A Place to Belong
It’s been 8 weeks since I had our baby boy and I feel like we’re coming out of the tunnel. As precious and sweet as he can be, he is also a BABY...which means there’s plenty of crying and not sleeping at our house. Also getting back into the hang of carrying all the stuff around and getting back into a routine has been a large task. But even more than that, lately the struggle has been figuring out where I fit. Where do I belong? I’m working on starting this home, but I’m working on it from home so I’m not in an office job with co-workers. In our phase of life, most people have kids in school all day. I had just gotten to that point where I was free during the day with my older kids in school when I found out I was pregnant. Watching other moms volunteer at their school and go to lunches and other activities together reminds me that I’m not really fitting there like I used to either. And we aren’t able to hop up and leave for a trip or big adult day yet. But I also can’t talk about it, because I don’t want anyone to feel like they can’t tell me about the fun things they’re doing or that they should feel guilty doing them. It’s a different season of life for me that I’m trying to figure out. Some days it feels great, and some days it feels really lonely. First world problems, I know.
One day I was really struggling with all of these feelings, and when I got into my car it was randomly tuned to an AM radio station. I never listen to AM channels. But on this day, when I needed it most, my car speakers were blasting a pastor on this AM station talking about Romans 8:28, which says “and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” The pastor pointed out that ‘our good’ doesn’t actually mean ‘good’ things. It means the things that make us more like Christ. Those things that change our heart to be more like His. Those good things that can actually be hard things. Nothing we experience is wasted with God. Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” All of our pain and suffering, our struggles and insecurities, will be used for our ultimate good. Right after hearing this on the radio, I walked into a mom’s group at our local pregnancy center. Immediately, I felt at home and at peace. As I looked around the packed room, I wondered if any of those moms and babies would have been in Hope 139 if we were open. I felt like I could really connect with them because I was right where they were, lugging a newborn with all the gear, waiting for the next cry or feeding time. When I was feeling lost, God gave me a peace and a feeling of home, and another affirmation of His call to build this home.
The women we’ll be working with feel all these same things and more. Many don’t have a faithful husband or trusted friends to turn to. They don't have family to support them. That’s what we want Hope 139 House to be. The state regs for maternity homes say the moms must move out when their newborn hits 8 weeks. As I mentioned before, we’re just coming out of the fog at 8 weeks! Thus why we will also open a second chance home for moms with children over 8 weeks old. It will be a literal home for so many, but that feeling of being at home and at peace is of most importance. To belong and to be loved. They may have never had a place where they felt they truly belonged or were loved. No matter their background or religious beliefs, I hope they will feel the peace that passes all understanding when they walk through our doors. That their life, their baby’s life, their children’s lives matter and belong. That they fit with us. Yeah it’s gonna be hard. All day every day maybe. But ultimate good? Yes. One day when we can look back and see the impact of having a place to belong, of finding their group and their people, it will be so worth the hard.
Coming up soon, you’ll have many chances to be part of building this home, this place to belong! We have a contract on a great property in a great location!! We’re so excited to start preparing it for these women and children. We can’t do it without you. More details are coming on a building campaign, and we’ll reveal our renovation plans when the time comes. For now, if you’re interested in helping fundraise, market, or being part of this by donating money or building services, please see our Get Involved page and click on Hope Givers or Hope Builders. We’ll be in touch with details on each step of the process! I hope today that you feel loved, valued, and supported. If not, I’d love for you to reach out to me. I’d be happy to talk to you, connect you to resources and people I’ve discovered in this journey, get together, or just pray for you!