Resident stories

No Longer Untold: There's Nothing Too Dirty

Taking in a deep breath, she laid her bags on the floor, sat on the edge of the bed, and her eyes began to wonder. White painted walls, a bedside table, one picture of a tree, a long hanging mirror, and a small dark wood dresser filled the room.  Thoughts of fear, disappointment, resentment, shame, failure, and hope consumed her mind.

She thought to herself, “Why was I born? Why am I even still alive after all that I’ve been through? Why couldn't my life have been like someone else's, you know, why couldn't I have had a happier life, with an awesome family? Why did I get handed this life?”  

Feelings of pity suddenly emerged, and a burst of anger swept over her hardened heart. While despair took away any hope she previously felt, her mind began to run rapidly once again, “I don’t even know who I am. Wait... yes I do! I am Victoria! I am the prostitute! I am the rebellious daughter! I am the druggie who will never recover! I am the misfit! I am a waste of space, and if this place doesn’t help me, then nothing will.”

Interrupting her rumination, was a soft innocent tone coming from her three year old daughter, “Mommy is this the new home you told me about?”

As her eyes skimmed the room once more, and she tried to keep from crying uncontrollably, a single tear ran down her flushed cheek. “Yes baby girl. This is our new home,” she replied.

“For how long mommy?” asked Emma.

Victoria answered with uncertainty, and hesitation, “I’m not really sure. I’m guessing for a while. However long that is.”

Sitting next to her mother, Emma wrapped their arms together, and there on the edge of the bed, they sat in complete silence.

After some time had passed, Emma relaxed on the floor while coloring pictures, as her mommy began to unpack, filling up the space in the empty closet, and dresser drawers. Reminiscing on her life before this moment, Victoria began to relive her past sexual abuse as a child, the abandonment from her father, absence of her mother, the alcohol/drugs, “John’s,” and strip clubs. “I’m so dirty,” she thought again.

Although, what consumed her mind the most, were the last three years in particular, and how she became the same mother that she swore she wouldn’t be. At such a young age, Emma was already showing signs of pain, anger, and hopelessness. Victoria turned her head, looked through the reflection in the mirror, and caught a glimpse of her daughter playing quietly on the floor. That same little girl she was looking at, reminded her of the abandoned child that she once was, and her heart broke even more.

Glancing down at her watch, and seeing that it was still early afternoon, she decided to change clothes, and go to bed anyways. “Maybe after some sleep, I’ll be able to escape some of these feelings. Maybe in the morning, things might feel different. Maybe in the morning, this will all make sense,” Victoria reasoned with herself.

“Come brush your teeth,  let's get your pajamas on, and lay down,” she ordered to Emma.

Like usual, and without question, her daughter conformed to the circumstance by which they were in. The two of them cuddled in the bed that afternoon, and all throughout the night, until early morning came.

This was me. This was my daughter. This was part of our first day at Refuge.

I finally came to the end of myself.

Although painful, there’s something freeing, humbling, and altogether beautiful about being completely broken. Partly, because all the things that keep a person's heart and mind bound, can no longer hold them down. However, I believe it’s mostly because you have finally come to the very end of yourself, and hit what most would call, “rock bottom.” It’s a place that leaves you unbecoming, and allows room for your creator to take precedence in your life.  

Have you reached the very end of yourself?

If so, what did it take for you to get there? Divorce? Death of a loved one? Failure at meeting the world's expectations for your success? Rape? Murder? Greed? Self Hate? Fear? Perfectionism? Loneliness? Addiction?

If not, what do you think it will take? How far must you go in life before realizing that there is something greater than mankind, and greater than yourself. Do you need to have a near death experience? Do you need to overdose on drugs, or drink yourself into committing murder by driving drunk? Do you need to get an STD after committing adultery, or lose your hair after purging for 5 years? Do you need to worship a god that never speaks back to you for another 15 years of your life?

What will it take for you?

For me, coming to the end of myself took years of running in search for love, belonging, and significance, in all the wrong places. I also ran from my pain, but ultimately caused more of it through the decisions I made, which led me in the viscous cycle of “running” all over again. The world, and my life circumstances were the grounds for decision making on who I was, and what I thought about God. My mind, my heart, and my soul were completely lost. I tried every avenue available to me in order to cope with life, yet, I was never truly fulfilled.

