By Carla McRee
At Valentine’s Day, many of us stop to celebrate our loved ones — perhaps a spouse, or a friend, or family members. We pause to share with them how much they mean to us and how much joy they’ve brought to our lives.
But for many of the women at Shepherd’s Gate, love has brought only pain to their lives. The parents to whom they looked for guidance and protection instead abandoned them or allowed drugs and violence to surround them all through their childhood.
As they grew older, many of these women sought acceptance in romantic relationships, but because of their dysfunctional upbringings, they had no idea what real love looks like. Several of our residents suffered from years of violent abuse. Others were exploited by the men who claimed to love them — they were sold for sex.
Simply put, for many of our women, love was a prison, not a blessing.
But little by little, that’s beginning to change at Shepherd’s Gate. As they are surrounded by caring, supportive staff, and as they are introduced to a God who truly loves them, their wounds begin to heal and they begin to experience real freedom for the first time in their lives. Praise God for His faithfulness!
This Valentine’s Day, we ask you to please lift our residents and their children up in prayer. Ask God to continue to reveal His love to them, and to continue to bring healing and freedom to their broken hearts. Feel free to share your prayers in the comments section below, and we’ll join with you!
(photo courtesy of Thomas Bower)