Death and life, destruction and renewal, pain and growth.

We all experience these dichotomous but connected realities, but they are especially present in life at Maggie’s Place. By our very mission, we are a place of birth, new life growing and coming into the world. But our homes have purpose only because of the need that these mothers are experiencing, due to destruction, pain, hurt and death in their histories. But the duality of death and life is characteristic of every part of Maggie’s Place.

For us MissionCorps, other plans this year had to be abandoned, whether our own plans or of loved ones. We have to die to self, moment by moment, to be faithful to the selfless life we have been called to. We give up hobbies, habits, routines, comforts and control, and that is like a temporary death to those parts of our lives.

But out of the ashes comes a new version of us, a more altruistic, humble, flexible and overall more loving version of ourselves. Sometimes the flames hurt as they purify, and the pain doesn’t seem worth the growth. Sometimes in the lowest moments, I wonder if I really am growing because it seems like only my weaknesses are being revealed. But each heartbreak, each crisis, each battle with the self burns away more impurity of intention and more imperfection.

I am sure I will come out of this year with more emotional scar tissue than when I started (I am not a phoenix, being born completely anew, after all!), but I trust that somehow that scar tissue, by God’s grace, can become more flexible than the original, that God is making me more empathetic, loving, open, patient and vulnerable with each act of tough love, each retaliation received. My prayer is that out of each emotional death comes new life for me and for the moms I do it for. And I know it shall be so, for He said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelations 21:5).


By Lily Key, a MissionCorps member