Teresa Rountree

I’m going to start with the worst tragedy in my life.  I got married to my husband, Steve, in 1988.  We had a baby girl named Amber.  Not even two months later Steve drowned by falling out of a boat and getting tangled in moss.  I jumped in to try to save him but in my attempt I myself got tangled in the moss.  I was tired and could not tread water anymore and I felt like I was in a tunnel.  Sounds were all muffled and right when I was about to give up, someone untangled me.  I made it back to the bank.  I looked back and saw no sign of life.  I went to get into the car and it wouldn’t start.  I had to walk two miles to phone for help.  I went back to the pond with an officer and the car was moved.  I asked, “How did you get the car started?” and they said, “It started right up”.  They searched for an hour and then called in divers from Columbus.  Before the divers came, the officers snagged his body.  The Chief of Police asked me “How did you get out of the moss?”  I said, “I guess it was God or His guardian angels.”

If that wasn’t enough, his family blamed me for his death and never had anything to do with me or Amber.  I went into a deep depression.  I guess I can say that was my own Vietnam.  After that I turned to alcohol as my answer.  I went many years from relationship to relationship of abuse emotionally and physically. 

Then, my second daughter, Ashley was born and her Dad wanted nothing to do with her.  He was an alcoholic and drug user.  Ashley had trouble in grade school and ran away a lot and I had to lock the doors with pad-o-locks for her protection.  It seemed I was a prisoner in my own home, but I did it out of love to keep her safe.  Ashley has a disability that’s called ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder).  She has trouble processing things correctly and makes poor choices.  She eventually started climbing out of windows and was put in shelters.  I was so depressed that they took her from me; I turned to alcohol again, but much worse.   I felt like a failure as a mother.  No one in my family wanted anything to do with us, except my loving mother. 

I have lived with several family members just to be told to leave.  Then came the day when I was told to leave again and I was brought to the Mission.  I just gave up and wondered when they were going to get tired of me and tell me to leave. 

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

But a wonderful thing happened.  I came to faith in Jesus and became a new believer.  I go to many Bible Studies in different churches.  I attend chapel every night at the Mission and I go to morning devotions and Church on Sundays and other activities; to gain as much knowledge as I can about the Lord. 

I feel like a sponge, absorbing all the good news of God and always craving for more.  I am in the Samaritan Program and I am studying many classes.

I am so blessed that God showed me the way.  For if it wasn’t for the Mission and staff I would still be out there sinning.  I still struggle and stumble, but God doesn’t always make life easy.  I know I will stumble and fall, but He helps me get back up and walk his righteous path to eternal life. 

I hope that someone here would find some inspiration in my testimony, as I am a good example of a person who totally gave up to rising up again as I grow in my Christian walk.  God bless you all and never give up.  God has a very special plan for you and if you stumble, get back up; for the Lord God will help you see the light.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


Teresa Rountree