Writer, business woman, lay minister...mother, daughter, wife, friend...with a past and a future. This is my story. This is our story. This blog is the compilation of my experiences and the women I meet in the ministry. It is our gift to you.
*Names may be changed to preserve the confidentiality of the work we do. The facts of their experiences will not be altered. I hope to be honest, unbiased and clear; however, this blog is not a politically correct place. This blog will be used to glorify God, spread the Good News of the saving grace of Jesus Christ and to encourage other believers in their own walk.
Our clients come and go; some by choice and others not. Our beautiful friend here, decided in February that she was ready to get out on her own, share a place with another church member and take her new job at Church's chicken (okay admittedly, she does love fried chicken!) and we were so pleased that she came to us, talked about her decision and then in a few days moved on.
What's more fun is when the call comes in later, a month or two down the road, saying she was just thinking about us and wanted to check in. She is doing great, she tells me with excitement and enthusiasm. The church is helping her with transportation and work is going well. She is continuing her volunteer hours at the local homeless shelter to maintain her food stamps, assistance she does still need and she is learning how to be a good roommate and sister in Christ to another woman.
It's like a mother's pride I felt, I have to admit. I remember the day at Woodman State Jail when I interviewed MC to be approved into our housing program. She was polite, fresh faced, sat straight in her chair knowing this was one of those life changing moments. God knew it too. It had nothing to do with Spirit House Ministries, we are just a conduit for what He wants to do in the lives of those that are making great changes toward Him. But we asked to be used by Him and in that day, I gave MC her clearance and directions for her first few days out with Spirit House.
I remember the first day we picked her up; Belinda and I had purchased clothing for her ride home and anxiously drove to the unit and waited. She was shaking with excitement and some fear as she got into our car. She couldn't wait to get off the property and started asking a million questions, thanking us over and over for helping her, for actually showing up, for the clothes she kept pulling out of the bag....the thank yous went on and on. They always do!
Emotionally we tend to invest alot into our sisters; we can't seem to help it and as a women's prison ministry I guess you can't really expect much less. We are, after all, women. We're emotional and attach'y and just like to love on one another in special ways that guys just don't get! So when we make sure there is a pair of earrings in the bag, or some perfume to remind the newly released woman of her femininity, well, the response is always overwhelming.
MC stayed with us for four months. She had her rough spots, her angry spots, her sad spots. Then she had moments of growth and change and joy. I watched her train another in the business aspects of Texas Studios, our print company where we can occasionally give some of the women work when necessary and the job warrants additional hands. I watched her take a young woman, only 23, fresh out of rehab under her wing and calm her those first few days. I saw MC give of herself in new ways, opening herself up for hurt and pain and some tears but also some joy in feeling the changes God was making in her heart.
It doesn't ever hurt to get that phone call that reminds us, no matter the rough spots and hard times in this ministry, that God is doing the work He intended to do and as long as we keep on being obedient to His call and His will, we will be blessed with witnessing the good as well as the struggles. We are made stronger though each and every woman who walks through our doors. But this week it just didn't hurt to get that call, that thank you, that keeps us going too!