Right about now, I’m celebrating a year at MRH. I officially started in April 2012, but after some medical drama and a lengthy recovery, I considered August my practical start in the work. So, it is about time for an update!
This past year has been normal and yet remarkable. It seems to me that is was “normal” in the sense that everything that occurred was natural. In therapy, I’ve often told people with mental health symptoms that they are having “a normal reaction to an abnormal situation”, and we have definitely seen our share of it this year. I suppose that calling something normal and remarkable may seem oxymoronic, although I would like to suggest that natural, normal, everyday things are often remarkable and even miraculous, despite our inability to recognize them as such.
It’s been a good, challenging year. On my end, I experienced about 6 months of real wrestling around and struggling to find my place, with greater peace and stability coming in January. We’ve also seen similar patterns with the staff and girls- after some months of discomfort with adjustments and girls having behavioral challenges, we were blessed with more harmony in the new year.
The other day, I woke up to find that it must be caterpillar season. There were at least 8 caterpillars climbing the walls of the house where I rent a room. Apart from the creepy factor, the problem with this is that these cute, fuzzy caterpillars have a terribly itchy fur that, when put in contact with skin, creates a terrible rash. I’d already experienced the misery of touching one of these guys last year, so I had quite the morning attempting to remove them from my room without blowing their itchy fur around or killing them.
God is good to grant me metaphors where I have few words. These caterpillars really remind me of our girls, but I mean no insult. Our girls appear cute and harmless, going along on their way. At times, when one may attempt to draw near or assist, they may be surprised by the injury that can come from engaging with them. But the girls can’t really be blamed for the fact that they may sting us at times- the itchy poison is natural- it’s nature’s defense to all the threats in the world. It takes a lot of work to come along side these ones and lend a hand without tossing them aside or getting hurt; that said, it is a very worthwhile mission. They are going somewhere and they are working a heck of a lot harder than we are. Scaling walls… slowly, with little direction, hoping to find just the right place to settle in and do some work. When they find it, there’s some hard, uncomfortable work for them to do. Cocoon-building, like skill-building or learning a good life lesson, doesn’t happen without some trial. But, if one can persist and not give up that final fight to get out of the cocoon, they will eventually fly free.
In this month of August, 10 of our girls are going through some of the hardest work they may ever have to do- working through the pain of their past through the Sharing phase of their trauma therapy. Remembering their pasts is bringing up hurt and suffering that lesser persons would just attempt to shove away and ignore (to their detriment). Fortunately, our girls are very brave and they have come to trust and believe in what we are doing. Please pray for them and for all of our staff, that they can do the hard work to struggle through and come out on the other side like beautiful butterflies. We know that the hard work will pay off, but it doesn’t seem to make the hard work any less difficult.
Thanks very much for your prayers and support.
Love in Christ,
Want to learn more about Nicole? Go to her bio on the “About the Directors” page!