Jessica came to Wellspring at age 15. She never knew her father and lived constantly on the move with her unstable mother. One night, at age 10, Jessica was left with her 19-year-old male babysitter who molested her and threatened to hurt her if she told anyone. This horrible abuse continued for two years. At age 12, her drug addict mother disappeared leaving Jessica alone with nothing. Desperate for money, Jessica turned to her babysitter who soon became her pimp. She lived out this tragic lifestyle until she was 15, when an undercover police officer arrested Jessica for prostitution, a crime she never wanted to commit. When given the choice of jail or a program called WellspringLiving; she chose Wellspring. Jessica entered Wellspring hurt and hopeless, remaining closed off for many months.
Miss Sandy, a volunteer who taught a cooking class to Jessica and the other Wellspring girls, witnessed how closed off Jessica was. “It pained me to watch Jessica shut down when anyone tried to talk to her. Every time she shrugged it was as if she withdrew deeper into herself.”
At Christmas time, Miss Sandy wanted to do something nice for the girls, so she had a group of them, including Jessica, over to her house one beautiful Sunday afternoon. Miss Sandy’s home included an upstairs picture window overlooking the beautiful, tree-filled landscape on her back property. When Jessica saw it, she sat right down in a rocking chair at the window and admired the scene.
“The usually silent Jessica, exclaimed, ‘if this was my house, then this would be my chair and nobody but me would sit in it. I would sit here every day and look out at these trees.’”
As the girls sat by the window, Miss Sandy told the story of her not so perfect life through divorce, bankruptcy, and many other hardships. She explained the vital role that her relationship with Christ played in pulling her out of her misery and that choosing to follow Christ without hesitation brought her happiness and healing in ways she never expected. She said, “Even when you don’t think God is anywhere around, He is there and he hears you.”
The next week, Jessica’s therapist noticed a major turning point in Jessica and asked about the exciting transformation. Jessica explained, “Ever since I went to Miss Sandy’s house and sat in her chair and looked out her window and heard her story, I realized that even when I don’t know God, He knows me.” In that moment, staring out into the tree-filled field, Jessica found hope.
Miss Sandy described Jessica’s hopeful story as this, “Looking out at the trees from my upstairs window, Jessica got a glimpse of what her life could be. It expanded her vision for her life beyond the pain of her past, giving her hope for the future. When these girls realize that you’ve weathered storms of your own and that God made something beautiful through it, a light clicks on in their heads. If you can accept them for who they are despite what they’ve done, just like God accepts you in spite of what you’ve done, it gives them a picture of who God is, and a picture of what their life could look like through His transformative grace. To me, that is the heart of Wellspring.”