“I can see God in this.” That’s all we need to hear, right? If one person can see God in this worldwide lock down…this incredible pandemic…would we say it’s been worth it? It’s taking quite a bit of faith for me to say that this all might be worth it, or that there is a purpose in this uncertain time, if just one person experiences God in a new way. But when that one person is a woman who is living at Naomi’s House and taking a risk to trust in something – Someone – that she has never known before, it makes this exciting. This is what we see at NH right now. Because of the extended time at home, one of the residents has expressed more openness to talking about God and His love for her. One of our Shift Supervisors had a more intentional conversation with her recently and the resident stated that she fully believes that God is the Creator and the author of life. This was a breakthrough for this woman, since she struggles with trusting anyone. Her experience as a victim of human trafficking is unthinkable – as a teenager, she already had 6 children. Her life has been filled with nothing but abuse and loss and suffering, and she’s not yet 21 years old. So for her to come to the tender point on her journey to think that God just might care for her and love her, that He is the author of her life when the story she’s lived out till now has been more of a nightmare? Talk about significance! This breakthrough makes this whole COVID-19 season feel like it has been worth it. We know that sometimes God allows dramatic experiences to pierce our hearts and bend them toward Him. And right now, we see this happening at NH with the women who have nothing but time to wrestle with and explore the steady and trustworthy love of Jesus.
So many other important things have been happening at Naomi’s House during this time. Like many of you, we’ve been cleaning, purging, re-organizing, etc. The women have been engaging in lots of creative activities and games, which has made for a fun, new connection level for both participants and staff. The stillness has created room for quiet activities like journaling, reading, painting, and Scripture cards. They have also been spiffing up the back patio … power washing, painting, refurbishing the patio furniture (whew!) … and of course there’s the ongoing deep cleaning to keep us all healthy!
We’ve been evaluating our program as well to see what we’re missing, what we need, and what we can tweak. It felt at first like we would need to pause programming in order to abide by CDC recommendations and to proactively keep both staff and residents safe. But a few weeks in, we’ve been able to maintain. As a matter of fact, we are pretty much still running at full capacity – we have not, and can not, reduce staff, all therapy has been moved to online sessions, and food, supplies, and materials for the house have actually increased b/because of the amount of time women are home.
I think I’m at a place to say that I’m almost thankful for this season. I sure didn’t see it coming and we are still definitely experiencing hardships, but this is one of the things I love about God: His ways are not our ways. His plans are not our plans. But they are always purposeful. He doesn’t make decisions on accident or without knowing the whole story. We can rest in that and hold tight to that truth that despite the uncertainty we are feeling, God is certain.