I would like to speak about a woman who has helped many lives… A woman who has been there no matter what, a woman that has always strived to see the best in everyone, Lori Chaisson.
I met her when I was 15 years old but she didn’t know the type of child that she had encountered yet. Growing up I was a troubled child in and out of foster care and at the age of 15 I already had an attitude of a 21 year old, which made me very hard to deal with.
I must say there are soooo many stories we have and bad situations I put her in, but I would rather just speak about her and how she has helped mold me into the beautiful young lady that I am today. Lori has been my backbone for many years. She was very dedicated to anyone in life who was willing to grow. Even when your slamming the door in her face, she is there on the other side… saying, “Are you ready now to talk about this”?
She has helped me plan my life and open my eyes to see there is more to life then just the streets and foolishness. Lori has helped me in different stages of my life.
Now… I’m not a kid anymore, she has helped me with my schooling, job searching, parenting, housing, finding referrals, understanding life and why things are a certain way. I look at other young females in this community and think if they had Lori in their life they would know what to do. By her teaching me it helped me to speak to other young ladies that are struggling.
I feel what Lori is accomplishing is HUGE for our community. A lot of young girls need the genuine help, talks, guidance, the pat on the back… to hear someone say, “I’m here for you”, to hear someone say, “I care what you do with your life.”
I was Lori’s pearl, she molded me while I was going through my rough patches in life. I was in a shell… “Lori’s shell”. I was the pearl she has now released me to this world and just like a pearl I’m able to melt others hearts because I was showed the unconditional Love, now I can go out and be successful because I have been taught how. Now the question is why would I want to share her? The answer is I DON’T.
But I know so many others need her as well… so, I will!
In 1985 I thought I was marrying the "perfect" man. He had been a police officer- now truck driver and tried hard to always do his best. This man and I had three children together and then my perfect life would change. In 1995 he began to drink and later became abusive. My bubble popped, actually, it BURST! In 1999, he hit rock bottom. He raised his fist to our 4-year-old daughter, which I caught!
When the abuse was about me I didn't have the strength to fight for myself because I believed all the lies he was telling me...
I was nothing without him... if I left I would never see my children again. However, when he raised his fist to my daughter, I told him to leave or I would call the police. He would have to get help away from us.
Now I had 3 children, 13, 7, & 4 and no money...he drank his way through all of it. I couldn't tell anyone! I was alone and scared. I got a phone call a week later and he said he wanted to come home. I said he would have to get well first. The next day I received a phone call that my husband had died in a car accident-drinking and driving.
I was so alone and knew I couldn't raise these kids on my own, I was still believing the lie… that I wasn't a good mother without him. I later found out that their father had also abused the boys while I worked. I thought I had stopped it when I caught him hitting my daughter but my sons had been living through it already! I was devastated. I was broken. I felt angry, deceived, and felt like an idiot.
We had to move and my oldest son started to have anger issues-I was scared of everything and everyone; that's what I had been reduced to. I had just enough social security to "get by.“ We stayed in our house where we felt safe! But I lay awake every night in fear. My neighbor said she had something that could take the edge off, so I started to get high with her while the kids were at school.
An old friend came back into my life and saw the mess we were in. If we were going to make it I would have to get help. This friend brought me to a church with her. Right away my son started receiving help from men and began to change. The longer I went the more I felt ashamed, I walked out, I was leaving and not coming back!
God was already beginning a plan that would forever change my life and the way I felt about myself. I met Lori (Chaisson, founder of Into the Clearing), now a very cherished friend. We made arrangements for lunch. I said she could come to my house, because that was my safe place. I had never told anyone anything about what had happened to my family. I thought it was my entire fault. She came to my home and began sharing the love of Jesus with me. How could anyone love me? I had believed every lie - that I was completely worthless.
I received so much from Lori. Now, I had a family to walk through this tragedy in my life. I was no longer alone!! I didn't get the way I was overnight, and I had to walk through some hard stuff to break down all the walls…but my life started to change. I was never going to get married again and allow another man to control me again, but I also learned that God restores your life. I was a single mom with little to no hope. I became a Kindergarten teacher and am happily married to a wonderful man. My life has new purpose and direction!!