Cerria’s husband abandoned her when she was seven months pregnant.
Part of her was glad he was finally out of her life. He’d threatened her with a knife. But because he worked to put a roof over their heads, without his support, she knew she’d struggle to survive on her own.
Because of the high cost of daycare, she couldn’t find gainful employment. So she and her girl ended up sleeping in the park. Although Cerria didn’t get much rest. “It was so scary,” she remembers.
What little sleep she got was from riding city buses all day, starting at 4 a.m.
A Desperate Cry for Help
Many days, she would kick herself for getting into this predicament. “Why did I ever decide to have a baby with this man?” she would ask herself. But soon the hurt, loneliness and feelings of abandonment turned into a desperate plea to God.
“Why doesn’t anybody love us enough to help us?” her spirit cried out.
It was a counselor at another shelter who told Cerria, “You need to get out of here. This is no place for a baby.” That’s when she came to Metropolitan Ministries — the day before Thanksgiving — and found the miracle she had been praying for.
“I was so thankful,” she remembers. “All I could do was cry when I sat down to that first meal.”
Finally, Cerria and her daughter were someplace where they felt safe. Where they had a room of their own. And counselors who could help her begin to rebuild her shattered life.
Moving Full Speed Ahead
“It was like I was able to hit the reset button on my life,” she thought.
With the roadblocks in her life now removed, Cerria is working hard to finish her GED, then wants to continue her education at a technical school where she hopes to one day work as a medical technician.
What has last year taught her?
“I’ve learned that God will never leave your side, even in the dark places,” she says. “He brought me to Metropolitan Ministries when I was at the end of my rope and didn’t know what else to do. I prayed and prayed and He opened the doors. I’m grateful for that.”
To others, her advice is simple: “Never give up,” she says simply. “When you’re already at the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.”