Could you be thankful after you’ve lost everything?
Imagine you lost your home and all your possessions. Your marriage evaporated, too, so you lost your identity as a wife. The only things you have are yourself and cab fare that was a gift from a generous police officer. Could you be genuinely thankful?
Tiana is. She spent 40 years building a marriage and keeping a home. She raised five children who brought 19 wonderful grandchildren to her. Sounds like a dream? More like a nightmare.
You see, Tiana’s husband was abusive. It started with insults and verbal abuse as he plunged into addiction. Then it became physical threats, which were soon followed by actual physical violence. One day, Tiana woke up on the floor in a daze. She had regained consciousness after having been strangled. That was the day she decided she had enough. She moved into her sister’s home, but her husband arrived with a gun and sent threatening texts. He sold her clothes and possessions, and what he couldn’t sell, he burned.
Thanks to the police officer, she took a cab to Sheltering Wings. All she had when she arrived was deodorant, soap, a comb, and a hairbrush. Now she’s in counseling and attending classes on empowerment and other topics to help her establish a safe, independent life. She says Sheltering Wings is restoring a gift her parents gave her, but her husband took away: her self-esteem. And she’s so thankful that she says she longs for the day when she can donate money to the shelter in appreciation for the work we do.
I’m thankful for the many stories like Tiana’s … along with many other things: the people who saw the need for a safe haven here 15 years ago and made Sheltering Wings a reality; the volunteers who give of their time to tend to details, allowing the staff to focus on our ladies and children; the donors who provide everything we need to make rooms welcoming for every new family who enters; the supporters whose monthly contributions ensure the sustainability of our programs and services; the victims, whose courage and strength inspires us all. And most of all, I’m thankful for the Lord, who provides healing and hope beyond what any social service agency can do on its own.
May your Thanksgiving season be filled with love and gratitude!
In His Service,