I remember my very first drink. It was magical. I was 12. And I chased that feeling for twenty years!
This is my story.
Who is God?
I never understood God, even though I had a family who practiced religion and rituals. With Mormonism at the center of our household, I saw God as unapproachable and scary. I knew of Him, but stayed away in the shadows.
Even though it was against our religion, my mother drank alcohol. She was an alcoholic. At the age of twelve, she brought me into that secret world. My mom taught me how to drink. We drank when the family business was in jeopardy, we drank to celebrate, we drank when my parents were fighting, and we drank just to drink. I was her confidant; her best friend. Sadly, more times than not, I was the adult giving advice.
Small Town to Big City
At age 19, I moved from small town Montana to big city L.A. Soon after, my significantly older boss left his wife for me and we were married. He was the first man to find me beautiful, sexy, and attractive. Now, a relationship built on lies and sin helped me finish my education of “the world.” Drinking and drugs were a daily part of who we were. That was my new norm.
Yet I was so depressed I was cutting myself. I attempted suicide five times. I was in the intensive care unit once for attempted suicide and, looking back, I am still alive because my God saved me…. He rescued me. HE reached down and grabbed me and said “You are MINE and I love you.”
I couldn’t understand that anyone could love like that with no strings attached, no expectations, all-in, no matter what. I had not lived a good life. I was an alcoholic, I did drugs, I cheated—on my marriage, at work, and at school.
After a devastating loss I attempted suicide again. It scared me enough that I began trying to get and stay sober. I would make it for a few days or even months of sobriety and then I’d relapse. With more attempts at suicide the loss of my marriage, friends, and family relationships made me feel totally hopeless.
By the grace of God, was able to keep my job. I had just started as an assistant manager for Starbucks. My store manager was a Christian and my first example of what it meant to truly love someone. Every single Monday for over a year she invited me to church.
And then God turned up the volume by sending other Christians to work at my Starbucks.
What is this Church Thing?
After a year of invites I finally went to church, just to pacify my coworkers. It intrigued me. I longed to know that God loved me, but I honestly didn’t think it was possible unless I cleaned up, repented, paid penance, or did something to get in HIS favor. But I was tired of fighting a losing battle. So in February 2009, just about two years sober for the third time, I gave my life to the Lord.
I wish I could say that in that one moment I was completely healed, and my life was turned around. But I struggled, I relapsed, and my drinking was worse than ever before. One night, the Lord grabbed ahold of my heart. I finally realized that HE, the Maker of the Universe, loved ME, and that changed everything! With a new family of believers around me and Biblical counseling, God began healing me from the inside out.
I started asking “what if?” What if there were a way to show other women with no hope, God’s hope? What if HE used my past for HIS good?
I know coffee, I know retail management, and I know how to read a room and see who is hurting and who needs help. These thoughts and some amazing “coincidences” that can only be explained by looking at it through God’s eyes led me to the dream of a coffee shop that’s not just about the coffee.
Omega Espresso Bar is about bringing hope and healing for women who have only seen the dark and dirty of the world. It’s a place where women can find hope and be loved. Here, they can learn valuable skills and be given an opportunity to grow and tangibly experience Who He is, the Creator of all things beautiful.