Courage has been one of the qualities for which I have consistently requested prayers during my time a Maggie’s Place. You can ask my fellow MissionCorps; it’s pretty much my staple prayer request! I realize how many times I am feeble in addressing certain issues with the moms and holding them accountable to the rules, as well as getting out of my comfort zone to show the hospitality that Maggie’s Place represents. I think that these are normal struggles, especially for a natural introvert, but it is when I overcome them that I feel most fulfilled in my role at the house. Putting the greater good ahead of my comfort is what keeps me going, as well as the example of my fellow MissionCorps.
But it isn’t just the MissionCorps who exemplify courage in our homes. Many times it has struck me that the moms are the most courageous! They are the ones who choose to live with us, with all our rules and all our love. It is quite a culture shock for many of the moms when they move into our homes. Many of them have never been treated like beautiful daughters of God or been spoken to with compassion when they are struggling. No one here tells them that they are worthless or have ruined their lives when they make mistakes. I have seen several moms move out within the first couple of days after moving in, not because there has been a problem, but I think it is because they don’t know how to handle their new safe and loving environment.
The rules at Maggie’s Place are also a new struggle for our moms. Many moms are overwhelmed by them and let them bring them down, since they view them as restrictive and not as tools to help them grow. Yet, I have seen several moms rise up to the occasion and tell themselves that they will not let the rules bring them down, but that they will work with them to make the most of their time at Maggie’s Place. It is so encouraging to see a mom overcome this hurdle and choose to work hard for herself and her baby!
The biggest sign of their courage, however, is their act of love in choosing life for their babies. Our society today makes it so easy to dispose of anything or anyone that is making your life difficult. How difficult it must be to not be able to take care of yourself, and yet have a new life growing in you that you also have to support! Many of us take our lives or situations for granted, but how fragile are our lives and how little control we have over what life we are born into! The moms of Maggie’s Place have not always had the love and support of their families, and yet they choose to give life and love to their children.
Courage does not consist of having no fear, but rather, it consists of diving in despite the fear that overwhelms the will. It does not mean that we should blindly dive into every situation that we fear, but instead, true courage consists of tackling those things that are true and good even when those things are the most difficult to choose. This true courage is what our moms embody when they choose life for their children and look for shelter at Maggie’s Place. Our moms are the heroes of today in a culture that mocks their courage and self-sacrifice. I am ever amazed by the moms of Maggie’s Place!
By Therese Fetsko, a MissionCorps member