted 17 November 2004)

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You have just read a very brief example of the powerful, supernatural transformation of a person's life which is possible through the acceptance of Jesus as your savior. Are you tired of life as it now is for you? He will accept you just as you are right this second! Consider accepting Jesus now [check it out]!