(From left to right: New Life Fellowship recovery graduate, Jennifer, poses with Simonka Place’s New Life Fellowship Program Manager Katrina Schissler during the New Life Fellowship graduation.)
Last week I opened the Biblical Life Management class with a simple question.
“What brought you to the Mission?”
As each woman shared her story, it became clear that their lives were full of trauma, a chronic lack of needs being met and a desperate attempt to find something—anything—to cope with the pain of life.
One client confessed that the first thing that comes to her mind upon hearing the word “sin” is justification. When she is convicted of her sin, she attempts to justify herself through blame, denial, and lying. For her, one word was all it took for a wall to form around her heart.
Women who come through the doors of UGM’s Simonka Place bring their walls. These walls are built high and made of seemingly impenetrable stone. For many in our care, their walls are formed by desperation and survival instinct.
How can I help these women overcome their walls?
The first step involves having an authentic relationship. Second, I’ve learned that giving them time to consider who God is and who they are in light of Him. He will provide healing and restoration to those who ask. It is an incredible thing to witness.
The guarded become trusting. The dead are now alive. Every day I am reminded of the faithfulness of God through the lives of the individuals we serve.
My own faith has increased exponentially as I, an outsider to their pain and their stories, observe their hardened walls crumble as they become vulnerable in an entirely new way.
Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty of our sins. Romans 3:24
Written by, Katrina Schissler, New Life Fellowship Program Manager