Inspiring Stories of Mercy Moms

Hi, my name is Ashley Patteson and I’m 27 yrs old. Before coming through the doors of New Life For Youth I was a broken, lost and desperate new mother. The road to New Life For Youth was one that was filled with many bumps and detours along the way.  I grew up going to church and even was in the mission field by the age of 16. I knew that God had something planned for me but I didn’t have an understanding of what it meant for God to have chosen me and what it meant to be called me to serve him. I ran fast and hard from God my junior year of high school, all the way until I was 26 years old.
                During my time of rebellion, I was arrested three times, over dosed three times and had a child and also lost part of my left lung. I was barely existing at this point in my life – I was not enjoying living. I was a space holder in society. My family took temporary custody of my son when he was 9 months old and I continued to see him on and off during the next two years. The fact of the matter is that if I was ever did come to see him, it was only because I had enough drugs to get me through the visit or to con or steal from my family.
                   In the winter of 2010 I came in contact with The Mercy House just to make my family happy, but I wasn’t ready to surrender my life to Christ for a year. I kept saying I can do this I’ll be fine just let me get a job and back on my feet. Well, God had a different plan for me! On March 31, 2011 I was confronted by my family about a large amount of jewelry and money that went missing. They gave me two options hit the street or admit that I had stolen from them. I knew that if I were to go to the street would be dead in a matter of days. For the first time in 10 years I gave in and admitted to robbing my family. I found myself in Henrico County Jail in isolation for the first week of my incarnation for detox and on the cell wall was “My will got me here, but HIS will be done”. It clicked! No matter how many times I went to the altar, it didn’t matter. If I kept picking MY will back up, God couldn’t give me HIS.
              In the summer of 2011, I was released from jail with 10 years over my head and 10 years  on probation and large amount in fines and restitution to pay over the next 10 years. I went to see my son that day and he wouldn’t even come to me at first it was as if he didn’t know me. On July 29,2011 I step through the doors of The Mercy House and truly gave God my broken pieces of a life and my will , ALL of it this time and for good.

After 30 days my son came to see me and it was as if I had never missed a day in his life. God has completely healed and restored my relationship with my son and my family. I’m grateful for tough love and the long rough road I took myself down because I now can look back and see I was never out of God’s great Grace. His hand has been upon my life from day one. Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous, do not be terrified do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you where ever you go.

I am thankful for the ministry of New Life For Youth and the love that was extended to me at the Mercy House.  My heart has been healed and now I have a calling in my life to reach other mothers through the ministry of Mercy Moms.