The island of Oahu is a beautiful piece of paradise where many people come to get away from the routines of daily life and have a bright and sunny vacation filled with things like tanning on the North Shore beaches, snorkeling in the water of Hanauma Bay, and shopping in Waikiki. Although this island is filled with beauty everywhere you look, there is a flip side to this paradise. A side that you would never see on a postcard, this paradise is full of people who are living on the streets, who are addicted to drugs, and whose souls have lost all hope of ever getting out of their situations.

 There are many organizations here on Oahu that have been put in place to help these individuals to get on their feet and to turn their lives around. I have been blessed to be involved in one of these. This time is especially blessed for me because I am in recovery myself.

 Women’s Way is a drug and alcohol treatment center where women come in with their children to learn how to be successful mothers as well as learning how to have a successful recovery. The last six months I have been volunteering there has been such an adventure! I have connected with, and developed great friendships with the women. One of the women who fascinate me the most would definitely be Rosalind, also known as Roz.

“My name is Rosalind, not Ronalind. Don’t ever call me that again!” where the intimidating words that flew out of Rosalind’s mouth when I first met her. I had apparently said her name wrong. (I would advise to never do that!) I immediately was scared of her, and took a mental note to stay away from her from then on out. As much as I tried to steer clear of Roz, I could not. Women’s Way is not a very big facility. Amazingly, the more I talked to her, the less intimidating she was, and the more I looked forward to our next talks!

It was one of our first conversations together when Roz told me that her daughter’s name that she was still pregnant with at that time was going to be Alexis Irie Rose. My first thoughts where about how she must be joking with me and someone just told her to tell me that! When I found out that she was not messing with me but telling me the truth, I was so shocked! Her daughter and I have the same first and middle name! It was at that point when I knew God had placed both of us in each other’s paths for a very specific reason.  

Through many visits to Women’s Way Roz has opened up so much to me. Piece by piece she has revealed her story to me. And what a miraculous story it is! Roz is currently 25 years old. She was actually 22 when she started doing crystal meth, also known as Ice. Her addiction didn’t take very long to take over her life; it became so unmanageable she became homeless. Not only that, but she soon found herself pregnant and still unable to stop. She was seven months pregnant when she decided to admit herself to the treatment center so she could clean up her life, and offer a better life for her baby girl.

Roz’s time at Women’s Way has not been the easiest. And although I am considered staff, and Rosalind a client, it has never gotten in between us. She, like myself, tends to be a very crafty person. So when things became too much for her we would spend some time scrapbooking together where she would let off some steam and relax. Roz tends to be a bit of a trouble maker, with a lot of attitude. ( hmm.. We definitely don’t have that in common ;) ).. She actually fell into temptation a few months ago and relapsed. What a mess that was! She almost ended up leaving. I am so glad everything got resolved and she ended up staying. I knew the Lord was not done with her yet!

 While in treatment, Roz has also experienced heartbreak. Chad, who is the father of Alexis, (and who was also in jail) had promised a future of true paradise, a paradise where the three of them would have a stable life together, and where they could be a real family. He ended up breaking that promise when he was released from jail as he quickly fell into old illegal habits and was sent right back in. He also started being unfaithful to Rosalind which caused the ending of their relationship. She has showed extreme strength by going to court against him and gaining full custody of Alexis. Praise the Lord for that outcome!

‘Second wind’ is a running term used when a person gets renewed energy after they were at a point of exhaustion. When I think of Rosalind’s situation this term is the first thing that comes to mind. Although she still gets in trouble now and then for her mischief, ever since her relapse I have seen her determined to better her and her daughter’s life. Her relapse has also opened up doors for us to talk about Christ, as well as her experience with the church. The fact that she is still trying to seek God after all that has happened to her.

Rosalind’s adventures have caused her to think about what is important: first and foremost, her relationship with Christ, and then providing a stable future for her little girl, who is about 7 months old now. And such a ray of sunshine! (BTW! I saw Alexis crawl for the first time today!). As of today Roz only has about a month left in the program. After her graduation is complete she will be headed to The Philippians, where her family will be her support team, and also will help her get a place of her own!

This truly remarkable story of Rosalind’s life has taught me to put the past behind. How simple and easy life is when we actually do that! I am very blessed the Lord placed this amazing woman into my life! Although I have no idea what the future has in store for Rosalind, (or myself actually) I do know as long as she is trusting in the God there is nothing she can’t do! If after our time on this island is up and I don’t see her again in this life, I know I will be seeing her someday in paradise.