it's funny how an encouraging word can make your day or week seem 10x better and how much it warms your heart.
if some of you don't know, i have been working at a women's and children's shelter this summer. it started off with me volunteering to just get volunteer hours for GS. kind of just wanted to get it over. they ended up hiring me and at first my thoughts were like okay, whatever, i need some money so why not? working at this shelter has opened my eyes and also my heart to things that i have never seen, heard, felt, the list goes on and on.
one thing with working at a homeless shelter, you just never know what each day is going to bring. a lady may check in during the morning hours and check out the same night. i thought that would be unusual but it has happened a lot. i started a bible study with these women hoping to be able to see a part of their heart. turns out, these women are very angry with God and really don't want anything to do with Him, which was a challenge i have had to face and am still facing. i have women tell me on a daily basis that God doesn't exist and that if He did, why was she homeless? why were her kids sexually abused by their father? why did their mom kick them out on the street just because they got pregnant at a young age? WHY? WHY? WHY? and if He does exist, prove it, prove that the theory of evolution doesn't exist. being asked these questions, i have been challenged because I know that i could not answer these questions on my own, i had to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I would do my best to answer their questions and prayed that the words that i had spoken were doused with the Spirit.
With some of these ladies, i got to see the change, i got to see them devote their life to Chirst but sadly, others i didn't. every time a women would walk out that door and I knew they didn't believe in God, i would ask God that if the words that I had told them about our Lord and Savior, made a difference? Did it really plant a seed or did it go in one ear and out the other? Are they going to eventually devote their life to You? What's going to happen now? A lot of these ladies that have left have taken a piece of my heart with them, i did my best to show them my heart and to show them how amazing God really is. Some of the ladies I started out with are still there today and they definitely have a piece or 2 of my heart, which will be the reason why it will be tough to leave them to go back to college.
Anyway, with all these questions i had been asking about myself, whether i was making a difference in these ladies life or not, it definitely got answered today. I was sitting in the office looking up some bible verses for a particular lady, when another one of my ladies (who was is the process of packing up to leave with her 3 children) came into the office and sat down and wanted to talk to me one on one. She was like "Katie, i just really want to thank you for how nice you have been while I have been here. You have never once treated any of these ladies, myself included, that we were lesser then you just because we were homeless. You have always treated us with respect and made me feel like i still had some dignity and that I wasnt a bad mother just because I couldn't provide my children with a home of our own. You have really impacted my life and I thank God that you were here this summer. Thank you." When she was saying this I got tears in my eyes, but didn't cry. I was speechless. I didn't know what else to say but thanks. I wanted to say something more profound but all i could say was thank you and that I would continue praying for her.
If there is no other woman that comes up to me and says that and if I don't ever find out how much of an impact I have had on these women's life, today was well worth it. God used her to answer my prayers to show me how I had been doing this summer. Not that I was desperate for an answer, I just wanted to know if what i was doing there was worth it to these women, if i was leading them to Christ.
I pray that I have done my best to show these women who Christ is and how amazing our God is, even though they are not in the best of situations in their life. A huge piece of my heart will be left with this shelter when I leave there next week and I am just fine with that. I am leaving some of my heart there because I love every single woman there and those that have come and gone. It is my prayer that they have found Christ and will continue to follow Him.
Remember God is Love.