Another Special Life in Christ
These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!
She is the daughter of a minister, and I don't yet
have details of when & how she came to belief in Jesus. Assuming that it was at a young
age, below is the miraculous story of a life undergoing restoration as only God can
Somewhere along the way, he life took one of the
tragic downward turns that so many believers get tempted into by Satan.
The Columbia, S. C. Women’s Shelter will celebrate
its 25th annual Thanksgiving “Souper” on Thursday 18 Novemeber 2004. The fund-raiser supports
the emergency shelter. Ivy Goforth learned how to build a life there; she tells her story as
a way of giving thanks.
Ivy Goforth was praying. It was 2:30 a.m. And God
spoke to her: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:
Goforth was lying awake in a bed at Morris
Village, an addiction-treatment facility run by the S.C. Department of Mental Health. She was
a 42-year-old crack addict; she had been using drugs on and off for 25 years, cocaine on and
off since she was 24.
Each time she stopped using, she would go back.
“It’s like you never left off; you pick up where you’ve been using. And each time, it’s
worse.” She had tried a 12-step program.
“I did what I had to do, but I didn’t work the
steps. I didn’t get a sponsor. Everybody would say, ‘Oh, she’s better,’ and I would think,
She had tried a geographical change. A graduate of
Keenan High School and USC, a schoolteacher, she quit her job and moved to Texas. She left on
a plane, her worldly goods following. Seven years later, she returned on a bus, carrying a
barely filled suitcase.
She had tried church and the congregation’s
prayers for her. After all, her father was a minister, so she knew a close relationship with
God was possible.
“People would say I had been delivered, but if you
don’t walk in your delivery, it doesn’t have an effect.” She had made amends, riding around
town with a relative, trying to clear bad checks. Now, she was really tired. “I got sick and
tired of the lifestyle, of trying to find ways to get more, of the lying and cheating, the
people, the environment.”
At Morris Village, she opened her mind. She
decided, “I have to do whatever it takes to stay alive.” Her 12-step program had taught her
the likely progression: jail, institution, death. And she had a child, then 3. She wanted to
raise John-Michael; she wanted to be a good mother, not a bad example.
“When I had my spiritual awakening, I was, ‘Wow,
thank you, God,’” she says of that night. “I thought, ‘Oh, girl, you remember those Bible
verses,’ and I recited some, and I thought, ‘Oh, you’re good.’ “But every time I’d remember
another verse, it would go back to Proverbs. God kept saying, ‘No,’ and would go back to
“‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean
not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your
“Maybe I got to the 20th time. It was about 4:30
a.m. God said, ‘OK, do you get it? You’re not hearing what I’m saying. I’m speaking to you.
You’re not listening to me.’” So, she listened.
Her counselor was a recovering addict, too. She
told Goforth to seek out wisdom. She told her to keep a journal. She told her to grow up. And
Goforth, who had decided she wanted to live, followed directions.
She stayed at Morris Village for 52 days, missing
Thanksgiving and Christmas with family. When she did leave, she didn’t go home to her mother
and the comfort of a five-bedroom house. Still trying to grow up, still following her
counselor’s advice, she moved to the Women’s Shelter on Main Street.
At the shelter, Goforth shared a bedroom for three
months. She was required to find a job, but also required to be on the shelter’s porch by 5.
every evening. “I learned a lot,” she says. “One big lesson was humility, sharing with
When she was hired by Adams Mark Hotel, she was
required to save all but $10 a week, her allowance. She was required to pay $3 a day in rent.
She learned to budget, how to take care of her body, how to keep a regular schedule, after
the “vampire” life of a user. She had to help cook and clean. She met with counselors, took a
meditation class, took parenting classes.
“It’s zero tolerance,” she says of the shelter
staff. “They’re compassionate, but they teach you how to be responsible.” Goforth graduated
to transitional housing, still attending classes and counseling, her allowance up to $40 a
week, her rent $160 a month. Then she was encouraged to move to St. Lawrence Place, which
provides homeless families with transitional housing through Trinity Housing
She was afraid; this was a neighborhood where she
had bought drugs. But Kathy Riley, executive director of the Women’s Shelter, told her,
“We’re like Easter ladies; we’re ladies resurrected from the dead.” So for two years, Goforth
and her son lived at St. Lawrence Place.
Last fall, Riley called to offer Goforth a house,
the same house Goforth had rented from the shelter. The house came with furniture, a washer
and dryer and microwave and, for Goforth — through a city home-ownership program — a loan
with a 4 percent interest rate. “Thank you, Lord,” she says.
John-Michael likes having his own computer, but
adds, “What I really like in this house is I have my mom. We’ll stay in this house for years,
and we’ll go on and on and on.”
Goforth is accounts-receivable administrator at
Adams Mark now. She says, “They have a compassionate heart. They give people a second
chance.” She tells her story as a way of paying back the Women’s Shelter. “It’s a safe
haven,” she says. “I still call it my home. I go back to see people because people came back
to give me what they had learned.”
She will celebrate her fourth year of abstinence a
few days after the “Souper.” It was life or death back then, she says.
“That’s how I look at things today: Will this help
me live? Or will this help me die?” From The State newspaper 16 Nov. 2004, Claudia Smith
***give me your comments about this
(posted 17 November 2004)
You have just read a very brief example of the
powerful, supernatural transformation of a person's life which is possible through the
acceptance of Jesus as your savior. Are you tired of life as it now is for you? He will
accept you just as you are right this second! Consider accepting Jesus now