There’s a popular Nicholas Sparks book and movie out now called “Safe Haven”; it’s the story of a young woman who bravely escapes an abusive situation and eventually finds safety and love in a new community. That hopeful theme is echoed in the life of current Maggie’s Place mom Dana and her daughter Miya, who also found safety and love in a new community by coming to The Zechariah House.
My last relapse was so spiritually devastating. I really believed that I had passed the point of no return. My name is Cynthia, and I am an alcoholic. I have been in and out of meetings since 1992, and have been in and out of recovery since 2003. This last time, I picked up on Christmas night, 2009 after being sober for 8 months. I had even done my first 5th step in August of that year. I was on step 8, yet never made it to 12.
When faced alone, pregnancy, at any stage of life, can be frightening. Like many of us, Maggie’s Place mom Christine didn’t have the perfect past, but her determination to correct her mistakes is producing unmistakable change in her and her son’s lives.
I felt it was going to be impossible to find a safe place for me to stay during my pregnancy. When I found out I was pregnant, I was living on unemployment check-to-check and the father of the baby was in Atlanta, GA. I quickly realized that this was not working; I found myself looking for homeless shelters that would take me in my second trimester.
A few months ago, I received the biggest compliment of my life. After inquiring about my long To-Do list and overwhelmed feelings, my fellow staff member simply listened and then thanked me for my human-ness. I sat there looking stupidly at her, thinking, “That’s not something to be proud of,” as if my own humanity were a disease from which to run and hide. Are weakness and limitations beneficial and praiseworthy qualities? Since I’ve had some time to reflect on this, I now realize that my own humanity, as well as that of others, is something which I’ve had the privilege of encountering here at Maggie’s Place.
A couple of weeks ago I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a talk with our moms by a pastor from a local church. At one point during his talk he asked the mothers about their lives. They courageously shared their hardships, troubles, and some shared intimate treasures that were stored away in the crevices of their hearts. As each of their stories unfolded, I was struck by the beauty and fortitude of each woman in the room.