“April is going to sit down and help me create a budget. It will help me not spend money in the wrong ways. I used to buy stuff that I really didn't need but that I wanted. Now, I only buy what I absolutely need,” explains Betty.

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Betty was addicted to spending money. It was as simple as that. “I made some bad choices as far as my finances were concerned. I was living on disability checks and got behind on my rent. When I was down on myself or lonely, I would fill that void by spending money,” she says.

The void began for Betty at a young age. She grew up in an abusive home and lost her mother as a young child. It wasn’t until she spent time with another family that she realized how much her childhood affected her life. “I grew up thinking that abuse happened in all homes. Living with my friend, I realized what a real family was, and I started dealing with the abuse,” Betty remembers.

Through lots of therapy, she was able to gain enough independence to move into her own place. But then Betty learned she had more to work through. When arthritis in her knees and ankles kept her restricted to home, she felt bored and lonely. She tried to keep busy, which often led to shopping online. “No one ever taught me how to budget money, and if I had it, I spent it,” Betty says. When she couldn’t afford her rent and her adult children were no longer speaking to her, she came to Fort Collins Rescue Mission.

“I came here and said, ‘I’m going to fix this. Things are going to get better,’” Betty says recalling her determination. She was happy to move into the Mission because of the Christ-based program. “I'm 51 years old, and I came here starting over. I also started over with the Lord. I rededicated my life,” she says.

Part of the process of starting over for Betty has been discovering her passions. Through work therapy at the Mission, she’s been spending time in the kitchen. “I thought I couldn’t do anything because of my arthritis. But after coming here, I realized that the more I'm on my feet, the better I feel. I love cooking. They love my scrambled eggs here—I'm getting famous for them!” Betty chuckles.

She delights in kitchen work so much that she’s planning to attend culinary school. In the meantime, Betty enjoys having her kids back in her life, taking classes on Wednesday nights at the Mission and attending chapel services every evening. “I enjoy those because it’s helped me have a closer walk with the Lord and learn more about him,” says Betty.

CLN August 2013

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Betty's story was featured in the August 2013 issue of Changing Lives titled "Discovering A New Life"

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