MIDLAND—Trapped in an unhealthy relationship, LaCheryal Royal didn’t know what to do. If she left, she didn’t know where she and her two young boys would live. She didn’t know how she could support the family. She just knew she had to do something.
“I had been praying to God for a refuge to get out of my situation,” Royal said. “I didn’t know what to do. I stepped out on faith.”
Nearly out of money, she was accepted into the Buckner Family Pathways program in Midland. When Program Director Sindy Muro handed her a set of keys to a two-bedroom apartment, Royal couldn’t believe it. Then she discovered it was fully furnished. She was astonished.
“Things have been great for me at Buckner,” she said. “When I got into this apartment, my ex-husband wanted everything back—the clothes, the washer and dryer, everything. When I got in, I didn’t realize everything that came with it.”
Royal has blossomed since arriving at Family Pathways. Counseling and support groups have helped her learn how to set boundaries with others. She’s gained confidence as she completed her classwork for her elementary school teaching certification.
Now, the woman who once considered herself “broken” has the brightest smile in every room. She’s warm, caring and outgoing. She is putting her teaching skills to use with her children, ages 2 and 4, with nightly lessons on reading and basic skills.
“She is our go-to person,” Muro said. “She helps us all the time. She’s part of our resident council. She puts together our monthly newsletter. She’s a role model her for the other women. She’s strong in her faith and that shows to the other women.”
Royal enjoys each moment of her new life, soaking in the sounds of her children’s laughter, playing games with them at the dinner table and working on a book she hopes will encourage other women in difficult places.
“I didn’t want to be seen as another black single mom,” she said. “I didn’t want to be a statistic. But once I gave it to God, I realized that’s a worldly label. My kids need to be safe. They need so much more than me worrying about being a label. What I was afraid of is exactly what I’ve embraced. I love it.”
Now she sees an even brighter future on the horizon for her family. She is an elementary teacher, and her children go to school where she works. Her family is safe, secure and able to help others.
“I made a covenant in here with God,” Royal said. “I want to give back. When I transition to being fully financially independent, I want to give back. I have not lacked for anything. My kids have not lacked for anything.”