That’s how Ikea describes her spiritual journey, and there’s no doubt that God has carried her through many trials.
“My mom and brother and I fled domestic violence in Florida, but life didn’t get much better in Georgia,” she explained. “We had a lot of issues. My mom was verbally abusive and our relationship was toxic.”
Such a tumultuous childhood carried over into adulthood. Ikea struggled to find steady employment, bouncing from job to job and home to home. Her life was defined by instability… and then she had a daughter with special needs. That was a watershed event. “Having a child is wonderful. She’s an amazing gift from God. She gives me so much joy, and motherhood taught me a lot about myself.”
However, even as she devoted herself to her daughter, Ikea was also running out of housing options. Without steady employment or a close family, she and her daughter became homeless. But she never stopped trusting God, and He did provide.
“One night I was wandering through Kroger, and I saw a lady there. I just had a sense she could help, so I approached her. That was God’s leading for sure, because she was the one who brought me to Atlanta Mission.”
“Just knowing that we would have food and shelter meant the world to me,” she said. “But they’ve done so much more. So many people poured into us. They helped me grow as a person, a Christian, and a mother. My daughter has also made outstanding progress, and I’m very proud of her.”
Today, Ikea credits her many struggles with forcing her to depend on God, and says her faith has been greatly affirmed at Atlanta Mission. Now she’s working on forgiving her mother.
While Ikea isn’t sure where the Lord will lead her when she leaves Atlanta Mission, she knows God will continue to care for her — just like He always has. “The Lord gave me and my daughter a chance for stability and a better life at Atlanta Mission. I’m so grateful He brought us here.”