Their Stories: Francisca (Kika) Cortez

Before I came to My Safe Harbor I was so indecisive! Decisions were hard for me and I made a lot of errors because I didn’t know how to say no. I was always overwhelmed and my family came last.  I came to MSH because I met someone who told me there were classes that might help me get ideas to help my family. I thought my family was pretty normal. Most of the families I knew were just like us. I had no idea how much I was going to learn and how much I was going to change!

I was always stressed and overwhelmed. My spiritual life was just turned off. But as I got more involved I began to see that I could change. My decisions needed to be more purposeful and intentional. The practical tools I gained were so eye-opening to me. One day in class it struck me that it wasn’t just things at home or with my children, it was ME who needed to start cleaning out and getting rid of the things that crowded out my family and made life so stressful. I tried to hide everything – if it looked good on the outside, things would be fine. But when I looked on the inside…oh my!

I found out how to set goals and make better use of my time. I found that I had more time for family and for myself and that I could start dreaming again about the things I wanted. One of my big “aha! moments” was when I realized how much others were demanding from me; people I considered friends. Once I began to make better choices, I also started making better friends.  Today I am so much better at choosing friends and being wise with not just my time, but my heart.  I had to realize that I had friends who were not good for me.

The biggest changes for me have come in my relationships – especially with God and with my family. It’s like the light has come on and I know God is giving me strength as I draw closer to Him. And I really began to see that I could enjoy my children. They are getting the priority of my time and attention. My relationship with my oldest son is the most improved. He had a tough time adjusting to the new me and the new routine, but now he knows that I’m not only paying attention, but that his decisions bring consequences. He’s becoming a better decision-maker, too! He plans to achieve his dream of being an architect…of course that may change before he graduates. We are both thriving in the new world of dreaming about the future. We’re connecting and making goals and working together and my other children are watching and joining in, too. Consistent discipline has been good for all of us.

I’m so grateful to all those who are making MSH programs possible. People here want to truly help you. They make me feel warm and welcome and offer sincere friendship and support. It’s a place of great discovery. I had no idea the things I would learn and how it would change my life. I can’t imagine living life without MSH – I have new sisters and an extended family. They don’t ask anything of me except my best effort and that I give back. I would never have dreamed that I’d be a leader, but now I’m actually helping with one of the Mother’s Clubs. There are so many other women around me with challenges like I had and even worse. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to bless others the way I have been blessed.