Content warning:

This story mentions suicide.

Intense trauma caused Terry to go into hiding. 

“I was in a bad car accident…” she said. “Technically, I died three times at the [scene of the] accident, but somehow, the ‘man upstairs’ brought me back.”  

Recovering from a car accident alone would be challenging enough. But a year later came another crushing blow, when her husband died by suicide. “I fell apart,” Terry said. 

After this terrible loss, she felt herself withdrawing.  

“When I lost my husband, I wouldn’t go out. I would barricade myself in my house,” she said. “If I took my dog Tippy out on a walk, it would be at night. I just didn’t wanna see people. And the pandemic didn’t help.”

Terry lived with her parents for a time, and shortly after, her mother passed away. Then she bounced around staying with her children, but things were tense and she needed to find a new place to live. 

If it wasn’t for Mary, Jen and Bob from the DIC, I wouldn’t have made it.”


Finding a place to live in Whatcom County was hard. She moved the housing search to Mt. Vernon, with no luck. Eventually, a friend took her back to Bellingham to stay in the Mission’s former emergency shelter, the Drop-In Center (DIC). 

“I’ve made some friends at Agape,” Terry said. “If it wasn’t for Mary, Jen, and Bob from the DIC, I wouldn’t have made it.” Her dog, Tippy, also helped her through.

After a time, Terry moved into Agape Home. 

At the Lighthouse Mission, she said, people started trusting in her and it was mind-blowing. They believed in her. They helped her find structure and the classes helped her learn a lot. They helped her find housing, too!

Terry also got baptized. She felt a nudge to make this declaration of faith. “I think it was somebody upstairs,” she said. So she did it, and ever since then, she feels different.

Her goal is to start living life boldly instead of hiding away. She doesn’t want to let fear keep her in one place. She also wants to keep God in her life. 

“He’s made me go this far and I don’t wanna lose that,” Terry said. “It’s like he’s giving me more strength to do more like I used to do.” 

Terry told us, “I’ve learned more about who God is, what he’s done for me.  My eyes are more open. I’m not scared no more.”