This month, five amazing women walked down the isle, signifying their walk with Christ and their path towards a new life. After struggling with homelessness, drugs, and addiction, all hope seemed to be lost. At Portland Rescue Mission’s New Life program at Shepherd’s Door, our recovery program for women and children, all five women began their journey of change.
Amanda, one of the graduating women, spoke a few truths about life she came from,
“I hope that most people here will never ever understand that depth of darkness. The darkness that I have been rescued from. But if you do know that depth then you will understand the love that I have for Jesus who has saved me. For whom much has been forgiven. That is me.”
The journey was not easy. “This year I have come face to face with the darkest parts of myself and I did not run,” Amanda said. “I grabbed hold of the armor. That inner strength that Jesus says that I have, and I watched the old me walk away in defeat, and for the first time I let her.
Through the 12 month New Life program, Amanda was able to deal with the pain that came from her past choices. She can now say that she is living in freedom and has learned to love the people around her, her Savior and most importantly, she has learned to love herself, “I have watched the reflection in the mirror literally transform I can now look at not only you, but myself in the eye. I can truthfully say that I love me. I had never loved me.”
As Amanda looks towards her future, she leaves us all with a poem, reflecting on where she came from and who she has become,
“I feel the storm blow, it touches my cheek, it presses in. The fire that I’m following forces fear back inside of my veins. I am human, I am just like you, and there are things that I’ve been through, things that may happen to you. My secret weapon is found in a secret place. I will not taste defeat, nor will I retreat. In my fear it would appear that I have become unafraid. I lay my head alongside the thorns that crowned upon His head and I found a bed of comfort there. He will take any tears, and all the years behind me don’t cause one look of disgrace upon His face to find me. In His eyes I am new. In His resurrected life I am one of the few to find mine. Yes the storm is coming but there is a shadow inside of every darkness, a shadow where I am safe. So as the last leaf falls from this broken branch onto this frozen ground it is here that I am free. It is here that I am found.“