My final straw though, was when my two year old daughter cursed at me in anger, and I chose to numb the pain with unprescribed prescription medication, causing an accidental overdose. Regretfully, I laid in bed vomiting for about 4 days, one of which I spent several hours cycling in and out of consciousness.

Before this occurrence, there were previous times I had drank too much, or taken too many pills, but this time it was different, and as I laid there, I heard a soft whisper in my mind that said, “Are you done yet?”  Although it was not audible, it was overwhelmingly apparent that this question was coming from a place greater than myself,  and somehow, I was certain that it was coming from God. I knew that if I took one more pill, I would die, and my daughter would not only be fatherless, but motherless as well. So, in response, I cried out, “Yes I’m done. I’ll do whatever you want. I'll go to Church if that's what you want.  Just don't let me die.” I didn't want my daughter to go through the same things I experienced as a child, or make the same choices I had, and if I continued living life the way I was, that's exactly what would have happened.

That night, I knew I needed a refuge.

Fear crippled me, and shame kept me feeling alone. The things that bound me, stayed hidden in my mind, and for years my story went completely untold.  Thankfully though, because of the obedience of many, I was able to move into a place that allowed all of these bondages to be revealed. Refuge for Women gave me a safe place to talk about all of my pain,  as well as, provided me with an atmosphere where I could find the real Victoria.


Genesis 1:27 (NIV) says,

“So God created mankind in his own image,

in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them.”


I’m no longer “running” to find out who I am, and why I am here. I am no longer searching in all the wrong areas for my identity, but instead I’m continuously looking towards my creator for this answer. Everyone has a story, however, the story of my life went untold for far too long, and there are many others going untold as well. So, because of this, I will no longer sit back, and stay silent. I will no longer keep hiding all of the garbage that consumed my life, and I definitely will not keep quiet about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the reason for all of the hope that I have.


I tasted, and saw that the Lord was good, and haven't returned to the mess he found me in.


My story is No Longer Untold.


Grateful Follower Of Jesus Christ Since 2012


His love is overwhelming, and there is nothing too dirty for Jesus.


A song about Jesus Christ.

"Clean" by Natalie Grant:

Watch the video here:


I see shattered

You see whole

I see broken

But You see beautiful

And You're helping me to believe

You're restoring me piece by piece


There's nothing too dirty that You can't make worthy

You wash me in mercy

I am clean.

There's nothing too dirty that You can't make worthy

You wash me in mercy

I am clean.


What was dead now lives again

My heart's beating, beating inside my chest

Oh I'm coming alive with joy and destiny

Cause You're restoring me piece by piece


There's nothing too dirty that You can't make worthy

You wash me in mercy

I am clean.

There's nothing too dirty that You can't make worthy

You wash me in mercy

I am clean.


Washed in the blood of Your sacrifice

Your blood flowed red and made me white

My dirty rags are purified

I am clean


Refuge for Women is excited to announce that we have assembled a team of writers, more so, a team of listeners, who are dedicated to sharing what God is doing in every RFW home across the nation. This blog will stand to give a platform to those who have been shushed, hidden, and locked away. Refuge for Women is going full exposure with our Blog launch series, “No Longer Untold.” May the light of Jesus Christ that has shown so heavy on this ministry shine through each, and every blog written. Softening hearts, and connecting everyone no matter their journey in life.


Share this post to make their stories known. Like us on FB to hear more. Follow our blog to join the movement. Pray with us and take part in this community of activists. Let’s be storytellers.

There is More to come! You can expect stories from the writing team every first, and third Wednesday of the month.


Disclaimer: Identities of residents should always be protected, for this reason we use pseudo-names for all current and former residents. Please note resident quotes and testimonies are provided for use by Refuge for Women, Inc. and its subsidiaries for the purpose of general communications and updates to staff, volunteers and potential supporters of Refuge. The contents of testimonies should not be used for any professional publications without permission from Refuge for Women, Inc.