Dawn Taylor

Education Office – Administrative Assistant

My name is Dawn and I am 49 years old.  I grew up in a Christian home with a dad who taught me about the Lord.  I loved going to church and at the age of 11 I gave my heart to Jesus.  At the age of 12 my dad molested me and I wanted nothing to do with God.  I felt betrayed, abandoned and confused.  I turned to drugs and alcohol at the age of 13 and continued throughout most of my life.  Because I had good jobs making good money I thought I was okay.  I worked for Prudential Insurance Company for 10 years and after that worked in Manhattan for 16 years as an accounting assistant.  I married my high school sweetheart at the age of 21 and was divorced at the age of 26.  I also ended up in my first rehab for alcohol and free-basing cocaine.  I stayed clean for many years but I was always missing something, always empty inside and never really happy.

I met my boyfriend, John, and we were together for 16 years.  On May 9, 2005 my world came crashing down yet again.  I got a call from John and he was having problems breathing.  He said he was going to lie down.  He died a few hours after that phone call.  The autopsy said bronchial pneumonia.  He was 45 years old.  I was the sole beneficiary on his life insurance policy.  I received $200,000 in August and lost my job of 16 years in September.  I went on a mission of destruction.  The Marriott, Comfort Inn and Ramada became my home for the next 8 months until the money ran out.  I had a never-ending supply of heroin, crack, alcohol, and pills every day.

I was arrested for the first time in 42 years.  My life was out of control and I was living in hell with nothing but utter evil around me.  I wanted to die and I tried just that.  I was living at my mom’s in her basement and I decided to end my life.  I wrote her a note explaining how sorry I was but I couldn’t go on anymore.  Everyone would be better off this way.  I snuck out of the house at 1:00 a.m. and went to the railroad tracks with a bottle of vodka.  I polished off half of the bottle and sat on the tracks and waited for the train to come.  I knew a train came every 20 minutes or so.  In the distance a man was calling me over.  I ignored him, but he was persistent.  I told him I was busy.  He said, “Lady, you know a train is going to come, right?”  I told him I knew and I was waiting to catch the next one.  He insisted I come and talk to him.  So I staggered over to him and we walked down the block.  Here was a homeless guy who had nothing, telling me why I should live.  I argued with him about that point and then heard the whistle of the train.  I believe God sent an angel in my path that early morning to save me for something so much better.

I entered Teen Challenge in Brooklyn, NY in 2007.  I went through the program and eventually became staff there.  I lost my job and relapsed about three months later.  I called the Walter Hoving Home and came in for restoration in 2011.  I am now interning at the Home and I can’t begin to tell you how much I love working in ministry.   I get to see lives changed here every day and I get to give back what was given to me.   I never thought my life would end up here.   I love the Lord and I am so grateful and thankful every day how He picked me up and took me out of my mess.  There was a time in my life I couldn’t even say “Jesus,”  and now I can’t stop saying “Jesus.”  The verse I leave you with is 1 John 2:17 – “The world and its desires will pass away but whoever does the will of God will live forever.”