They come to us unexpectedly. They come to us broken, betrayed, and burdened by a world that has let them down. They come to us looking for a place of peace amidst the storm they’ve been trying to survive. Their passage through our front door transforms them from a stranger to our beloved sister in a single moment. Love lives here.
They come with a suitcase full of worries, fears, and doubts. They unpack their hearts slowly, day by day, moment by moment. Stories unfolding and wounds reopening. The tightened fist begins to loosen and the bitter heart begins to soften. Their souls begin to recognize the light once again. A light that became unfamiliar to the darkest places of their hearts. This light begins to seep into the cracks, and melt away the fear that has frozen their ability to let themselves be loved. The light casts out their darkness with a gentle and steady warmth. Love remains here.
LOVE LIVES HERE. The kind that doesn’t abandon you, use you, or rip the rug from underneath you. Love lives here. The kind that believes in you, the kind that has faith in who you are as a precious daughter of a good good father. The kind of love that stays with you until the storm passes. The kind that holds your hand as you learn how to walk again, and cheers you on as you begin to run. Love strengthens you here.
When we walk with each woman as she learns how to love again, our own hearts are challenged to be vulnerable with theirs. To face our own fears, wounds, and insecurities. We take a leap of faith when we allow our hearts to love them hard and strong without knowing how much it will hurt or how long it will endure. We love these lives which we cannot see through to the end, but only hold onto dearly while we dwell in the same space for an unknown period of time. Tears of pain & joy come rushing in with the waves of triumph and defeat. Love reigns here.
As a pregnant woman allows her womb to be consumed with a new life, we have the privilege to witness a sense of renewed hope anchor itself in the soil of her soul. The birth of a perfect new life garners her own rebirth as a woman and mother. Her capacity to love is stretched once more, making room for unexpected joy. She is given the chance to allow a miraculous explosion of beauty come forth out of her own surrender. This beauty erupts just as fiercely as the storm that brought her to us. It bursts through the walls of fear that she once built around herself. It casts out the darkness, and allows the buds of hope to blossom. Love grows here.
Suddenly, the light that slowly crept into her heart is illuminating her entire being. She begins to glow again, with the same radiance that was given to her when she was formed in her own mother’s womb. A radiance that reflects the perfect love we were created for. A love that dies to itself. Love shines here.
And then she goes back into an unknown future and we are left wondering how it will all turn out in the end. One thing is certain though. She witnessed HIS love here.
By Jana Zuniga, a MissionCorps