THE HOPELESS PLACE
This has been a crappy week. We lost our second girl at the aftercare house in a month. She was 2 weeks from graduating the 9 month program & left. This was her second time in the program & I didn’t doubt her success for a minute. I’ve been Her spirit and brilliance radiated. I couldn’t wait to see her share her testimony and minister to other women walking through the fire.
The other one that left was in my class. She was an eager student from the beginning. She had a heart for learning and a love of people. I knew that once she found her voice and confidence, God was going to do great works through her. And then, I showed up one day and she was gone. No clue where she is now.
And so, I sit. I sit and I ask God if this is all really worth it. Is the work that he is asking me to do worth it. How can I be following his will and purpose if these people keep turning from Him. How can he be leading me away from my kids, husband, and job to do work that is fruitless? How is this truly His plan? I feel helpless today. I feel empty. I feel hopeless. I feel like the literal life has been sucked out of me. Its one thing to see people struggle, but it’s another thing to wonder if even God can pull them out of the insane state of Hell that they’re living in. It’s this crazy cycle which is a direct result of their trauma. I don’t have a license in this department. I just see the aftermath & it sure is a difficult situation for those of us trying to speak life into it.
My only saving grace is that I have to focus on God’s grace for us. All I can think is that We, God’s children, disappoint him every day. We make poor decisions and leave him disappointed. Regardless of the extreme parameters, this is the same with the people I work with. There will inevitably be more bad days than good. We just must persevere & know that above all, He is God. He is mercy, grace, and love.
THE HOPE-FULL PLACE
Ms. D: The first time I met her was when I took dinner to the house. She was quiet and withdrawn but joined us at the table. She kept her head and eyes down and only glanced up occasionally when someone asked her a question or passed a dish. After finishing her meal, clearing her plate, and thanking me for dinner, she excused herself to her bedroom for the rest of the evening. I gave her space and didn't push. My only hope was that she could eventually see Jesus through me and feel loved, welcome, and safe. Over the course of the next few months, I was able to see her blossom like a flower. Each week, she became a little more open. And, then one day when I showed up, she was sitting outside in the sun, looking radiant, and smiling ear to ear. She hugged me and told me all about her new job and how great everything was going.
Ms. A: I came to the house one Wednesday afternoon excited and anxious to be meeting two new girls that I would begin a weekly class with. I came in and sat down in the living room ready to get to know the ladies. She sat there silently drawing in her binder and not looking up. I finally asked her to tell me what she thought about the book as well as the upcoming class. Her response was "I ain't ever had no boundaries, nobody never taught me no boundaries, and I don't need to read a book about boundaries." The following week, I returned to teach the class, and after just two chapters, had a completely different student sitting before me. As I walked in, she excitedly told me "Miss Brandi, I love this book! It's changed my life. I wish I would have had it fifteen years ago!" And, she carried that excitement throughout the rest of the book!
A PLACE OF HOPE
As time went on, I built a great relationship with both ladies and relished watching their journeys unfold as God truly restored them.
Then, last night, I was able to see the beauty of God's work in action. We, celebrated their graduation from the 9 month program. The church was filled with staff members, volunteers, fellow church members, advocates, and the ladies' families that traveled hundreds of miles to be there.
We listened to their accomplishments and kind words spoken about them. We saw them fully transformed as they shared what this journey meant to them. But, the most beautiful sight I may have ever witnessed was seeing them both with arms stretched high, worshipping a God that never gave up on them. With tears streaming down their face and music playing, they praised a God that loved them and chased them before they ever knew him.
There will inevitably be more times of hopelessness along this journey. There will be more days of heartache and feeling the pain of helplessness. But, in those times, I will cling to the image ingrained in my mind of those ladies, arms stretched high praising my God and I will HOPE.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."
Hi! I'm, Brandi, founder of The Power Project, and I'm so glad you're here! I have this crazy belief that we can all do anything we set our minds to! Sometimes, you just need to hear it from a stranger on the internet. But, we're not strangers anymore. We're friends now. Welcome Friend! I hope you find some inspiration, encouragement, and empowerment here.