Making an Impact this Valentine's Day
Let's be real--
Valentine's Day is a fun holiday to celebrate you and your honey, but for many-- heart-shaped anything almost becomes a highlighter for personal pain of broken relationships or lost love.
The internet streaming with posts on marriage, the pictures of the flowers he bought for her, the details of the surprise date they went on — I can’t help but think about all of the people out there that are hurting this Valentine’s Day.
The mom whose husband recently walked out on her.
The husband whose wife suffered a traumatic brain injury a few years ago and has never recovered.
The wife of twenty years whose marriage is crumbling.
The gal whose heart was broken in pieces when she discovered the love of her life was cheating on her.
The single girl in her thirties who desperately longs to be married.
The elderly man who lost his wife to cancer ten years ago and misses her more than words can express.
The woman who is in an abusive relationship and scared for her life.
For many, Valentine’s Day is not a day of romantic gestures, beautiful flowers and heartfelt love notes. It can be a day of pain. But through pain and suffering, I believe in a God who redeems and never lets our tears go to waste. Your story is not over in the valleys, but will pivot up into the mountains-- because that is God's promise for us.
If you have or have not had broken relationships, this is God's truth for you:
1. You Are Not a Failure
Despite how someone else has made you feel, despite what the voices in your head are telling you, you are not a failure.
You may have failed in some areas, but falling down and making mistakes does not make you a failure. It just means that you are human.
2. You Matter
You have worth. You have immense value. Do not believe the lies that others or your own head tells you that says you are worthless or are good for nothing.
3. You Have a Purpose
You have a story. You have unique life experience. You have gifts and talents.
You are the only YOU.
In honor of Valentine's Day and the spirit of elevating women, we are donating proceeds of all purchases to The Genesis Women's Shelter during the month of February.
About The Genesis Shelter
Genesis Women’s Shelter was founded with a goal to not just help women, but to completely eradicate domestic violence. They have formulated our services to address the issue holistically and give each woman the same message: there is help and there is hope.
The Brave + Bold
I have been so lucky to become friends with one of the women that has personally been helped by Genesis, she has been brave to share her story with us.
After pursing a life in missions, traversing the dangerous slums of Brazil, I had found my calling, believing I would spend the rest of my days as a missionary with my husband. As the years went on, I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into the ministry and it flourished making up several half-way homes and an orphanage. From the outside looking in, one could observe a dream life, a big beautiful house in the midst of tropics of Brazil, a happy family, a famous pastor for a husband, a thriving ministry I built from the ground up, and not to mention the hundreds of beautiful souls I had adopted as my own.
The enchanting fairytale came to a screeching halt when his fingers wrapped around my throat for the first time. It was in that moment that I was faced with the fact that I had been unknowingly abused for the last 10 years. It never surfaced as a reality until the years of verbal abuse abrupt into violence in the last two years of our marriage, meaning it took me two years to gather the courage to finally escape from his manipulative, malice grip.
Escape + Rescue
The abuse was getting worse and worse, and I was going to back down with the whole idea. But then the evening before our planned escape, my daughter came to me saying we must go. It was a sobering reality that my children were now being impacted.
My children were my rock during this time, and my daughter at 12 years of age strategized our getaway. We had to hide his phone and keys to leave in the middle of the night to ensure his violence would not keep us.
Upon finding asylum in the United States, it would be then that the hard work truly began journeying back from brokenness. I was back to square one, I had lost everything, no home, no job, poor health, and worst of all no purpose. No one knew what to do with me or how to help, but Genesis did.
What Genesis did to give me my life back:
- Offered understanding and prayer
- Free counseling for myself
- Free counseling for my kids
- Legal services
- Free Medical care
- Clothing, food, and furniture
For my safety and that of my children, we left EVERYTHING behind in Brazil. We left all of our things, friends and one of the hardest realities- leave behind the 80 children I felt responsible for that we raised in our halfway house. These children truly felt like my own. As a mother, it was like I felt the pain of losing 80 of my own children at once, as well as my marriage.
We would begin a journey toward healing and wholeness. Genesis Women's Shelter was a critical first step in that journey.
Genesis provided me with counseling and encouragement, legal services, overdue medical care, food and clothing. That was seven years ago. I am now ready to share my story, and ready to share the promise of hope for a better path to women out there today.
Today, my children are thriving and I am healed, happy, and free - living a new dream. Thank you Genesis Women's Shelter.
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