In my time at Maggie’s Place, I have cried. I have cried tears of exhaustion after a long day of work, tears of sadness when someone I love is in pain, and tears of frustration when I feel inadequate.

Living in a house full of women, it can be extremely challenging to hide those tears. Someone will inevitably ask you, “Have you been crying?” when you walk out of a room with puffy eyes and a red face. As someone who typically fakes an “I’m fine,” it has been a challenge to let myself see the beauty of these tears. I have slowly begun to realize that these times of vulnerability have shown me the beauty of my life at Maggie’s Place.

Pope Francis said once, “Sometimes in our lives, tears are the lenses we need to see Jesus.” I am surrounded daily by the face of Christ in the moms, babies, and MissionCorps of Maggie’s Place, but often it takes a good cry to clear my eyes in order to see him. With my eyes cleared from the fog of familiarity and routine, I can finally see that God has his hand in every aspect of my life, from the tiniest donation just when we need it, to an intimate glimpse into the heart of one of the moms. In every moment God is here, and I see that all the more when I am humbled by my inability to hold back tears.

The tears that will inevitably come after a setback or a day of feeling like we have done nothing good, those tears are a gift. A gift that illuminates the presence of grace in our lives. Through my tears, I have come to see that not only am I surrounded by Christ in the beautiful women of my home, but I am not alone in this struggle. God is with me at every step, and he will not let my tears be in vain. God’s got this!

By Zoe Apel, a MissionCorps