A couple years before the Covid pandemic, Debra was living in St. Petersburg, Florida where she owned her own cleaning business. Life was stable, work was good. As Covid began spreading and lock downs began to be enforced, her cleaning business started losing clients. Shortly after, things started to spiral, Deborah eventually lost her home and found herself at a crossroad and relapsed after a 7-year sobriety. She left St. Petersburg on August 12, 2020 and ended up stranded in the one place she didn’t want to return, Ocala. Soon after, she lost her driving privileges due to none payment of insurance, lost her car and had to give away her emotional support animal. In 2021, she found herself in the hospital, where she spent a month and half. She was in the hospital fighting for her health, heavily medicated and though medically prescribed unable to get clean. Just after her release, Deb began another sobriety journey; which this time only lasted a few months. It wasn’t until sometime later, waking up with a wet blanket near the Interfaith building Deb was done. “With balled fist, I hit the concrete and declared, ‘No more, God, no more!'”, Deb recalled. She remembers finally looking up to a Father she knew had been with her and being ready. Ready to do whatever she needed to do and follow the steps to regain her life.
Through all of Deb’s battles, with substances, with Covid, with loss, fighting for her life; she knew the staying power of her Creator. She also knew the destructive power of free will. For many years of her life and throughout her battle to sobriety, she knew the Lord. Even when she was making decisions without Him, she recalls knowing He never left her. He was steadfast even when she was running in the opposite direction. When speaking about how she landed here in Ocala and at Wear Gloves, she credits it to God.
Deb recalled her interview here at Wear Gloves, “During my interview with the lady here, we spoke about the Lord.” Deb expressed her gratitude for Wear Gloves, “they gave me the opportunity to be who I am.”, she said. Wear Gloves has given Deb the opportunity to work, pay her rent, replace her dentures and get her Driver’s License reinstated. Stability is the key to most every sobriety story and Deb has found that here. “Without Wear Gloves, I would not be here. I love my job. They gave me a chance. They gave me self-respect. They gave me my life back. And I don’t even think they realize it.”, she said through tears. “I can use my energy here….and I can enjoy my life now.”, she said confidently.
Deb works on the liter crew cleaning our local parks and she loves every good day, hard day and hot day. She looks forward to seeing her coworkers and Ken and Wendy. Deb’s outlook on where she is now is so positive, “Everything in my life right now is a blessing from God.’, she proclaimed through happy tears. Deb is out there, being productive and doing her best with the tasks she is given. “I believe God had a plan, even through my self-inflicted troubles.”, she acknowledged.
Now Deb has a plan of her own. With God and the stability of her work and family at Wear Gloves, Deb is moving towards her goals, one step at a time. She has experienced the staying power of the Lord, but also of the people He is using to encourage her, love her and show her grace right here on campus. Deb’s story has its share of trial and setback, but it’s also been full of redemptive grace and hope for every next step.