Abby Johnson nears graduation and plans to take on the role of a House Shepherd. She shares her story of the new direction she found in life with God’s help.
Tell us how you came to TPOM.
I did not have to come to a halfway house, but I had been incarcerated for six years and I needed to be independent. This was a good way to start. I heard about TPOM from a friend and I read about a previous resident’s story.
What were some of your concerns when you first arrived?
I worried about family acceptance. I wondered how hard the whole process was going to be. Being around people again was hard.
How has TPOM been able to help with your reentry?
Those first five days were so important. I received clothing. I worked on the documents I needed and started my job search. The staff introduces you back into society slowly. Now my daughters and I are in family counseling to work on rebuilding our relationship.
What do you think people need to understand about incarceration?
People need to understand that we’re not bad people; we’re people who made bad choices. In fact, incarceration helped me to grow. I got my license that allows me to help people. God used my incarceration for goodness.
Tell us about your spiritual journey?
I lost my faith, lost God in my life because of some situations I went through. I didn’t feel like God heard my prayers. I discovered during incarceration that when I learned to sit down and be still, I could hear him again. I went through Celebrate Recovery and found him again. I trained as a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist. Now I get to help people with their recovery from substance abuse.
What goals do you have for the future?
I’ve got a great job helping people with recovery and I want to continue doing that. And I want to be in my young grandchildren’s lives and get to watch them grow up.
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