When I accepted a position in a residential, faith-based ministry for women in crisis, I had no idea the impact it would have on my personal life. I knew my job was to serve and to work with women suffering from the effects of addiction and incarceration, but upon reflection, I was the one blessed.
At first, the job was rough. Teaching and encouraging someone are skills I had always loved to share but correcting another person had always been difficult for me. It quickly became apparent, I first had to learn the Father’s heart in the areas of correction and restoration. Then I needed to understand everything I said or did for the women in the rehabilitative program had to come from the motive of love. It was through His Holy Word, the Lord taught me how He always corrects in love. He began to show me issues in my own life that had gone unnoticed—such as avoiding confrontation; ignoring conflict; people-pleasing; and approval-seeking. I had chosen not to face those issues until one day I found myself face to face with a student who said she did not care about anything I said to her. I knew then God was calling me to handle confrontation with love even though that meant she would be unhappy with me for a while.
Working in a rehabilitation program for women has also taught me the Father’s heart for the prodigal. When students in the program run from me, curse me, ignore me, I keep pursuing them; not because the program dictates it, but because their brokenness breaks my heart, too. The Holy Spirit takes over and ignites me to show them the love of Jesus. Sometimes the experience is painful, but it is always worth it when the student recognizes the unfailing love of the Father.
Nothing can compare to the job I now hold in women’s ministry. I am so blessed God put me in such a position. I have grown stronger in my walk with Him and deeper in my understanding of just who God is.